How do you clean a kettle? Plus some descaling tips

Updated on 29 May 2023

Just like other kitchen appliances, a kettle needs servicing every now and then. This is important for your health, but also for the life of the appliance. It is advisable to give your kettle a daily rinse, but even more important is to descale your kettle regularly. In this article, we explain how to descale your kettle with vinegar and with sodium carbonate.

Cleaning your kettle

Descaling is important (a step-by-step plan for descaling follows below), but to keep your kettle in good condition it is important to keep the housing and inside clean and grease it once every six months (if your kettle is stainless steel).

  • Housing kettle: clean your kettle weekly with a cloth, warm water and some soap. Don’t forget to clean the plug well too.
  • Stainless steel: to maintain stainless steel properly, lubricate the outside with a little olive oil. Do this with a soft cloth and don’t use too much oil.
  • Clean inside: rinse the kettle with water before using it.

How to descale a kettle?

The most important thing is to descale your kettle regularly; this extends its lifespan and is better for your health. This can be done with vinegar, a slice of lemon or baking soda.

Descaling with vinegar

It doesn’t really matter what kind of vinegar you use, but since you need quite a lot, we recommend white vinegar (natural vinegar). It is a lot cheaper.

  • Fill the kettle for ⅓ with water and ⅓ with vinegar. So the ratio is 1:1.
  • Let it boil well until the kettle turns off.
  • Do you still see lime? Add more vinegar and bring the kettle to a boil again.
  • Let the water with the vinegar stand for about 20 minutes.
  • Clean the kettle thoroughly by rinsing it with water. Can you still smell the vinegar after this? Then let the kettle boil again.

Do you still see limescale? Then leave the water with vinegar for longer or repeat the whole process. If necessary, you can also remove the remaining limescale with a cloth.

Descaling with lemon or lime

Some manufacturers indicate that you cannot descale your kettle with vinegar. In this case, you can descale with lemon. You do this as follows:

  • Fill the kettle for ⅔ and add the juice of a lemon or lime. Cut the lemon or lime into slices and add these too.
  • Bring the water to a boil and leave it to stand for about 60 minutes.
  • Rinse the kettle.

Lemon and lime work fine when the limescale is not too bad. If you have a lot of limescale, it is better to descale with vinegar or cleaning soda.

Descaling with baking soda

Descaling with baking soda is done with baking soda. You follow these steps:

  • Add about ⅔ of water to the kettle with a teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Let the water boil and then soak for about 20 minutes
  • Rinse the kettle thoroughly

How often to descale a kettle?

You should descale a kettle once every 1 – 3 months, depending on usage and water hardness in your area. When you can see the lime with your eye, you are actually already too late.

To conclude

It is important to take good care of your kitchen appliances and kettle by performing regular maintenance. This will make your appliances last longer, look clean (the eye also wants something) and is better for your health and that of your loved ones.

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