‘Easily breaks down limescale’: Key ingredient to clean your kettle

Keeping your kettle clean not only keeps the water free from limescale, but also helps to maintain the efficiency of the appliance, so you don’t have to worry about wasting energy. While acidic white vinegar is renowned for its limescale fighting abilities, the pungent scent and strong taste can be unpleasant. Fortunately, there are plenty of other household items that can be used to deep-clean a chalky kettle, without creating a displeasing odour.

White vinegar is filled with diluted acetic acid which, when in contact with calcium carbonate (limescale), fizzes up and breaks down the mineral residue.

The high acetic acid content in vinegar is what makes it so effective against the scaly deposits found in kettles, though there are other acids which work just as well.

Citric acid is another main ingredient used to banish limescale, and it can be found in a handful of everyday items that you probably already have in the cupboard.

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Gherkin water

This method makes use of the acidic pickling juice found in a jar of gherkins to banish tough limescale deposits.

While it may leave a stronger smell than lime juice, it is a zero-waste solution that means you don’t just have to pour the flavoursome liquid down the drain once the gherkins are gone.

Dean Davies, cleaning supervisor at Fantastic Services said: “The citric acid found in the marinate easily breaks down limescale deposits, leaving you with a squeaky-clean and ready-to-use kettle.

“The scheme is as simple as: boil the device full of pickle-water and set aside to cool down. Finally, rinse thoroughly.”


Besides being a popular fizzy drink, coke also works surprisingly well against limescale – especially in kettles.

Dean explained that all you need is 500ml of the brown, sweet liquid to make a natural cleanser.

Leave the coke to sit in the appliance for around half an hour to help it lift the chalky scales.

Unlike other methods, heating the liquid up is strongly advised against, as it could make the problem worse.

Dean said: “Never, ever boil Coca Cola in your kettle – the soft drink contains copious amounts of sugar which, once the water evaporates, might stick on the vessel’s walls.”

Lime juice

Lime juice is a rich source of citric acid, and can be used in place of vinegar to clean out your kettle.

Fresh lime juice is best, though shop-bought versions will also work to lift limescale.

To clean your kettle, start by disconnecting it from the plug socket to avoid any unwanted spills.

Measure out 30g of lime juice and pour it into an empty kettle.

Add 500ml of filtered water and plug the kettle back in to boil it.

Once boiled, rinse the kettle out several times to reveal a clean, clear interior and a fresh scent.

How often should a kettle be cleaned?

The kettle is one of the most used appliances found in any kitchen, so it is important to take note of how often you clean it.

According to Debbie McIvor-Main, marketing manager at Dualit Ltd, the amount you need to clean your kettle depends on the water type in your area.

She told RealHomes that those living in a soft water area should descale their kettle every every two months, or every 100 cycles.

Those in a medium water area should do it once a month, or every 50 cycles.

Lastly, those in hard water areas who are most affected by limescale should be sure to do it after every 25 cycles.

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