How To Clean A Kettle

how to clean a kettle

The kettle is so common that we forget how amazing they really are. One of the most popular inventions of the 20th Century, the kettle can boil water in a fraction of the time needed on the stove. When they first hit the market, the electric kettle was a genuine game-changer.

In the years since then the kettle has evolved into many different varieties and uses, and as we know can be found everywhere from the kitchen to the cafe. Whether it’s a standard kettle or you’ve splashed out on a gooseneck, the one thing many people forget is how important it is to clean your kettle.

Constant use means our kettles for boiling water and coffee are one of the most put upon appliances in the modern world. And even if you exclusively use filtered water, you will still experience a build-up of unwanted elements in your kettle over time. This is especially bad if you live in a hard water area. A build-up of limescale and other nasties can ruin the taste of your tea or coffee, and significantly shorten the life of your appliance. If you’ve invested in a gooseneck kettle, this is doubly important. Knowing how to clean your kettle is essential then, for the good of your brew and for the kettle itself.

Tips On Cleaning A Kettle

hario buono variable temperature kettle
Hario Buono Variable Temperature Kettle

Keeping your kettle clean can extend its life. There are a number of ways of cleaning your kettle. You can use water mixed with vinegar, citrus (lemon), and even baking soda to keep your kettle spic and span. We’ll go into more detail with all of these techniques later in this article, but first here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Clean Your Filter Separately

In most cases you can remove the filter from your kettle. If so, place in a vinegar and water soak for 10 mins before cleaning to remove limescale.

Empty Between Uses

The longer the inside of your kettle is exposed to water, the more time limescale and other elements have to clog up your kettle. Just as important as cleaning a kettle regularly, emptying between uses can save lots of hassle and extend the life of your appliance.

Never Scrub The Element

You should under no circumstances scrub the heating element in your kettle. The element has a special protective coating which can be removed by scrubbing, so avoid this at all costs or you may damage your kettle and potentially make it unsafe. To learn how to clean kettle elements, follow our soaking and boiling methods below.

How Do You Clean An Electric Kettle?

Cleaning an electric kettle is probably easier than you think. And just so we don’t put you off the idea before we’ve even begun, we’re going to start with the easy part: cleaning the outside of the kettle.

As the outside of the kettle won’t be coming into contact with the water you will drink from it, this is the one part of it on which you can use soap. Simply mix dish soap and hot water and then clean down the outside of the kettle with a sponge, and keep going until any grime is removed. Although this won’t affect the taste of your coffee or the performance of the kettle, a shiny kettle is a much nicer prospect than one splattered in grease and grime.

How Do You Clean The Inside Of An Electric Kettle?

brewista artisan gooseneck variable kettle
Brewista Artisan Gooseneck Variable Kettle
  1. To clean the inside of the kettle without scrubbing, you can follow these simple steps:
  2. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water.
  3. Fill the kettle with the vinegar solution, up to 3/4’s full, or enough to cover the affected areas.
  4. Boil the kettle.
  5. Leave for 15-20 mins for the vinegar to take effect.
  6. Rinse the kettle repeatedly with cold water (we recommend 4-5 times) and then reboil.
  7. Check the boiled water to make sure there is no taste of vinegar.

How Do I Clean The Inside Of My Stainless Steel Kettle?

If your kettle is stainless steel it can become stained, and you will be best served by using baking soda instead of vinegar, or a dedicated descaling solution.

Cleaning Kettle With Baking Soda

To clean with baking soda, mix roughly 100g with water and then mix thoroughly. Add to your kettle and make sure the affected areas are covered. Then follow steps 2-4 above. Once the water in the kettle has cooled, use a soft scrubbing brush on the inside and be careful not to scrub the element itself. Then rinse thoroughly again with cold water.

By regularly sprinkling baking soda into your kettle and scrubbing with a sponge, you can completely remove limescale and prevent the build up. Do this once a week for 5 mins and you need never descale.

How To Clean A Kettle With Vinegar

As described above, vinegar is a great option to clean your kettle. White vinegar has just enough acidity to break down limescale and anything else lingering in your kettle, without damaging the element, or leaving behind any nasty tastes.

If your kettle hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, you should follow the steps above until point 4. Then, before rinsing the kettle, you can use a scrubbing brush to clean the inside of your kettle (excluding the heating element).

How To Clean A Kettle Without Vinegar

fellow stagg kettle
Stagg Black Kettle – Fellow

There are a variety of kettle cleaners available commercially which can do a job. But if you are more into DIY methods, you can also clean your kettle using a mixture of lemon juice and water. Chop and juice a lemon and add all of this to the kettle with water. Then boil, leave to cool, and scrub if required.

How Do You Descale A Kettle?

If you live in a hard water area, limescale build can quickly affect your kettle. The water we add to our coffee is super important, so if you want a good brew you must descale. Luckily, all of the techniques above will descale your kettle. There are also dedicated descalers available to buy if you don’t want to get hands on with your kettle.

Following these steps you should be able to keep your kettle limescale free and your coffee tasting great for years to come. If you’re in the market, check out our full range of kettle options to see if there’s a sparkling new coffee kettle there for you.

Need help selecting the perfect kettle for your home? See our Pour Over Coffee Kettles Guide.

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