How to remove kettle limescale

Limescale in a kettle is not just unsightly it also affects the taste of the water coming from your kettle, so your cups of tea or coffee can end up tasting ‘off’ if the issue isn’t dealt with.

Removing limescale from your kettle is important because:

  • Limescale makes your kettle water taste ‘funny’
  • Limescale affects the efficiency of the kettle element, meaning it takes longer to heat up and reduces your kettle’s lifespan
  • Limescale looks unsightly when floating in a cup of tea!

Removing limescale from your kettle

Limescale is the white, chalky residue that accumulates in kettles or coffee machines, and it’s particularly visible on stainless steel. It’s a common problem in hard water areas, where the higher concentration of magnesium and calcium leads to limescale.

Removing it needn’t be a huge chore, though it does need to be done frequently to keep your kettle in top condition. Here are our tips on how to clean limescale from a kettle, and how to prevent it:

Use shop bought kettle cleaners

A simple shop bought kettle cleaner can be enough to remove the limescale from your kettle. These can be highly effective, but have the side effect of sometimes adding their own taste to your water and also being relatively expensive. 

Natural kettle cleaners

Choosing a natural limescale remover is often a cheaper and more environmentally friendly approach to removing limescale from your kettle. Any mild acid should do the trick; things like white vinegar and water mixed together, or lemon juice work well, wiped down with a damp cloth.

Stop limescale at the cause

Both of these options clean the existing limescale, but it doesn’t stop it from coming back. The best cure is prevention, so investing in a water softener means that you remove limescale from your home completely, and you’ll not get new limescale built up. As well as the visual benefits, it’s also better for the pipework and appliances, in your home, and you can benefit from a range of other health, home and money benefits too.

Is limescale in my kettle bad for my health?

Limescale comes from the high concentration of calcium found in the hard water we drink, so it will not cause you harm if you consume some from your kettle or coffee maker.

Kidney stones occur when there is a build-up of a substance in the body, such as calcium, ammonia, or cystine. However, there is no research which shows that drinking hard water increases your risk of developing kidney stones. In fact, you’re more likely to develop them if you’re not drinking enough water, so it’s worth keeping your kettle in top condition and brewing up!

How to remove limescale with a natural limescale remover

With or without a water softener, cleaning your water is still key to maintaining a healthy kettle. To clean your kettle, we recommend using household items rather than shop-bought alternatives.

The whole process of cleaning kettles doesn’t take long to do, and uses either lemon or vinegar to clean and remove excess limescale from your kettle:

  • Fill the kettle ¾ full of either water and one lemon, or with equal parts water and vinegar (household vinegar is fine).
  • Let it soak for one hour
  • Boil the kettle (three times for lemon, once for vinegar)
  • Allow it to cool, then rinse thoroughly several times
  • Boil the kettle again to ensure there is no aftertaste
  • Wipe the outside of the kettle with an anti-bacterial multi-purpose cleaner and a damp cloth

Doing this for a second time will act as a descaler, getting rid of any traces which could spoil your next cup of tea!

Some people also use baking soda to get rid of limescale, using the same method as above.

Another top tip is to make sure you don’t leave any water in your kettle once you’ve finished using it (standing water encourages a build-up of limescale).

The cleaning process should be repeated every month or so, depending on how often you use your kettle. If you have soft water (water which contains low concentrations of calcium and magnesium), you do not have to worry about descaling at all. Softened water means no chalky build-up of limescale, therefore helping to extend the life of your kettle and other kitchen appliances significantly.

Reducing the amount of limescale in your home is one major benefit of installing a water softener. 85% of our customers said that their limescale problems improved with a water softener in their home.

If you have hard water in your home, the build-up of limescale could shorten the life of your household appliances. Water softeners remove minerals from your water supply and drastically reduce the amount of limescale in your home. Learn more about how our water softeners work and find the right model for you – choose from the new HarveyArc, the HVX, or the Big Blue. 

Discover The Difference – Take the first step to banishing limescale – see how a water softener works – Find Out More

Get in touch with a water expert to find our how you can permanently remove limescale from your kettle.

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