How to Descale a Kettle

Electric kettles are very popular for an obvious reason; they are a great time saver, they heat water very fast. They however tend to accumulate limescale (kettle furring) at the bottom especially when used regularly to boil hard water. Although not a health concern, limescale looks gross atop your electric kettle’s heating element. It also makes your kettle less efficient, making it use more energy to boil water. Here we will show you how to descale a kettle easily with simple home remedies and cost-effective limescale removal products.

Descale With Vinegar

white vinegarIf I had to make a list of the best ways to descale an electric kettle, then vinegar would be at the top of the list.

This kettle descaler helps to break down limescale through a reaction between the acetic acid in it and the calcium carbonate, the main compound in limescale.

What’s more, vinegar is natural and environmentally-friendly, making it a great fit even for those with a passion for green living. How to how to descale a kettle with vinegar is pretty straightforward. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Pour 1 cup each of white vinegar and water into the electric kettle that needs descaling.
  2. Allow the solution to dissolve the limescale for about an hour.
  3. Boil the solution and then turn the kettle off (if it is not the type that switches itself off).
  4. Swish the vinegar solution around and then pour it out in a sink.
  5. Fill the electric kettle with pure water and bring it to a boil once or twice to get rid of vinegar smell lest you end up ruining your next cup of tea.

Extra tips on using vinegar to descale a kettle.

  • If a solution of vinegar and water is not effective at removing the limescale from the kettle, try repeating the above process several times or use stronger concentration (or even use undiluted) vinegar and allow it to soak in the kettle furring for a while longer (a couple hours or even overnight) before boiling.
  • Malt vinegar will work just fine if it is what you have at your home.
  • Some manufacturers outrightly warn against using vinegar to clean or descale a kettle. In that case, consider other DIY descalers such as lemon juice or go for commercial kettle descaling solutions.


lemon juiceLemon is rich in citric acid and is known to not only help to clean and get rid of limescale from kettle without chemicals but also leave the smell smelling fresh. Below is how to descale a kettle naturally with lemon juice:

  1. Slice a fresh lemon into two halves.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice out into the kettle that require removal of limescale add then drop the squeezed halves in as well.
  3. Fill the kettle with water and then bring it to a boil.
  4. Finally discard the lemon and water and then rinse the kettle with cool water.
  5. Voila! You have just removed the limescale. If there are still some limescale deposits at the bottom of the

Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda if you want, also constitutes a potent natural kettle limescale remover. As regards how to descale a kettle with baking soda, all you need to do is pour in a cup or two of water followed by 1 tablespoon of baking soda before bringing them to a boil. Once done, discard the content and rinse the kettle and you will be good to go.


As bizarre as it sounds, coke is a great remedy for limescale in kettle. Here is how to go about it:

  1. Fill your kettle with coke.
  2. Allow it to soak in and dissolve the limescale overnight.
  3. Rinse the kettle with water.
  4. If you want, scrub the inside of the kettle with a soft sponge to remove any remaining scales.

Citric Acid

You can make a simple homemade descaler for your kettle with citric acid and use it to remove those pesky limescale deposits as explained below:

  1. Pour water into your kettle so that it is halfway full.
  2. Bring it to a boil.
  3. Once the electric kettle switches itself off (or you switch it off if it doesn’t automatically do so), pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of citric acid powder.
  4. Allow the citric acid to dissolve the limescale for 20minutes, then discard the resulting solution.

More Tips on Removing Limescale from a Kettle

  1. If there are still some limescale deposits left after using any of the above kettle descalers, sprinkle some baking soda onto a damp washcloth and use it to wipe them off before rinsing the electric kettle with water. Make sure that the heating element has cooled down before doing this to avoid burning yourself.
  2. To prevent rapid limescale formation, avoid leaving water in the kettle after boiling it. Boil the amount of water you need at the moment and pour off any remainder.
  3. Descale your kettle regularly to help it stay at the top of its game (in terms of efficiency and performance) especially if you use it regularly and more so if you live in an area with hard water. This will also save you some few dollars in electricity bills.

Use A Kettle Descale Ball to Prevent Buildup of Kettle Furring (Limescale)

As you will probably agree, the remedies for kettle limescale discussed throughout this article are very easy not to mention very cost-effective. Regardless they still require a bit of effort and time. A commercial stainless steel ball kettle descaler such as Le’Xpress Steel Mesh Kettle Protector may be your ultimate solution.

These are basically stainless steel balls that are designed to attract limescale fur to themselves as water boils in your electric kettle. Though relatively new at the time of this writing, they seem promising judging from the reviews available online at the moment. This also means that they are still not widely available. But if you come across one in your local store it might be worth your effort to check them out.