How to Clean an Electric Water Kettle

It's easy to see dirt and mineral deposits on the outside of your electric kettle, but lime deposits inside the kettle might escape your notice. You'll eventually become aware of them, however, as the performance of the kettle declines and the quality of the water deteriorates. It doesn't have to come to that -- a regular treatment with vinegar or lemon juice takes care of mineral deposits both inside and outside the kettle.

You Don't Need a Special Cleaner

You can buy cleaning solutions in home supply outlets specifically designed for removing limescale from hot pots, kettles and other hot water pots, but why bother? Companies like Oster, which manufacturers automatic coffee makers, recommend vinegar for descaling their products, and it will work on your kettle, too. Vinegar is a 5 percent acetic acid solution, and with a pH of 2.4, it has what it takes to dissolve limescale, which are basically salt deposits. Lemon juice, which is a citric acid solution, has a comparable pH, making it equally effective and the better choice if the manufacturer recommends against vinegar, as some do.

Cleaning Instructions

Step 1

Fill a 1-quart spray bottle with equal amounts of vinegar and water and add a squirt of dishwashing detergent. Spray this on the outside of the kettle at least once a week to keep it clean and prevent scale buildup. Rinse with clear water.

Step 2

Descale the inside of the kettle with a 1-to-1 mixture of vinegar and water or, if you prefer, a 1-to-1 mixture of lemon juice and water.

Step 3

Pour the descaling mixture into the kettle, filling it about 3/4 full; then plug in the appliance and bring the solution to a boil. If the scale is severe, let the solution sit for an hour before plugging in the kettle.

Step 4

Unplug the kettle and let the solution cool down for about 20 minutes. Pour it out, replace it with clear water and bring the water to a boil. Repeat the rinsing procedure if you can still smell vinegar or detect traces of lemon juice.

Step 5

Pour out the last rinse; let the kettle cool completely; then wipe out the inside with a clean cloth.