How to Remove Limescale from an Eletric Kettle using Vinegar Only

kettle limescale

Limescale in Electric Kettle

Like most people in the UK I use an electric kettle to boil water for tea and coffee. The trouble with this is the kettle will quickly end up with a large build up of lime scale. If dealt with regularly it wont actually do any damage to the kettle, however after an extended period of time lime scale can build up and start to make the kettle look yucky (have a look at the first picture of my kettle), so I like to use this simple, low cost and natural way to clean my kettle from all traces of lime scale and calcium.

To naturally remove lime scale in kettles all you need is white vinegar and water; no toxic chemicals are required just white vinegar (must not be malt vinegar) which can be bought for less then £1 from you local supermarket and will clear your kettle 2/3 times so a very low cost method!

How to Remove Lime scale from a Kettle

I simply fill the kettle with water until all the affected areas are covered and set the kettle to boil. Once it’s finished I’ll add white vinegar (1/4 of the water in the kettle) and watch as the scale fizzes away in front of my eyes. I then simply let the kettle sit for around an hour and the lime scale will be completely dissolved. Have a look at image 2 to see a live example of my kettle.

Kettle De-scaler

Kettle De-scaled

I do this every couple of months so it doesn’t require much time to remove all the limescale. If it’s been a while since you last de scaled your kettle it may be worth trying a stronger mix of white vinegar and leaving it over night or perhaps repeating this process a couple of times. Be sure to re-boil the kettle with fresh water a couple of times before use.

This is the easiest, cheapest and safest way to completely remove lime scale from your kettle so well worth a try. If you give it a go I’d love to see before and after pictures of some heavily built up kettles so we can show how effective this natural cleaning method is.

This eco cleaning solution can also be used to clear lime scale from pots and pans and any other item that has a build up of lime scale. Do you have any items you use this method on? Let me know in the comments below.

You can buy White Vinegar for just 99p from our Natural Products online store.

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33 Responses to How to Remove Limescale from an Eletric Kettle using Vinegar Only

  1. cleaner in london says:

    Great article. Using the vinegar is also non-toxic and detergent free method.

  2. Caroline Lynx says:

    Adam,

    Thanks I am always looking for cleaning tips for some of my clients who wish to have ‘green’ solutions.

    Cas

  3. Jan Baltimore says:

    Hi Thanks for the tips.if i need any help in future i will definitely ask through this blog.

  4. brendan says:

    great tip thanks i just tried it and it worked!!

  5. carole says:

    Been doing this in a non-electric kettle for long time. Also good for keeping limescale from toilet pans – few drops every time you flush.

  6. Mike Aswell says:

    Great article, this does work if you do not wish to spend money on cleaning supplies.

  7. C Blakemore says:

    Great post really does work and is an easy way of cleaning your kettle!

  8. Toph says:

    Thanks for the tip! Works great..
    Cheers

  9. Tania says:

    Just wondered why it can’t be white distilled malt vinegar? For some reason my local supermarkets don’t seem to stock anything closer to White vinegar than this. Can I look for it by brand or by another name? Thanks for a very informative post.

    • Ana Jenkins says:

      Hi Tania, it actually doesn’t matter if you use malt vinegar. It smells more but it works the same way, you might just have to flush your kettle a few more times with water to get rid of the smell.
      Also lime juice also works.

    • Lisa Hebbard says:

      Can someone clarify the difference (if there is one) between white vinegar and white distilled malt vinegar?

  10. Claire says:

    This worked wonderfully, thanks so much! I can now have my morning tea again! :-)

  11. Jacky says:

    Had a 2nd hand kettle(bought new last year for £40) from my sister that she didnt want because of the build up of limescale. I used the white vinegar inside the kettle and also on a cloth on the small amount of limescale inside and on the outside of the spout. The kettle is now as good as new.

  12. Marcus Edwards says:

    This worked an absolute treat! Thanks for the tip, now my kettle is sparkling clean and my tea tastes so much better AND with less scum! Awesome :)

  13. Gavin says:

    Very helpful topic. I recently have noticed my kettle is full of limescale and didn’t realise how easy it was to remove

  14. Lizzie says:

    It’s information on the internet like this that I love.

