Electric plastic kettles are one of the safest, fastest and most economical methods of boiling water. They are designed to resist mineral build-up, and auto boil features automatically shut off when water has been boiled. Handles are cooler to the touch than the traditional stove-top kettle, and the lack of an open flame and an exposed hot surface increases safety. However, they do require cleaning, just like every other kitchen appliance.
Unplug the kettle before cleaning to avoid serious burns or electrocution. Empty all water out of the kettle, remove the lid and allow the kettle to completely cool. Inspect your kettle for signs of wear and tear. Burn marks, exposed wires, broken pieces, loose parts or melted plastic are all indications that you should replace your kettle.
Wipe down the kettle with a soft sponge and warm, soapy water. Do not use anything rough or abrasive that may scratch the surface. Scratches may result in discoloured marks and lines on your kettle. Also, clean the outside of the kettle and base with care. Be careful to not scratch any of the surfaces, and take extra caution around the base and electrical parts.
De-scale the kettle with a solution that is half water and half clear vinegar. This is known as an anti-scaling agent that prevents and removes build-up. The solution should fill the kettle. Leave it to sit overnight. Other acids work as well, such as citric acid, lemon juice, bicarbonate soda or malt vinegar.
Empty the kettle the next day and rinse repeatedly with cool water. Be sure that the kettle is completely dry before using it again, especially around electrical parts and connectors. To ensure that the kettle is clean with no cleaning aftertaste, refill with water, boil and empty at least once before boiling water to be consumed.
Be sure that the kettle has completely cooled before cleaning, and completely dry before use. Be sure to use a soft sponge at all times. Scrubbing should be unnecessary, as whatever acetic solution you use should break up all mineral build-up and only a simple wipe-down will be required.
Be careful. You are handling an appliance that works with heat, electricity and boiling water.