Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Anyone who has ever owned an electric kettle before will tell you that limescale makes the kettle look unsanitary and affects the taste of the tea. The build-up of limescale can cause water or tea to take a long time to boil. Also, the annoying thing is that it is quite common so it is important to learn about it and how to clean it.
I am guessing you don't want this to happen to you. That's why we have decided to share with you an easy way to clean limescale from your kettle. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's look at:
What is Limescale?
It's a chalky off-white crust that builds up inside your kettle and boilers, which stains the surface. In scientific terms, it is the calcium carbonate deposits left behind by hard water.
Hard water is water which contains a lot of concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium. When this water evaporates, it will leave behind calcium carbonate deposits. Unfortunately, once these deposits stick on your kettle or boiler, they are challenging to get rid of them. Other appliances where you can find limescale at home are a coffee machine, washing machine, dishwasher, taps, tiles, pots and pans, and other devices.
Effects of Limescale on Your Health
Most people ask this question a lot, and there's a debate on whether limescale has a positive or negative effect on one's health. Reports from the World Health Organization, states that there's no evidence to confirm that hard water can harm humans.
In fact, the National Research Council says that hard water can satisfy one’s calcium and magnesium deficiency in the body. In other words, the magnesium and calcium present in water meet human dietary needs.
Some studies (which we can't verify) states that there's a weak inverse relationship between hard water and heart diseases in men. The study was based on men taking 170 mg of calcium carbonate per litre of water. But the World Health Organization reviewed the evidence and concluded that it was not sufficient to prove the theory.
Limescale comes from the water we drink, and it is good for our health. Even though the water is beneficial for our health, the water is harmful to persons who have a sensitive skin and hair problems. Hard water is irritating to people who suffer from a condition like dermatitis. Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin, and it is common for people who suffer from dry skin. Hard water doesn't cause dermatitis. It irritates the condition.
Limescale also causes hair loss. If the hair is washed using hard water, it becomes dry and brittle. Chances are, if you continue using hard water, it will break and start thinning. That's because the hair follicles are blocked, therefore preventing the flow of nutrients. The result is your scalp becoming dry and flaky.
Hard water tastes different in the mouth. That said, drinking hard water is a matter of personal preference. We have people that love its unique taste and others hate it. The above example clearly shows that limescale does not harm our health. But if you bathe with hard water, you will be affected if you have either sensitive or dry skin.
How to Clean and Remove Limescale from the Kettle
Removing limescale on your kettle is easy. There are at least four methods of removing limescale, but today we will share one way.
Using Water and Vinegar Solution
A vinegar solution is an excellent cleaning detergent for removing limescale. That's because of its acidic properties, which will remove limescale in record time. Here are the steps you need to follow
Step 1: Mix two cups of vinegar solution and water into the kettle.
You are supposed to fill the kettle with a solution up to half or two-thirds. If you want excellent results, you can mix the ratio of vinegar and water to 1:1. Make sure that you also check the kettle's manual to ensure that it's safe to use the vinegar when you clean the interior.
Step 2: Boil the solution.
The next step is to bring the kettle to boil. Plug the kettle to an electric socket and turn it on. The solution has to boil for one or two minutes. You can also use high heat if you want the vinegar solution to boil quickly. Trust us. It should not take more than 5 minutes.
Step 3: Remove the solution and let it sit for an hour.
Take the solution out of the heat and allow it to cool for an hour. When you leave the solution for an hour, it will do a fantastic job of removing the limescale from the kettle. If you can't wait for an hour, you can leave the solution for 30 minutes before you pour it.
Step 4: Pour the Solution
Once the time is over, you can pour the solution and rinse your kettle. The kettle has to be cleaned well inside and under the faucet so that there's no leftover behind. If you want to get the best results, rinse the kettle 2 to 3 times. You can remove the lid if your kettle has one and clean it thoroughly.
Step 5: Use a clean cloth to wipe the leftover.
Here you'll need to use a vinegar solution to remove any leftover limescale on the kettle. You can also use your hand to remove any leftover. Baking soda will also do the trick if you find it challenging to remove the dirt using the cloth.
Step 6: Rinse with Clean Water
The last step is to rinse the kettle with plain water and bring it to a boil. Wait for the water to start boiling and take it off. You can pour the water on the sink. You have to repeat this process 2 or 3 times until the smell of vinegar solution is no more. If you follow all these six steps, you will have a clean kettle. It is what most people use to clean the kettle.
This is a good resource if you want to read up more on this topic: https://www.yourathometeam.com/hard-water-guide/.
Pallav Sengupta. Potential Health Impacts of Hard Water. Int J Prev Med. 2013 Aug; 4(8): 866–875.
Gautham Srinivasan, Chakravarthi Rangachari Srinivas, Anil C Mathew, and Divakar Duraiswami. Effects of Hard Water on Hair. 2013 Jul-Sep; 5(3): 137–139.