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The Best Way to Clean an Electric Tea Kettle

Does your tea kettle have cloudy white buildup? Here’s how to get it sparkling again.

Published Feb. 2, 2023.

If you’ve ever taken a look at your electric kettle and noticed some unsightly white buildup, you are not alone. The other morning I was boiling some water for tea and realized the glass was cloudy and stained.

What’s going on?

Toaster ovens needing a good clean makes sense—you’re cooking food in them. But kettles? The only thing that ever goes in a kettle is water.

Your first thought might be that it’s time for a new one. But don’t be so quick to throw it away. 

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You’re looking at limescale—a collection of naturally occurring minerals in our water. Limescale is made up of mostly calcium carbonate, one of the most abundant minerals on earth.

Depending on where you live, the levels of these minerals will vary and can affect the taste of your water

Photo of a dirty electric kettleThe inside view of a dirty electric kettle

Limescale in a tea kettle might look gross, but its not unsafe.

Although limescale is not harmful, it can be pretty ugly. The good news is that it can easily be removed. 

For more information on the best way to “uncrust” your kettles, I turned to our equipment expert, Lisa McManus, who suggested a few easy steps to remove limescale buildup safely.

How to Clean an Electric Kettle

Repeat these steps every one to two months to stay on top of buildup.

  • STEP 1: Boil a full kettle of water. Dont pour it out.
  • STEP 2: Add a citric acid base solution such as Dezcal to the full kettle. (Use 1 oz of descaling powder per 32 oz of capacity in your machine.) Let it sit for five minutes and then pour it out.
  • STEP 3: Boil one to two clean full kettles of water before using the kettle again to be sure that all the chemicals are washed away.
Looking for more easy cleaning tips? Check out this video from our resident Gearheads, Hannah Crowley and Lisa McManus.

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