Why Do Kettles Get Limescale? (Easy Fix + Explanation)

If you have owned an electric kettle for quite some time now, you will notice white deposits sticking to the interiors of your kettle.

These deposits are called limescale and are common in electric kettles.

Here’s Why Electric Kettles Get Limescale:

Limescale in electric kettles is caused by boiling “hard water,” which usually comes from the tap. Hard water contains elements like calcium and magnesium in high concentrations. When hard water is boiled, insoluble calcium carbonate will start forming in the water, spreading on the electric kettle.

What Is Limescale?

Limescale is commonly seen on electric kettles and coffee machines. It looks white and chalky, and it can be hard to remove. But what is it exactly?

Limescale is a hard deposit that consists mainly of insoluble calcium carbonate, which has a nasty appearance, and its formation can make your electric kettle look old, dirty, and neglected.

It accumulates in kettles, coffee machines, and boilers. Limescale is common in appliances with a heating element and frequently comes in contact with hard water. It usually forms on stainless steel, and you can also see them on toilet bowls, sinks, bathroom tiles, and washing machines.

Limescale forms when hard water is boiled. Hard water usually contains high concentrations of calcium and magnesium, and when it is heated, limescale starts to form.

In general, limescale is not harmful to humans to ingest, but it can affect the performance of your electric kettle.

While limescale does not pose a health hazard, it can give your coffee a funny taste. Plus, the appearance of limescale floating on your drink can be quite unsightly.

How Can Limescale Be Prevented from Building Up in Electric Kettles?

Now that you know what limescale is and how it affects your drink and kettle, you want to prevent it from forming.

Here is how you can prevent limescale from building up in electric kettles:

Buy a Water Softener System:

Since limescale is caused by hard water, one of the best ways to prevent it from forming on your kettle is by investing in a water softener system.

A water softener system may be pricey to install, but if you live in a hard water area, you might want to consider getting one. Apart from causing limescale formation, hard water also causes dry skin and hair, stained sinks and tiles, faded clothes, and even the need for frequent plumbing repairs.

Water softener systems remove calcium and magnesium through an ion exchange process. This transforms the hard water into soft water.

Once this process is finished, the water softener system will pass a saltwater solution to detach the removed minerals.

There are also water softener systems that do not use salt. These salt-free systems work by neutralizing the calcium and magnesium, so they do not stick to the appliances.

Keep your Electric Kettle Dry:

A water softener system can be expensive, so here is the next best solution. This is also the easiest one: keep your electric kettle dry.

After using your electric kettle, empty it and wipe the insides by keeping the kettle dry when not in use.

By doing this, you can prevent the formation of limescale.

In addition to wiping it after every use, cleaning the electric kettle once a week is also recommended to ensure that limescale does not form.

Is There A Way To Remove Limescale From Electric Kettles?

The formation of limescale can be very unsightly on electric kettles.

If you notice a limescale build-up on your electric kettle, don’t worry. Limescale is pretty easy to remove, and you can do it using things you can find around the house.

Here is what you would need:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Sponge or an old toothbrush
  • Clean cloth

Here is how you can remove limescale from your electric kettle:

  1. Take equal parts of white vinegar and water, and combine them inside the electric kettle.
  2. Boil the mixture inside the electric kettle, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. It is recommended that you let it sit for up to a few hours if there is too much limescale build-up.
  3. Remove the mixture of vinegar and water. Then use the sponge or old toothbrush to remove the deposits, especially the stubborn ones.
  4. Wipe the insides of the electric kettle using a clean cloth.
  5. Optional: Use a fragranced appliance spray on your electric kettle to mask the strong smell of vinegar.

It is recommended that you do this at least once every 2 or 3 months so that your electric kettle has no thick build-up of limescale.

What Is The Best Way To Clean An Electric Kettle With Limescale Build-Up?

If your electric kettle has a limescale build-up, it is not something to be concerned about, as it has an easy fix.

The best way to clean it would be by de-scaling it using the white vinegar and water method explained above.

By allowing the mixture of white vinegar and water to sit in your electric kettle, the limescale build-up will soften, making it easier to remove. This method of de-scaling your electric kettle is effective, and it is recommended that you do it every 2 or 3 months.

Since white vinegar has a strong smell, some people do not like using it to clean their appliances. As an alternative, you can buy a kettle cleaner and de-scaler. You can get them at a supermarket or hardware store.

Some reliable brands include Kettle Kleen, Oust Kettle Descaler, Breville, and Durgol.

Store-bought kettle cleaners are effective in removing the limescale from the electric kettle. The downside to using them is they can give your water a funny taste during the first few uses after cleaning. Plus, they are more expensive than using white vinegar.

It is also recommended that you empty your electric kettle after every use and wipe the insides dry with a clean cloth to prevent limescale build-up.

Can Limescale Build-Up damage electric Kettles?

Limescale build-up can shorten the life expectancy and affect the functionality of your electric kettle.

While it does not exactly damage your electric kettle, limescale build-up can shorten its life expectancy. In addition, it can affect the performance of your electric kettle. If there is limescale build-up, your electric kettle may not function as well as it should.

Electric kettles will limescale build up and may take longer to boil water, which can result in higher electricity consumption.

Limescale is not necessarily harmful to humans but can negatively affect your electric kettles and other kitchen appliances. This is why you should take extra care of your electric kettle by emptying it after every use, keeping it dry, and regularly cleaning it to prevent and remove limescale.


What Is Limescale & How Can You Get Rid Of It?

How To Remove Kettle Limescale

Four Ways To Prevent And Remove Limescale

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