    My kettle is currently fizzing away and I’m excited about seeing the results, sad to be as excited as I am, probably but I don’t care, bring on a shiny, lime-scale free kettle and all for less than a pound and with no nasty chemicals.

    Thanks for taking the time to create this site.

  15. Gene says:

    This worked miraculously! I am amazed at the results. Our kettle was to the point where I couldn’t even scrape the buildup off with a knife so I thought I would have to buy a new kettle. After letting it sit for a while I went to the market and came back with a fresh bottle of vinegar and even some baking soda but it was nearly perfect by then! I did throw in some fresh vinegar and a bit of baking soda and this thing is like new. I have some great before and after pictures, let me know where to send them and thank you for the advice!

  16. R says:

    There is another method with crystalline lemon acidity.
    Scale removal
    1. Let the kettle cool down completely before cleaning.
    2. Disconnect it from mains.
    3. Boil up one litre of water, disconnect it from the mains.Take
    the kettle off the base, put 50 g of crystalline lemon acidity
    and leave the appliance with content for some time.
    4. Pour off the water and wash the kettle by cold water carefully.
    5. Wipe the kettle with damp fabric for removal all signs of
    solution and scale

  17. Jo says:

    Works well. Flat smells like a fish & chip shop buy my kettle’s descaled!

  18. Colin says:

    I have my humidifier grate sitting in vinegar as I write this. Works great. Another great tip for all you out there is coca cola cleans copper wire and well anything copper just soak I use it sometimes if I have car wiring that is all bunged up.

  19. Jo says:

    My kettle desperately needs descaling. Can’t find white vinegar locally. Why can’t i use malt vinegar? Will it damage the kettle?

    • judy says:

      I have a glass elsectric kettle, and you can always see the build-up inside. So I’m constantly spraying it was CLR or a similar product. Recently I saw a product for preventing build-up. It was a little curly ball of stainless steel – looking for all the world like a mini-SOS pad, and it cost $7. Just a couple of months ago, I saw a 3-pack of SOS stainless steel pads at Dollarama. I bought them. cut a small piece, abou the size of a Jawbreaker gumball, dropped it in the kettle, and VOILA!! It works! I leave it in there, and rinse the kettle, and that’s it. I still spray it occasionally, but only about once every few weeks instead of every few days. Costs a ton less than CLR and works quite well.

      Judy

    • Jean says:

      You can use malt vinegar as it works the same way but it smells a bit more that’s all… You may just need to flush your kettle a few times with water to get rid of the smell. Lime juice works equally as well…

  20. Judy L says:

    Hi, I have tried using the white vinegar on kettles and coffeemakers, but the recurring problem I have is this: no matter how often I boil/run them with plain water afterwards, everything has a vinegar taste to it, which ruins coffee and doesn’t really improve the tea either. Again, I just cleaned my stove top kettle with vinegar water, but after 5-6 times of boiling it with plain water, it still tastes like vinegar.

  21. Darren says:

    The white vinegar trick is something I have used for many years thanks to my Grandmother and her tips! Malt vinegar is just as good at removing the limescale. If using malt, just rinse the kettle out a few more times as it has a stronger smell than standard white vinegar. On the last rinse, fill the the kettle and boil so the steam removes the vinigar from inside the lid.

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  23. judy says:

    I have a glass elsectric kettle, and you can always see the build-up inside. So I’m constantly spraying it was CLR or a similar product. Recently I saw a product for preventing build-up. It was a little curly ball of stainless steel – looking for all the world like a mini-SOS pad, and it cost $7. Just a couple of months ago, I saw a 3-pack of SOS stainless steel pads at Dollarama. I bought them. cut a small piece, abou the size of a Jawbreaker gumball, dropped it in the kettle, and VOILA!! It works! I still spray it occasionally, but only about once every few weeks instead of every few days. Costs a ton less than CLR and works quite well.

    Judy

  24. Caz says:

    This is genius! I thought my kettle was beyond help but followed this, also threw in half a lime just because I had one on hand, and it’s like new. Absolutely brilliant, thanks so much.

  25. kwasi says:

    can this method be used to clean carbon

  26. Lisa Hebbard says:

    As per last comment, not sure what white vinegar is so is malt not a possibility?

  27. Cleaners Bedford Park says:

    Great tip! I’ve tried it and it works great!

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