Even though my electric kettle is one of my most frequently used kitchen appliances it wasn’t until recently that I learned how to clean an electric kettle. My electric kettle is probably my favorite kitchen appliance because of how convenient it makes my life. There’s nothing like being able to make a cup of tea or a bowl of ramen within minutes of when my craving hits. It’s safe to say that I use it daily, which is why I was so shocked when I learned that you had to clean it!
After all, how could boiling water make something dirty? Not only is a scaly kettle gross to look at, but it can even affect how fast your kettle can heat up. But with half an hour and some cleaning solution, your electric kettle can be back in top condition.
Why is My Kettle Scaly?
If you’ve ever looked in the bottom of your electric kettle you might be shocked to see scales growing in it. Don’t panic, your electric kettle isn’t going through a metamorphosis. These scales come from the minerals contained in water. When you boil water the minerals will sometimes end up at the bottom of your electric kettle creating scales. It’s important to clean these off, they can affect how efficient your kettle is.
Why is My Kettle Moldy?
The damp interior of your electric kettle is the perfect environment for mold. Bad habits like leaving water to sit in your kettle can lead to a moldy kettle. Mold is a more serious issue than scales, it can lead to serious stomach issues and possible hospitalization in the long run. It’s important to pour out water from your kettle and clean it regularly in order to avoid mold growth.
How Often to Clean an Electric Kettle
How often you clean your kettle can vary from case to case. But as a general rule of thumb, the outside of the kettle should be wiped down once a week to keep it smudge and splatter-free. You should remove scales and mineral build-up at least once every three months. Some kettles have a water filter in them, the manufacturer will recommend how often to clean it but a safe bet is to clean it out every other month. If you have a gooseneck kettle you can clean out the gooseneck with a pipe cleaner every time you descale it.
Can I Use Distilled Vinegar to Clean My Electric Kettle?
Your best bet for cleaning your electric kettle is to use an acidic compound. If you have some distilled vinegar in your kitchen it can be the perfect DIY kettle cleaner. To clean the kettle, fill the kettle halfway with water and distilled vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Turn on the kettle and let the mixture get to a boil. After around 15-20 minutes pour out the mixture and rinse. If you look inside and there are any stubborn scales left you can use a brush or sponge to scrub them off.
Can I Use Citric Acid to Clean My Electric Kettle?
Another popular cleaning method is citric acid, which has been in use since the early 1900s. It’s been used for over a century for a reason, citric acid is great at breaking down mold, mildew, and bacteria. To use citric acid, first, fill the kettle halfway with water and turn the kettle on. Once the water is boiling you can add one or two tablespoons of citric acid into it. If this is your first time cleaning the kettle for a while we recommend you use two. After around 15-20 minutes pour out the mixture. Once again, if there’s any gunk left just take a sponge and give the kettle a scrub.
Can I Use Soda Pop to Clean My Electric Kettle?
If you decide not to finish your can of Pepsi, you can put it to good use instead of pouring it down the drain! Another way to clean your electric kettle is by filling it halfway with leftover soda (Coke or Pepsi whatever you prefer) and bringing it to a boil. You’ll need to let the soda sit for 30 minutes before pouring it out. Make sure to rinse the kettle afterward or your next cup of tea might taste suspiciously of coca-cola.
Use a Kettle Cleaning Product
If you’re worried that at-home remedies won’t be enough to keep your kettle squeaky clean, a commercial kettle cleaner might be for you. Each cleaner will have its own instructions, but they all follow the same format. Mix the cleaner with water so that it’s diluted and then pour it into the kettle. Bring the solution to a boil and let it soak. After that pour the cleaning solution out and rinse until clean.
If your electric kettle is made of stainless steel, try cleaning the outside of it with a few drops of olive oil. This will keep it shiny and fingerprint-free.
Clean or Replace the Water Filter
Not all kettles have a water filter, but if yours does make sure to clean or replace it every other month. Check your kettle’s instructions to see if your filter can be cleaned or if it needs to be replaced. If it can be cleaned, remove the filter from the kettle. Most reusable filters will be made of metal and your best bet at cleaning them is to soak them in a mixture of hot water and distilled vinegar. After five minutes remove the filter and give it a scrub and a rinse before putting it back in the kettle.
Reassemble the Kettle and Do Final Rinses
After using whichever cleaning solution you decide to try, make sure to do a final rinse. Fill the electric kettle halfway with water, bring it to a boil, and pour it out. This will ensure that the next time you use your electric kettle the only thing you’re drinking is water.
Tips for Keeping Your Electric Kettle Clean Longer
If you want to keep your electric kettle clean, it’s important to develop good habits. This means never leaving water sitting in your kettle to discourage mold growth. You can use the leftover water to water your plants if you don’t want to just pour it down the drain. If you want to avoid scales in your kettle try using distilled water instead of tap water so there’s no mineral build-up. If you live in an area with hard water this tip will go a long way and lengthen the time between kettle cleanings.
How to Clean an Electric Kettle: Conclusion
Keeping your electric kettle clean means keeping it in working condition and keeping yourself healthy. Luckily, you can clean your electric kettle with products that you probably have in your kitchen cabinet. But the best thing you can do to keep your electric kettle clean is to develop good habits like pouring out water when you’re done and changing the water filter regularly.
Written by Olivia Tam