How to clean an electric water kettle [inside and out]

I've been using my electric kettle for quick cups of coffee for a few years now, but I still get a little nervous when it comes time to clean it. It's not that I don't know how to do it; I just don't want to mess up. So here are some tips on how to clean your electric kettle, from inside and out.

Why is my kettle scaly?

Water contains minerals, and as it heats, some boil off and fall to the bottom. If you live in an area where the mineral content in your tap water is high, you might notice that your teapot looks like a sea creature after a few weeks of use.

This is because scales form inside the pot over time and eventually become a thick layer of gunky material. These scales can clog the heating elements in your stovetop and make your tea taste bitter.

Scaling is caused by the presence of calcium and magnesium in hard water. When hot water passes through the pipes carrying water into your home, the minerals dissolve out of the pipe walls and fall to the bottom, forming a layer of scale.

The minerals solidify and build up outside the pipes as the water cools. Eventually, the buildup gets big enough to block water flow down the lines, causing the water pressure to drop and potentially damaging your plumbing system.

You can prevent scaling by adding a small amount of baking soda to your water supply. Baking soda neutralizes the acids that lead to scaling while simultaneously increasing the pH level in your water. You can add one teaspoon per gallon of water.

If you live in an area where hard water is common, you've seen telltale signs of scale buildup. These mineral deposits are often found inside kettles and boilers and usually form over time as minerals dissolve into the water during boiling.

At the same time, most people don't mind seeing a little bit of scale buildup; having a lot of it can affect how the equipment functions. For example, scales can clog heat exchangers, reduce efficiency, and even damage the heating elements. In extreme cases, this can lead to fires.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent scale buildup. First off, make sure to clean out your kettle regularly, especially if you use it every day. Then, if you notice that the limescale is getting worse, you might consider purchasing a high-quality filter system. For example, the GSI Kettle Cleaner Kit includes everything you need to keep your kettle sparkling clear.

What is limescale?

Limescale is calcium carbonate or chalk, and it tends to form on surfaces with high heat and low humidity.

When you boil water, the steam condenses into droplets which cool down quickly. However, if the surface they hit isn't wet enough, the droplets stick together and eventually turn into a layer of hard deposits called scale.

If you're lucky, you'll spot limescale on bathroom tiles, sinks, taps, and baths - places where lots of hot water gets used daily. But if you've got a kitchen tap with a dripping faucet, or a kettle with a slow drip, you might find the stuff forming inside too.

3 Ways to Clean an Electric Kettle

3 Ways to Clean an Electric Kettle

When it comes to keeping your electric kettle clean, there are many ways to go about it. But one method stands out above others: Using baking soda. This inexpensive ingredient works wonders when cleaning up spills and stains. So if you want to ensure your kettle stays free of such messes, here are 3 different ways to do just that.

1. Vinegar + Water Method

First things first: Make sure your kettle is empty. Next, pour white vinegar into your kettle and let it sit overnight. In the morning, drain the excess liquid and rinse the kettle thoroughly.

2. Soda Pop Method

Try this alternative if you don't want to spend the night waiting for the vinegar concoction to work. Pour some soda pop into your kettle and set it aside for 24 hours. Then, drain the excess liquid and rinse off the kettle with warm water.

3. Citric Acid Powder Method

Finally, check out this third option if you're willing to pay a little extra money. Mix one part citric acid with four parts water. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before pouring it into your kettle and letting it soak overnight. Rinse it off the next day, and you're done.

How to descale a kettle with or without vinegar

While we recommend using vinegar to descale your kettle, it's not necessary. You can also use lemon juice, salt, or baking soda. Here's what you should know about each option.


This is probably the easiest way to descale your kettle. Simply pour some white vinegar into the bottom of your kettle and let it soak overnight. The next morning, drain the excess vinegar and rinse the kettle thoroughly with warm water.


You may have heard that adding salt to your kettle will help remove scale from your kettle. It does. Just be careful not to add too much. Too much salt can cause corrosion in your kettle, so start by adding only 1/4 teaspoon per quart of water. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase the amount.

Baking Soda

Baking soda has been around since ancient times. It was even used to treat wounds back then. Today, it's still widely used to clean ovens, toilets, drains, and more. And now, thanks to its ability to dissolve minerals like calcium carbonate, it can also be used to clean your kettle.

To use baking soda as a descaler, mix equal amounts of soda and water in a bowl. Next, add the solution to your kettle and let it stand overnight. The next morning drain the excess liquid and wash the kettle with warm water to remove any residue.

