How to descale a kettle – the easy technique to leave your kettle limescale free

TikTok user shares how to remove grime and limescale from taps

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The inside of a kettle can quickly build up with limescale, and since you’ll be directly consuming the water from the kettle, it’s really the last place you want to see it. Modern kettles have an element built in behind a metal base plate, which reduces the risk of element damage and significantly lengthens their life span. But this doesn’t mean limescale won’t be a problem. Research recently conducted by Magnet found that 15 percent of the UK have never descaled their kettle. Luckily, it’s not that hard to do and limescale is easy to treat if you find it in your kettle – here’s how to do it.

How to descale your kettle

For a hassle-free and cheap way to descale your kettle, you can use items found in your kitchen cupboard.

White wine vinegar mixed with water is the ideal concoction needed to sort out your kettle.

Fill the kettle with a mixture of half white vinegar and half water before leaving to soak overnight.

In the morning, the limescale will come off easily and rinse thoroughly to remove any lingering vinegar smells.

After you’ve done this, boil up fresh water a couple of times to ensure all residue has been cleared out.

Heavy deposits might need a repeat treatment to completely break them down, so if your buildup has been there for a while, repeat the water and vinegar process a few times.

Smeg’s home economist, Clare Edwards said: “The most straightforward way to descale your kettle is by using a solution of lemon or vinegar mixed with water.

“Boil this mixture in your kettle and leave it to stand for a while to break down and remove limescale.

“Opting for a kettle with a removable limescale filter in its spout, like Smeg’s, also make for simple cleaning.”

There are also chemical descales available to buy, some of which are designed specifically for metal kettles and others for plastic models.

If you’re going to opt for a cleaner, you should always check if they are suitable for your appliance.

To keep your kettle optimally clean, you should be aiming to descale every four to eight weeks.

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Don’t let limescale build up as the longer it’s there, the harder it will be to get rid of.

How to permanently get rid of limescale

Scaling in kettles is caused by hard water, where calcium or magnesium are dissolved in the water.

As the kettle boils, insoluble calcium carbonate will form from the water which then spreads across the appliance.

This is presented as limescale, which until thoroughly cleaned, won’t go away.

To stop limescale in a kettle permanently, typically, the water used in it needs to be changed.

Preventing limescale can be achieved by using soft water instead of hard, and you can install a filter for your water supply to remove certain contaminants.

Drinking from a kettle with limescale is safe, and there’s been no evidence to suggest it can be harmful for humans to consume.

However, it can heavily impact the taste and leave chalky white build-up floating in your drink, so it’s best to get rid of it.

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