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How to Clean a Tea Kettle (Step-by-Step)

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This guide shows step-by-step how to clean your tea kettle. We have listed methods using vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.

Let's get started!

How to Clean Tea Kettle Inside

Cleaning Tea Kettle with Vinegar  

The vinegar method can be used to clean stainless steel, glass, and cast iron tea kettles. 

  1. Fill the tea kettle three-quarters full with an equal amount of water and white vinegar.
  2. Let the solution come to a boil.
  3. Turn the stove off. Martha Stewart recommends allowing the solution to soak for a few hours to soften the limescale clusters. Others suggest letting the solution sit for only an hour.
  4. Rinse thoroughly several times with water.
  5. Wipe the inside of the kettle with a microfiber cloth and rinse again. If necessary, repeat steps 1-4 until the inside of the kettle is clean.

If your kettle smells like vinegar, pour fresh water inside and heat it until the water boils. Once you pour the water out, the tea kettle should be free from the powerful vinegar scent.

It’s best to clean your kettle using the vinegar method once every two weeks. If you make a lot of tea, then you might decide to do this once per week. The key is to avoid letting the limescale issue get too bad.

Cleaning Tea Kettle with Baking Soda  

  1. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to a kettle of water filled to the max fill line.
  2. Bring the solution to a boil.
  3. Remove the kettle from the heat source and allow it to cool to soften the limescale build-up.
  4. Gently scrub with a soft-bristle toothbrush or dish scrubber (nothing abrasive) to remove the sediment from the kettle.
  5. Rinse the kettle thoroughly with water and dry with a cloth.
  6. If there are stains that haven’t come off, mix baking soda and water to form a paste.
  7. Put the paste on a brush and rub the area with the sediment.  
  8. Once the deposit has been removed, put white vinegar on a cloth and wipe off the baking soda paste.
  9. Rinse and dry the kettle thoroughly.

Cleaning Tea Kettle with Lemon Juice 

  1. Squeeze two halves of lemon into the kettle. Rub the lemon halves on stains or sediment inside the kettle.
  2. Cut the lemon into small pieces and had to the juice inside the kettle. Add enough water to fill the kettle about half full.
  3. Boil the solution for about 15 minutes.
  4. Let the kettle sit for two hours.
  5. Using a soft sponge, scrub the inside of the kettle.
  6. Empty the kettle and rinse a few times with warm water.
  7. Dry the inside and outside of the kettle with a microfiber cloth.

How to Remove Rust from Inside a Tea Kettle

To prevent rust and limescale from building up, wipe the inside of the kettle dry with a microfiber cloth after boiling water in it.  

If there is rust inside the kettle, this tip from Williams-Sonoma might prove helpful.

Combine two tablespoons of baking soda and lemon juice with water 

  1. Boil for 30 minutes
  2. Rinse thoroughly

How to Clean Kettle Outside

Stainless Steel Tea Kettle

Routine Cleaning 

  1. Dampen a microfiber cloth with soap and warm water.
  2. Rub in circles to remove the dirt.
  3. Wipe dry with another damp microfiber cloth to wash away the residue.

Heavy Cleaning

If your kettle has a lot of grease and grime on the outside, you may need to use more than soap and water to get it looking shiny.  

  1. Put three tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Add enough white vinegar to form a thick paste.
  3. Apply the paste to the kettle with a microfiber cloth. If the kettle is greasy, let the paste sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Scrub the kettle with the baking soda and vinegar mixture.
  5. Wipe the kettle with a damp microfiber cloth.
  6. Wipe the kettle with a dry microfiber cloth.

Electric Tea Kettle 

  1. Boil equal amounts of vinegar water.
  2. Rub the solution onto the surface.
  3. Wash the exterior with soap and water.

Glass Tea Kettle

Wash the tea kettle by hand with a mild dishwashing detergent, rinse thoroughly, and dry immediately.

Martha Stewart recommends this process for cleaning glasses that have fogged up because of hard water. 

  1. Soak a small dish towel in a small amount of white vinegar.
  2. Wipe the glass (in this case, kettle) with the cloth.

Related Article: 5 Best Tea Kettles for Induction Cooktops

These can be used on all types of stoves.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to clean your tea kettle, you can work it into your daily and weekly routines. Here are the advantages to using a tea kettle to heat water for tea.

To experience the full flavor of your tea, cleaning your tea kettle is essential. If you have hard water in your town and don’t have a water softener, cleaning your kettle weekly is important. Even if water was left in your kettle for a few days and there is rust, it can still be cleaned.

Q&A

What is limescale?

Limescale build-up is the biggest challenge to keeping your kettle clean. If you use hard water, this is especially true. It is best to look at the inside of your tea kettle weekly to see if there are any chalky, white mineral deposits. If there are, you will want to clean your kettle right away.

After using a tea kettle consistently, you're going to find that it will get dirty. When you look inside the tea kettle, you are likely going to see a chalk-like substance. This deposit is left behind by the water that you have been boiling in the tea kettle.

Hard water contains magnesium and calcium ions as well as other mineral ions. When hard water evaporates, calcium carbonate deposits are formed. These limescale deposits create a thick white, odorless coating that sticks to the kettle.

What are the effects of limescale buildup in a tea kettle?

If limescale builds up, the minerals in it affect the taste of the tea. It will be flat and not brisk. You can ensure that your tea kettle works efficiently by just cleaning it regularly. It is best to do this so that the limescale does not alter the flavor of your tea as well.

If there is limescale build-up in the whistle, its performance will be affected. The lid and the opening for the lid are areas to examine for limescale. It is important for the lid to fit securely. If the lid is not sealed correctly, the kettle may not whistle.

Does hard water cause kidney stones?

There is debate about whether water hardness leads to kidney stone formation. There is not enough conclusive evidence to prove hard water causes kidney stones.

Mitra et al. referenced four studies that found no significant correlation between water hardness and the renal incidence of urinary calculus (solid particles in the urinary system). They also noted two studies (conducted in 1999 and 2001) reported an increase in drinking hard water resulted in increased urinary stone incidence.

What is the difference between a water softener and a water filter?

Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium.

Water filters remove a broad spectrum of contaminants, including metals, chlorine, and sediments. The purpose of a water filter is to provide better-tasting and cleaner water than tap water.

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