 To clean a water kettle, you will need:

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water
  • Scrubby brush (like a bottle brush)
  • Microfiber cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Soft sponge and/or toothbrush

7 steps to clean a water kettle:

  1. To clean an electric water kettle, fill a pot or sink with water and add vinegar or baking soda.
  2. Then, turn on the kettle and wait until it boils.
  3. Remove the lid and use a spoon to scrape any built-up dirt, food particles, or residue off the kettle's interior.
  4. Pour the boiling water over the dirty parts of the kettle and let it soak for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the dirty parts of the kettle with a sponge, soft cloth, or dishwasher scrubber.
  6. If necessary, repeat Step 3 to remove residual dirt and debris.
  7. Fill a clean pot or sink with cold water and place the now-cleaned kettle into it for rinsing.

Kettle descaling tips and safety notes

Descaling your kettle is one of those things that most people do without thinking about it. But like everything else in life, doing something regularly makes it easier to achieve good results. So if you want to keep your kettle looking shiny and clean, here are some simple ways to help prevent buildup and ensure it stays bright and clear.

  1. Use a descaler every time you boil water. This will make cleaning your kettle less of a chore.
  2. When you first buy your kettle, take care to read the instructions included with it. They should tell you how often to descale your kettle.
  3. Don't leave your kettle unattended when you're boiling water. Even if it's just for a few seconds, there's always the chance someone could knock it over.
  4. Don't put hot water directly onto the outside of your kettle. Doing so could cause damage to the finish.
  5. Never pour boiling water directly from the kettle into another container. Instead, transfer the water to a separate vessel first.
  6. Always follow the manufacturer's directions when using a descaler. Some manufacturers recommend using only specific types of descalers. Others may suggest using them in conjunction with other cleaning products.
  7. Always be careful when pouring boiling water from your kettle. Never pour boiling water directly onto a countertop or table. It can scald you or burn your hands.
  8. Keep your kettle away from children and pets. Children have been known to play with kettles and accidentally knock them over. Pets can also be tempted by the steaming water inside.
  9. If you live in a humid climate, don't use a descaler too frequently. The steam produced by boiling water can cause corrosion to occur.
  10. Keep your kettle in a cool, dark area. Heat can accelerate the process of corrosion.
  11. Store your kettle in a safe location where it won't be knocked over.
  12. Clean your kettle after each use. Use a soft, non-abrasive sponge or a soft, clean toothbrush to remove any food particles or residue that might have accumulated during cooking.
  13. Clean the lid and spout of your kettle as well. These parts can collect more food particles than the rest of the kettle.
  14. Wash your kettle thoroughly after each use. Don't forget the handles.
  15. To avoid scratching the surface of your kettle, never use steel wool or abrasives.
  16. To avoid damaging your kettle, never use metal utensils such as knives, forks, or spatulas to scrape off food particles.
  17. As far as I know, this is the best way to clean an electric kettle. You can find many other methods online, but they all seem to involve chemicals that I would rather not use.

How often to clean a water kettle

It is important to clean a water kettle every few months. Monthly is the recommended frequency if you live in an area with hard water.

It is important to clean a water kettle at the end of the day or after every use. Wipe down the exterior weekly or whenever splatters happen. If you use your kettle daily, it should be thoroughly cleaned and descaled at least seasonally.

Why it’s important to clean a water kettle

If you don't clean your kettle regularly, it will become full of limescale and other mineral deposits. This will make the kettle work worse and shorten its lifespan. You may also need to descale your kettle more frequently in a hard water area.

Cleaning a water kettle is very easy. It takes just a few minutes and can save you money by extending the life of your kettle.

Additional tips for cleaning a water kettle

  1. To clean a water kettle:
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the inside and scrub with a soft sponge.
  3. Remove the filter and soak in vinegar for 10 minutes to loosen up the residue.
  4. Scrub gently with a soft sponge to clean it.
  5. Rinse with water and let it dry.
  6. Do not scrub the heating elements of the kettle because they have a special protective coat.
  7. Do not leave water in the kettle for too long if you're not planning to use it.

Watch How to clean an electric water kettle

How to clean an electric water kettle FAQ:

1. Q: How do I clean my electric kettle?

A: To clean the kettle exterior, use a damp cloth to remove any water splashes and residue, then dry and polish with a soft cloth.

2. Q: How much vinegar do you need?

A:To clean or descale the interior, you only need approximately one cup of white vinegar.

3. Q: How Do I Clean My Electric Kettle?

A: To help ensure your morning cup of tea tastes perfect, it's good to make cleaning your electric kettle a daily habit and descaling it regularly, sometime around once a month if you use it daily.

4. Q: What is the best solution for descaling electric tea kettles?

A: Thanks to its mild acidity, vinegar is a good solution for breaking down mineral buildup in your electric tea kettle.

5. Q: How Do I Descale an Electric Kettle?

A: To keep your electric kettle performing at its highest level, you'll want to know how to descale a kettle using vinegar.


If you don't like the taste of your tea when brewed in a dirty kettle, you should clean it regularly. By following the above mentioned tips you can have a clean kettle and enjoy your morning tea or evening coffee peacefully. 


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