Never underestimate the power of the kettle. During cold winters, what could be finer than enjoying a cup of warm tea-and-cider punch curled up by the fireplace? Or remember college days when you couldn't bear the thought of going to the dining hall—only a cup of ginger garlic chicken ramen noodles would do? Boiling water in a kettle is essential for comfort! While you can put a pot on the stove (or hot plate), add water, and turn on the gas, plugging in an electric kettle and hitting the on switch is both faster and more energy efficient. And while you're thinking, how dirty can boiling water be? After a lot of use that kettle is full of white salt-like scales and just won’t boil water fast enough to satisfy that craving. You know how to clean a dishwasher. You know how to clean a washing machine. Now you can learn how to clean your kettle, and you'll be brewing that cup of Twining’s Earl Grey in no time!
Why is my kettle scaly?
Water contains minerals and as water boils, some of those minerals get left behind and fall to the bottom of the kettle. This is particularly problematic if you live in an area with hard water—meaning there are lots of minerals in your water. Over time, these scales, also called “furring,” will gunk up the heating element and cause your kettle to be super inefficient.
Use distilled vinegar to clean your kettle.
An acidic compound, either in the form of vinegar or a powder like citric acid, is the perfect tool for getting rid of those nasty scales.
If you have distilled white vinegar on hand, add equal parts water and vinegar to the kettle until it is about halfway full. Bring to a boil; allow the boiled vinegar water mixture to sit in the kettle for 15 or 20 minutes. Pour off the mixture and rinse the kettle. If there are still scales or gunk inside the kettle use the rough side of a sponge to remove anything that is sticking around.
Can I use citric acid to clean my kettle?
Citric Acid, a naturally occurring element in citrus fruit has been manufactured commercially since the early 20th century. Good at breaking down gunk and grime, it's also good for getting rid of mildew, mold, and bacteria. To use it to clean you kettle, start by filling the tank halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Once the water boils, add 1 to 2 tablespoons citric acid and let the mixture sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Pour off the water and scrub with a sponge as needed; rinse.
Can I use soda pop to clean my kettle?
If you have some flat Coke or Pepsi (you can use fizzy soda, but why waste it?) sitting around, don’t toss it. Throw it in your kettle and use it to get rid of those scales. Fill the kettle up about 1/4 to 1/2 full with soda. Bring to a boil and let sit for about 30 minutes. Pour the pop away, scrub as needed, and rinse thoroughly.
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