Preventing limescale in kettles is a high priority for the population of Britain. With a history of tea lovers, having a consistently good cup of tea or coffee is an issue we have been tackling for years. Limescale affects the taste of the water coming from a kettle, even after the water has been boiled. It is highly common with roughly 14 million UK households suffering from the impact of limescale. 87% of respondents to Harvey’s 2020 customer survey said that limescale was the most frustrating thing about hard water.
However, the commonality of limescale in kettles does not mean it is unsolvable. In fact, limescale is actually preventable. So, if you want to be rid of this chalky build-up, keep reading for our guide on how to prevent limescale in your kettle.
What Causes Limescale in Kettles?
Limescale is caused by a build-up of calcium and magnesium minerals in hard water. This hard water is formed when rainwater filters through rocks like chalk and limescale, picking up hard minerals along the way. Areas which have hard water will use this to boil in their kettle, where it can then cause issues with both the device and the taste of water. You can check if your area has hard water through our postcode tool.
Limescale can float in the water as users attempt to dislodge the chalky residue, leaving damage to the kettle and bits in any water boiled. Buying a filtered kettle can prevent limescale from entering any drinks but will not stop build up. To stop this hard water build-up in kettles, preventative methods are required as listed below.
How to Prevent Limescale
Preventing limescale and descaling your kettle are two entirely separate activities. If you wish to descale your kettle once it has limescale, you can do so by cleaning it. When it comes to preventing limescale before it arises, there are both short and long term methods available to tackle this. The short term method of maintenance is partly effective and the long term method of a water softener entirely effective.
Short Term: How to Prevent Limescale Build-Up
To prevent limescale from building up in your kettle, it requires regular maintenance. Leaving water in the kettle after use will encourage limescale to build up, therefore we would discourage this entirely. After using it, we recommend rinsing and drying the kettle thoroughly each time to prevent any hard water from drying.
Long Term: Completely Preventing Limescale in a Kettle
Completely avoiding limescale in your kettle can be achieved through a water softener. This convenient solution removes the magnesium and calcium present in the water supply, turning it into softened water. This reduces build-up in kettles since soft water does not cause limescale. It also improves the taste of water compared to hard water which often presents an off-metal taste. Installing a water softener will extend the life of your kitchen appliances since kettles, taps and boilers all suffer from limescale. By improving their efficiency, you can, therefore, save money by reducing the amount of energy your appliances require to work.
How to Clean a Kettle
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.
Our two natural kettle cleaning methods use either lemon or vinegar with water to clean and remove excess limescale from your kettle:
- Fill the kettle ¾ full with either water and one lemon, or with equal parts water and household vinegar.
- 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
We try to cover everything in our article however, just to be sure, we have answered a few key questions which may come up when trying to prevent limescale in your kettle.
How to stop limescale in my kettle?
Completely stopping limescale requires an entirely preventative measure. We recommend installing a water softener which removes the harsh minerals from entering your water and kettle. This means you won’t have limescale residue remaining in your appliance, preventing any chalky build-up from starting.
What can you put in a kettle to stop limescale?
To stop limescale in a kettle, the water typically used in the kettle needs to be changed. If limescale is building in the device, it is a sign that hard water is being used to fill the kettle. Preventing limescale can be achieved by using soft water instead, installing a filter for your water supply to remove certain contaminants.
Is it safe to drink from a kettle with limescale?
Drinking from a kettle with limescale is safe. There has been no evidence of this being harmful if you drink it in your tea or coffee. It can, however, impact the taste and leave chalky white build-up floating in the drink.
What causes scaling in kettles?
Scaling in kettles is caused by hard water, where calcium or magnesium are dissolved in water. As the kettle boils, insoluble calcium carbonate will form from the water which spreads across the appliance. This is presented as limescale which will remain in the kettle until it is thoroughly cleaned.