How to Clean an Electric Water Kettle

Updated July 01, 2018

Electric kettles are in daily use in many homes. They boil water more quickly than hob models because their heating elements are in direct contact with the water. In hard water areas, where the water contains moderate or high levels of calcium and magnesium salts, kettles are prone to scaling or furring on the element and interior surfaces from calcium carbonate and other mineral accumulations. They act as an insulator, slowing down the heating process. Deposits may flake off, appearing as tiny rocks in your tea or other beverage, but you can clean your electric water kettle.

Unplug the kettle and let it cool.

Remove scale from the spout, the lid and the rim of the kettle with a synthetic scouring pad or a rigid plastic utensil. Apply only enough pressure to remove the scale, and take care not to damage the kettle's finish.

Fill the kettle three-quarters full with a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar. Plug the kettle in and bring the solution to a boil. Let it heat undisturbed for an additional 20 minutes.

Unplug the kettle and let it cool. Pour out the vinegar solution. If it contains large flakes of mineral deposits, repeat the process.

Fill the kettle halfway with water and agitate it gently for 30 seconds to free any accumulations caught in the heating element. Empty the kettle and flush it twice more with water to eliminate any traces of vinegar.

Clean the exterior of the kettle with water and dishwashing liquid.


Descale your kettle twice a year if you use it daily. If you have very hard water or notice excessive scaling or furring, clean it four times a year.

Things You'll Need

  • Scouring pad
  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
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About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.