How to Remove Limescale and Clean Your Kettle
Is your cup of tea or coffee starting to taste different? Not different in a good way but different in an ‘off’ kind of way? Well, a sudden change in the taste can be caused by limescale buildup in your kettle. In fact, if the problem has persisted for a long period of time, you may even see the limescale floating in the water! It sounds disgusting and yes, it absolutely is!
What is Limescale?
When hard water dries up and you’re left with a chalky residue, that’s limescale. It is commonly found in kettles and other water-heating appliances because water evaporates quickly, leaving the calcium carbonate to remain on the surface.
These mineral deposits caused by hard water can be found in household sinks, inside pipelines, and all over your faucets. While limescale is typically off-white in colour, it can also appear as a muddy red, grey, or orangey-pink colour.
Is Limescale Bad for Health?
Because limescale is predominantly made up of calcium, it won’t affect your health if you drink coffee/tea/water with the presence of limescale. With that said, excess calcium in the body creates a buildup of the mineral which can cause kidney stones. Of course, there is no hard evidence to prove that consuming limescale is a contributing factor to the development of kidney stones or excess calcium in the body. Regardless, it is advisable to clean your kettle regularly to prevent limescale buildup and subsequent consumption.
Can Limescale Damage Your Kettle?
Yes, and it’s not just your kettle, but any plumbing fixture and heating appliance that uses water. How? Well, overtime, the buildup coats the inside of the surface and reduces the efficiency of the fittings/components.
As far as kettles are concerned, the calcium and other minerals present do not allow the appliance to heat up as quickly as it should; therefore, your kettle has to work harder to reach a certain temperature which, in turn, shortens its lifespan. So, the key to keeping your kettle in top-performing condition lies in the simple act of descaling it every now and then.
How Do You Remove Limescale from Your Kettle?
There are quite a few ways to do this but at Maid For You, we are all about the natural approach to removing limescale from a kettle. The two methods mentioned below are 100% safe and eco-friendly, not to mention super easy and convenient to apply. Best of all, there is no scrubbing involved!
Let’s get right to it then.
How to Descale Your Kettle with Lemon
The acidic nature of lemon extract is highly effective in cutting through limescale, as well as grease and grime. It also acts as a deodorizer which is great for removing any peculiar smells from your kettle.
Here’s how to remove limescale and clean your kettle with lemon.
Step 1: If you haven’t used the kettle in a long time, it may have accumulated visible dirt which will require a light scrub or thorough rinse to remove. Use your hands or a soft sponge and water for this. Once the kettle is rinsed out, fill it to its full capacity.
Step 2: Cut and squeeze out the juice of one lemon into the kettle; give it a stir and leave it aside for 45 minutes or longer.
Step 3: Turn on the heat and let the water boil for about 20 seconds. Switch off the heat and repeat this two more times leaving the kettle aside for a few minutes between each boil. This is intended to break down and dissolve the limescale.
Step 4: When the water cools down, pour it into the sink, and rinse inside the kettle. Use your hand to rinse out the kettle thoroughly.
Step 5: Refill the kettle to its full capacity or up to 3/4th of the appliance. Boil the water once and empty the kettle immediately after. This should take care of any strong lingering smell from the lemon; if not, pour in fresh water and boil again.
Step 6: Dry the kettle with a clean dish towel.
Step 7: For the exterior of the kettle, a daily wipe down with a clean damp cloth is advised. It’s also important to sanitize the appliance every other week by cleaning with disinfectant wipes.
How to Descale Your Kettle with Vinegar
The step-by-step method to clean and descale a kettle with vinegar is not very different from cleaning with lemon. The benefits of choosing the former, however, lies in its antibacterial properties. Vinegar is often used as a natural ingredient to sanitise household items and surfaces while also serving as an effective, eco-safe neutraliser for bad odours.
Much like the steps mentioned above, here’s what you need to do differently to remove limescale from your kettle with vinegar.
Step 1: Rinse out the kettle thoroughly and fill it with vinegar and water; 50:50 ratio.
Step 2: After 1 hour, bring the water-vinegar solution to a boil and leave it to cool.
Step 3: Rinse the kettle and wash it out with mild dish soap.
Step 4: Refill the kettle with plain water and boil 1-2 times or until the smell is neutralised.
Step 5: Dry the inside of your kettle with a clean towel and leave it to air out completely for an hour or so.
How to Prevent Limescale Buildup in Your Kettle
Although you should clean your kettle regularly, not having to deal with limescale is a real treat! Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this chalky buildup in your kettle.
Because limescale is caused by hard water, the best way to prevent it is by stopping it at the source. For this, you will need to install a water softener – a type of technology that removes calcium, magnesium and other minerals and metals present in your water source.
Another useful tip to prevent limescale is to keep your kettle dry; when you let hard water sit inside for too long, it encourages the buildup of limescale.
Well, there you have it! Now you know how to keep limescale at bay, and how to get rid of it if/when it does show up! So, don’t let your next cup of coffee or tea taste-off; brew up the perfect cup by removing limescale from your kettle!
Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.