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I used to manage a coffee shop where we had to use expensive chemical descalers to clean our hefty coffee machines and boilers. I wouldn't consider that option at my house even if it was free. At home, to clean my kettle thoroughly, I add equal parts water and white vinegar inside and let it sit for an hour. I then bring it to a boil and pour it out. I fill the kettle back up with water and bring it to another boil, then pour it out. The kettle is no longer dingy.
As a side note, when I say I pour out the two sets of waters, I actually use them to clean other things: the floors, the bath. Nothing goes unused at mine!
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Get rid of lime deposits in a tea kettle by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the water and letting it sit overnight.
If more drastic action is needed, boil full-strength white vinegar in the kettle a few minutes, let cool, and re-use the tea kettle with plain water. Don't pour the tea kettle vinegar down the drain.
You can freshen the drain if you first pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then pour the hot vinegar down the drain. Or, you could use the vinegar to kill weeds. Make it do double duty!
By Ron from Cortez, CO
Why would you not pour the tea kettle vinegar down the drain?
If you read the complete post, you will see that the hot vinegar is poured down the drain after the baking soda. This causes a foaming action that helps clean the drain. My mom put a glass marble in her tea kettle to help keep the scale from forming, but once or twice a year she would follow the cleaning procedure mentioned above.
Be careful! I used vinegar to clean my bathroom sink pipes and followed with baking soda. The two together indeed ate away the build up...AND THEY ALSO ATE THROUGH MY PIPES!
I fill my teakettle with white vinegar, heat it up almost to boiling and let it sit all day. After dinner I pour the vinegar into a bottle that is labeled "vinegar for teakettle". You can use this many times again. Then I use a sponge to loosen and clean any residue from the inside of the pot, rinse, and it is ready to go for another couple of weeks. Throwing away the vinegar is wasteful. Use it again and again, adding a little each time to replace what evaporates.
What is the best way to clean lime off of a tea kettle?
Wendy from Apple River, IL
If you have any old lemon juice in the fridge that is too old to be used, boil it in the kettle. Or boil vinegar in the kettle. A couple of soakings, boilings and thorough washings will help. Then use filtered water to keep the pot cleaner.
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I bought a second hand kettle from my charity shop, but never checked the inside. So, I need to really descale it. Can you use ordinary malt vinegar or cider vinegar, as all the tips say to use white vinegar? I just wondered what the difference is? Many thanks.
By helen from UK
You could use malt or cider vinegar as well; sometimes they are more expensive here in North America, so that is why white is suggested. As I said in a previous post, you might look for a special kettle descaling product or CLR if you have that product in the UK. Either would be a stronger acid, which would speed up the process if there is a lot of scale. (05/24/2010)
By Louise B.
I have used this. Cut a lemon in quarters and put in the kettle. Fill with water and boil. Then rinse out it works great. You may need to do this a couple of times. (05/25/2010)
I use borax. I put it in, add a little water to make a paste, let it sit for 30 minutes or so and scrub with a sponge. Rinse out well and several times. This is an all natural product so I would not suggest eating it, it is safe to use this way. (05/25/2010)
Does anyone how to descale a kettle? How often should I descale it?
By helen from UK
Pour vinegar in it and let it sit for a few hours. You could heat the kettle as well, to speed up the chemical reaction. There are also stronger descalers for sale in the hardware store or grocery store, or you could use CLR. Descale it whenever there appears to be significant build-up. Kettles take longer to boil when there is a lot of scale. (12/22/2009)
By Louise B.
I'd use vinegar to clean it now. To prevent having buildup again, get a furr collector. It is a little thing of wound up wire and it will go through the opening in the tea kettle. I got mine in London (while on a great trip) years ago and I still use it. (12/22/2009)
By Sue Hadley
To remove the buildup from the inside of a tea kettle, a friend told me this method.
Fill the tea kettle with lemon juice (bottle from juice section in grocery store is OK). Put in enough juice to cover the buildup. Leave it alone for some six hours, twirling the pot occasionally to swirl the juice.
Empty and wash clean.
By Holly from Dallas, TX
Vinegar is a frugal natural room freshener (once the smell dissipates) and it removes mineral deposits. I fill my kettle or coffee pot with vinegar, heat it, then turn it off to sit for 2 hours. Dispose of vinegar, it freshens your drains, then run clear water through your nice clean pot.
Love and Prayers,
By Linda Howe