In most cases, you will only be using a tea kettle to boil water for making tea (or other hot beverages). However, even if you only boil water on your tea kettle, there is still a chance that lime deposits will accumulate on the inner surface. This happens in both stove-top kettles and electric tea kettles. Lime scale can clog the interior of your kettle, or at the very least
You will therefore need to descale your tea kettle for it to heat water efficiently and cleanly. Descaling usually involves using acidic materials to remove the lime scale. This can be done through commercial solutions that contain citric acid. However, you can also use acidic substances found at home, such as white vinegar.
Use a commercial descaling solution. These usually come in powder form, and may be sold in single-use sachets. Descaling solutions are usually made with citric acid. Simply use the recommended mixture strength on the packaging.
Use white vinegar. You can use half a cup of vinegar with a quart of water. You can mix these outside of the kettle, but you can also opt to mix the vinegar and water right on the kettle itself.
Boil the mixture. Whether you will be using the descaling solution or a vinegar-based solution, you will need to pour the mixture into the tea kettle until it’s about ¾ full. Heat the kettle on fire (or turn it on, if it’s electric). Let it boil for 10 to 20 minutes.
Pour out the solution. After boiling, pour out the solution or the vinegar-based mixture. Lime scale should already come with the water. Notice if other debris also comes out of the spout.
Boil water. At this point, your kettle will still taste and smell of vinegar or citric acid. You will need to refill the kettle with water and boil for another 10 minutes. Pour out the water afterwards. This should remove traces of the citric acid or vinegar from your kettle.
If your kettle still smells like vinegar, then you can repeat the procedure until you can no longer smell acidity from the kettle.
Use baking soda. Aside from using vinegar or citric acid, you can use other materials for cleaning your kettle. You can use baking soda for gentle scrubbing of your kettle’s interior. Pour in baking soda into your kettle, add a little water, and scrub the inside with a sponge. For tight spaces like the spout, you can use a small brush. Rinse the kettle thoroughly before use.
Tea kettles make it convenient to boil water in small amounts. However, as with any tool or appliance that uses water, you will need to watch out for buildup of unwanted material like lime scale. The same also applies to other kitchen equipment. For example, this happens in rice cookers, big kettles, baby bottle sterilizers, and the like.
Still, for regular cleaning, the most important thing to remember is to keep your kettle dry when not in use. Rinse it after heating water. And regularly descale to prevent unwanted buildup.