Even if you have a water filtration system at home and you boil only purified water for tea, it is still hard to avoid scaling. Filters can’t eliminate all the particles in the water responsible for lime forming. Sooner or later you will find the sides and bottom of your favorite whistle-kettle or the heating element of the electric boiler is covered with a layer of dirty yellow plaque. It means that it is time to remember how to descale the kettle and restore its cleanness both outside and inside.
While cleaning, remember that not all the products work equally well for regular and electric kettles.
Why you should remove limescale
There are a few reasons for that, and each of them is quite serious.
- The lime layer prevents heat exchange. It is not dangerous for the regular stainless-steel kettle, but the electric one can simply burn out. The heat from a spiral or a heating element can not be transferred to water, so the metal gets overheated. While using regular kettles, this increases gas consumption: water heats up more slowly.
- The limescale layer prevents the kettle from being kept clean. Particles of lime sediment fall into your cup, and it is not good for your body to consume all this garbage.
Products for removing limescale
You can buy special products that remove the scale in the store. Some of them are quite effective, others may not have the desired effect. It does not depend so much on the quality of household chemicals, but rather on the other parameters: the composition of the water in your water supply, the thickness of the layer of lime deposits, etc.
How to clean the kettle from limescale at home
Lime deposits are successfully removed by simple and cheap means:
- citric acid;
- table or Apple cider vinegar;
- baking soda;
- lemons, apple skin or potato peelings;
- cucumbers or tomatoes pickling juice;
- sodas: “Coca-Cola”, “Sprite”, “Fanta”.
Any kettle can be descaled by citric acid: stainless steel one, ceramic, enameled, electric plastic or glass ones. This simple substance removes thin and medium lime layers. You need to take 25-30 grams of acid, add water and boil. Then, if the plaque is not completely dissolved, carefully clean the sides and bottom with a plastic scrubber or brush.
Do not use hard metal scrubbers to remove the scale.
Citric acid can be replaced with fresh lemons: roughly chop one or two lemons, boil them, and leave the water to cool. Complete the actions same with the citric acid tip. Small lime deposits can be successfully removed by boiling apple peelings or potato peelings.
Juice from pickled cucumbers or tomatoes works well to remove the lime layers. The organic acids contained in it dissolve the lime deposits. But then it is quite difficult to remove the smell of pickles, that is not good with tea and coffee.
Carbonated beverages are good to dissolve resistant lime layers due to the content of phosphoric acid. A lot of people know that Coca-Cola can be used to clean the scale and rust not only from the kettle, but also other household items. Coca-Cola removes old built-up grease in the sewer, it dissolves traces of rust on old baths and washbasins, etc.
But if you want to remove the scale from the white kettle, it is better not to use Coca-Cola or Fanta. These intensely colored liquids can stain the light material, which you would have to deal with later. It is better to use colorless soda: “Sprite”, 7UP. The effect will be the same as with Coca-Cola, but without any color effects.
To remove limescale using carbonated drinks, first you should remove all the carbonation from the liquid. Open the coke bottle and leave it open for a few hours before cleaning. Otherwise, while boiling the drink, it forms a huge amount of foam so that you will clean the kettle not only from the inside, but also from the outside, and at the same time clean the entire kitchen.
How to deal with old scales
The toughest, long-standing limescale is removed in several stages. You will need baking soda, citric acid solution, and vinegar.
First, you wash the outside and inside of the kettle, and get it as clean as possible. Then pour half a cup of baking soda inside, pour water and boil the solution for 20 minutes. You can leave the soda solution to cool, or drain it immediately. Soda itself does not remove the limescale, it will only help to cope with thick scales.
At the second stage of the fight against scale it is necessary to pour a solution of citric acid into the kettle: for 3 liters of water you will need about 40 g of acid. Acid and soda, absorbed into the layers of scale, will perform the chemical reaction. The gas from the reaction will loosen the lime plaque.
When you pour out the citric acid solution, you can boil the kettle again with a soda solution, but you can also immediately proceed to the next step: use table of apple vinegar to descale. Boiling with vinegar will dissolve the most resistant layers. Fill the kettle a third of the way with vinegar, add water and boil for 30 minutes over low heat. Drain the solution and wipe the inside of the kettle with a medium-hardness scrubber (not metal).
After cleaning, you should thoroughly wash the kettle and boil water in it two or three times, draining it. This method is suitable only for regular kettles, for electric ones it can prove to be too strong and destructive.
Tips for maintaining your kettle
- The more often you remove the limescale, the easier it will be to do it. It is enough to boil water with citric acid once a month, so that the scale does not have time to form thick layers.
- Boil only filtered water.
- Wipe the inside of the kettle with a washcloth after each boiling of water to remove any traces of scale.