Electric kettles are convenient and easy to use if you need to boil water quickly.
Sometimes we get too busy that after boiling water for a quick coffee or instant oatmeal, we leave water inside the kettle. But is this safe to do?
Generally, you can leave water in an electric kettle.
What to Know About Leaving Water in an Electric Kettle:
If there is water left unused after boiling, you can allow it to cool, let it sit inside the kettle, and reboil it should you need to later in the day. It is safe to leave water in an electric kettle for a short time, but you need to clean your kettle often to keep bacteria away.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Should You Empty An Electric Kettle After Use?
Leaving water inside the kettle for a short time is considered safe and will not put you at risk for diseases.
For health and safety reasons, leaving water inside the kettle to reboil and reuse is not dangerous. After boiling water you can leave it there and let it cool so you can reboil it later in the day if you need to.
However, you should empty an electric kettle after use. Or better yet, boil the right amount of water for your needs.
If you need hot water for coffee, boil one cup of water, so you do not end up wasting any leftover water by throwing it out.
Can You Leave Water In Your Kettle To Keep It Clean?
While some think leaving water in the electric kettle can keep it clean, this is not true.
Leaving water in your kettle will not keep it clean. It does the opposite.
Depending on the water quality, it can foster the growth of bacteria that poses a health risk to you and your family. Of course, you can kill bacteria by boiling water inside the kettle, but drinking this would not be advisable.
Leaving water can also shorten the lifespan of your electric kettle and weaken its performance. This is why it is not recommended to leave water in your kettle.
Does Old Kettle Water Cause Limescale?
Besides affecting the performance and lifespan of your electric kettle, leaving water inside has other negative effects.
Leaving water in a kettle, especially for a long time, can cause limescale buildup inside and outside your kettle.
Limescale is a chalky deposit that consists mainly of calcium carbonate. It is known to build up inside pipework, boilers, and electric kettles.
While limescale does not pose a health risk, it can affect the taste of your drinking water. Limescale makes boiled water taste a little weird, affecting your coffee or tea taste.
If there is limescale buildup in your water kettle, your coffee or tea may taste a little funny as the limescale alters the quality of your boiled water. Not to mention that limescale floating in your drink is not a pretty sight.
How Often Should you Change Kettle Water?
Since we now know that leaving water inside the kettle can lead to limescale formation, the next thing to know is how often you should change the water inside a kettle.
You should change the water in a kettle right after boiling it. Since many people neglect to do this, it is safe to change the water every couple of days.
This means that after boiling water, it is completely okay if you forget to empty your kettle right after. You can leave the water inside for the rest of the day as long as you change the water the next day.
Can You Reheat Electric Kettle Water?
In general, if you use pure distilled and de-ionized water, it is perfectly safe to reheat water in an electric kettle.
If you are using ordinary water or tap water, you may need to think twice about reheating water in your electric kettle. This type of water can contain minerals and dissolved gases and minerals.
If you reheat ordinary water, you might end up concentrating chemicals that may be in your water. Examples of these chemicals are fluoride, arsenic, and nitrates.
While these chemicals are not typically dangerous, they can have harmful effects if you consume too much.
How Long Can Boiled Water Sit In A Kettle?
You can allow boiled water to sit in your electric kettle for up to 2 or 3 days, as long as your kettle is always kept clean.
After boiling water, you can let it sit in your kettle for three days, and it will still be safe to drink. You can even reheat it if you use distilled or deionized water.
Apart from limescale buildup, old water can foster the growth of bacteria. This will contaminate the water, and you could end up sick.
Make sure to change the water in your kettle as often as possible to prevent ingesting bacteria and other contaminants.
Can You Leave Water In A Kettle Over The Night?
Since you can let water sit in your kettle for up to 3 days, it is perfectly safe to leave it overnight.
Leaving water in a kettle overnight will not have any harmful effects on your water. Change the water every 2 or 3 days, and keep your electric kettle clean.
Here is how to clean your electric kettle to make sure the water stays safe for drinking:
- Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar, and boil the mixture using the electric kettle.
- After boiling, allow it to cool.
- Gently scrub the inside of your kettle using an old toothbrush or a soft sponge.
- Rinse the inside of your kettle thoroughly.
Make sure to clean the inside at least once every 1 to 2 months. Cleaning the inside of the kettle also removes any limescale buildup. Also, do not forget to wipe the exterior of your electric kettle at least once a week.
So if you tend to leave water in your kettle by accident, do not worry, as it is safe to do so for a couple of days as long as you clean the kettle regularly.