Limescale in kettle: how to remove limescale from kettle

There are various eco-friendly things you can use if you have limescale in your kettle such as white vinegar, lemons, citric acid powder and baking soda. This post gives you several ideas of how to remove limescale from a kettle which are cheap, safe and very easy. No need for expensive kettle descaler products or harmful chemicals.

Limescale in kettle - how to remove limescale from a kettle

Why you need to remove limescale from a kettle

Limescale in your kettle costs you money as you need to use extra electricity to boil the kettle. It also affects the taste and quality of your cup of tea. Who wants bits floating around in their cuppa? Limescale build-up (also known as kettle furring) can reduce the lifetime and efficiency of your kettle. So it’s important to remove limescale from a kettle and once you have a clean kettle, make it sure it stays that way by preventing limescale build-up.

How do you know if your kettle needs descaling

The easiest way to see if your kettle needs descaling is to frequently check inside for limescale. If there is limescale build-up in your kettle, you may find hot drinks have a film on top of them or white limescale bits floating in them.

How to remove limescale from a kettle using citric acid powder

I find that the best thing to remove limescale from a kettle is citric acid powder. Citric acid powder is cheap, effective and so easy to use that it requires very little effort on your part. My kind of green cleaning! This homemade kettle descaler has just one ingredient.

  1. Fill your kettle halfway with water, and bring it to a boil.
  2. Once it has boiled add 1 – 2 tablespoons of citric acid powder to the water.
  3. Allow the water and citric acid mixture to sit in the kettle for 15 to 20 minutes, then discard.
  4. Use a sponge scrubber or brush to remove any stubborn patches of limescale.
  5. Rinse out the kettle a few times with cold water ensuring that there is no trace of citric acid.

Where to buy citric acid powder

You should be able to buy it from your local hardware shop or you can get it online:

In the UK

In the US

How to get rid of limescale in a kettle using citric acid from lemon juice

Follow the method above for citric acid powder but replace the powder with lemon juice.

How to get limescale out of a kettle using vinegar

You can also use white vinegar (not malt vinegar) to clean limescale from a kettle. Using vinegar to descale a kettle is so easy. Vinegar is a cheap, effective and multi-purpose product so I always have a few bottles under the sink because it’s so versatile. If you don’t have any white vinegar you could try using lemon juice or bicarbonate of soda / baking soda instead to descale your kettle.

  1. Fill up the kettle about half-way with an equal part solution of water and vinegar.
  2. Leave to stand for about 1 hour so the vinegar can get to work on the limescale.
  3. After an hour boil the kettle with the acid solution still in it.
  4. Pour away the boiled solution which should now contain the offending limescale.
  5. If limescale still remains, I give it a bit of a scrub with a washing-up brush or you could use a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda on a cloth.
  6. Rinse out the kettle a few times with cold water ensuring that there is no trace of vinegar.
  7. Fill up the kettle, boil it and then throw the boiled water away and you should have a clean and vinegar-free kettle.



How to clean a kettle’s limescale filter

  1. Remove the filter.
  2. Soak it in a little vinegar.
  3. Rinse with water.
  4. Gently use a washing-up brush to remove any stubborn limescale deposits.

Where to buy household cleaning vinegar

Buy white vinegar

You should be able to buy it from your local hardware shop or you can get it online:

In the UK

In the US

How to prevent limescale build-up in a kettle

  • Save water and your kettle by only boiling the amount of water you need and immediately pour away any water left in the kettle as it gives more limescale the chance to build up. Let the water cool and use it to water your plants.
  • Put a stainless steel kettle descaler in your kettle to prevent or slow down limescale build-up. They look like a small roll of wire netting and cost very little. See the Chef Aid Stainless Steel Doughnut Kettle Descaler (from Robert Dyas or from Amazon)

How to clean the outside of a kettle

Regularly wipe the outside of a kettle with a clean, damp cloth and this should keep your kettle’s exterior clean. If your kettle needs something a bit stronger, add a little washing-up liquid to your cloth. If your kettle is made of stainless steel, you could try rubbing a little olive oil onto it or use a specialist cloth such as the e-cloth kitchen cloth from Ethical Superstore which require no soap or harmful chemicals.

You may also be interested in…

Photo: Pete, Flickr

Original post: October 2017, Updated: August 2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*