How to clean a kettle and other kitchen appliances

Most people are spending more time at home now than they would have previously. Work habits have changed and people have embraced flexible working arrangements. One unforeseen aspects of all this happening is that most people are now using their kettle and other kitchen appliances more often than used to. This might be why you’re head scratching your head trying to figure out how to clean a kettle

Historically, most people probably never thought about cleaning their kettle. Whilst they may have owned one for a long time, people never really thought about cleaning them but they just didn’t get used that often. But, now that usage has increased dramatically, people are thinking more about their appliances and whether they are clean.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of those appliances that are now getting daily usage keeps them working efficiently and extends their lifespan. If you’ve regularly worked from home over recent times, then chances are your morning routine starts with turning on the kettle and making yourself a cuppa. 

The kettle is an amazing invention and a hard working part of your kitchen. It would have to be one of the most used appliances in your kitchen. And, as much as you may think “it’s just water,” the fact is that they really do need to be cleaned. Let’s take a look at why.

how to clean a kettle

Why do you need to clean a kettle?

The most common problem with a kettle that is not cleaned regularly is that it can lead to the build up of limescale. If not cleaned regularly, limescale can ruin your kettle. It also leads to higher electricity consumption and a decrease in the taste quality of your boiled water. If you are going to have a cup of tea you want to make sure it tastes as delicious as possible.

The frequency with which you need to clean your kettle depends on the quality of the water where you live. Limescale is formed after hard water is boiled. It forms in a kettle if water is left to settle. If you live in an area with higher levels of hard water, you need to inspect your kettle weekly and clean it more frequently. If you notice hard white deposits, you should immediately get to work on a deep clean.

How to clean a kettle – your essential tips.

The best way to preserve the lifespan of your kettle is to clean it regularly. As a general principle you should wipe the exterior of your kettle at least once per week. Secondly, you should go through the process of removing limescale 3-4 times per year – more often if you are in an area where limescale is a problem.

Alright, now to get into the nitty gritty with a step by step process explaining how to clean a kettle and remove limescale:

 1. Remove any loose parts from your kettle to clean separately

Depending on your model of kettle there may be some removable parts – for example a water filter or cartridge. If so, you should remove these and clean them separately. Don’t have the manual anymore? I would recommend having a look online before doing it yourself.

If you can’t find a manual I would suggest trying the following – soak any removable parts in a solution of vinegar and hot water, and then scrub them with an old toothbrush. Once you have done this you should rinse each of these parts, and then leave them aside for the time being until you have cleaned the inside of your kettle.

2. Cleaning the inside of the kettle

Now it’s time to clean the inside of your kettle. There are a number of different natural household items that you can use to help clean the inside of your kettle – depending on what you have lying around.

Try out any one of the following  methods (you may find that one works better than the others for your specific kettle):

Mixture – White vinegar and water – One of the more popular options, is using a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Fill the kettle to half full, let it boil and then leave the mixture to sit for 20 minutes. After this you should empty the kettle, refill it with plain water and boil again. That way you won’t have to worry about any vinegar aftertaste.

Mixture – Bicarb soda and water – Add a teaspoon of bicarb soda to water and fill your kettle. Boil the kettle and then discard this mixture. Make sure you rinse your kettle thoroughly before going back to regular usage.

Mixture – Lemon and water – This process starts with squeezing the juice of a lemon into your kettle, then cutting the lemon into slices and also adding them to the kettle. From here you would fill the kettle and bring it to boil. After leaving it to sit for approximately 20 minutes you need to empty your kettle and fill it with plain water which you also boil. You may need to fill it with plain water and boil the kettle 2-3 times to ensure you remove the lemon taste.

how to clean a kettle with lemon

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3. Scrubbing the inside of your kettle

If you have never cleaned your kettle or haven’t cleaned it for a long time, then you may still need to scrub the inside of it to remove any stubborn limescale. The best way to do this is with a soft-bristled bottle brush or an old toothbrush. You should do this after you’ve used one of the methods mentioned above because it will be easier to remove any left over deposits. 

4. Cleaning outside of the kettle

The outside of your kettle won’t develop limescale but it should still be cleaned – even if just for the overall amenity of your kitchen. For the most part you’ll likely be able to clean the exterior of your kettle with a soft damp sponge or microfibre cloth. If there are splatters or other kitchen grime, you may want to add a little dish soap.

How regular maintenance makes keeping your kettle clean easier

There are a couple of things that you can do to make cleaning your kettle easier in the long term. These will also improve the lifespan of your kettle and, in turn, get you greater tasting tea and coffee in the long run.

Don’t leave water sitting in the kettle – It’s common to leave water sitting in the kettle. You usually fill it more than you need, boiling more water than you need to and then leaving the excess water sitting there for the next time you boil the kettle. You shouldn’t do this as water sitting there is what exacerbates the buildup of limescale.

Don’t scrub the heating element – During the manufacturing process the heating element of your kettle is given a special coating for its own protection. Do not scrub the heating element as it’s possible that you will damage this coating. This can damage your kettle.

Some quick tips on two other kitchen appliances

How to clean your microwave – A common problem with microwaves is food splatters across your microwave. One easy way to clean these off the microwave walls is by using a mixture of water, some white vinegar and some lemon juice. Mix these ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and place in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. After this you should be able to more easily wipe down your microwave walls. You can wash the microwave plate as you do any other dish – by hand with dish soap or in the dishwasher.
How to clean your toaster – Regularly cleaning your toaster can improve its lifespan. After unplugging your toaster there are a few things that you should do to clean and maintain your toaster. The first thing you should do is to remove the crumb tray. You should empty and wipe this. You should then hold your toaster upside down over the sink and shake it carefully. This allows any extra crumbs to fall out. The final thing to do is to wipe down the outside of the toaster.

Looking for more kitchen cleaning tips? Check out our other blogs about:

How to clean a dishwasher

Top tips for cleaning your fridge

How to clean an oven 

We hope that by reading this article you’ve now got a better idea about how to clean a kettle. This is a more important kitchen chore than you probably give it credit for, especially if you’re a connoisseur of fine teas. Further, we have shared with you some tips for two other common kitchen appliances.

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