How To Adult: Descale Your Kettle

How to adult: Descale your kettle

I decided to start a fun little series called "how to adult" detailing things that I've pretty much only come across since moving into my own home. Jacob and I moved in together 5 years ago but I've only recently started descaling our kettle!

The kettle that we bought when we moved in together was a bog standard, metal kettle that you can't see inside. I lived in blissful ignorance of what the inside of it looked like and I think in 4 and a half years, I descaled it 3 times. Of course, eventually, our scaly little kettle broke and we had to get a new one. I remembered Jacob commenting on a kettle that his cousin had and how nice it was so I had a look at some clear, glass kettles like hers. They were slightly more than what I wanted to pay so I settled on another, bog standard one that you couldn't see through.

Only, according to Jacob, the water tasted funny. And after a week of him moaning about his coffee not tasting right, I decided to take it back and buy the more expensive, glass one. Finally, the water tasted fine and grumpy Jacob disappeared.

limescale in kettle
How our kettle looks after around 1 week of use

Only, after just a week, I had no choice but to learn how to descale it. The amount of limescale that had built up in that short period made me feel sick to think about what I had been drinking for the last 4 years. At first, I thought it was going to be a massive pain in the arse to descale the thing every week but when I thought about swapping to the old style of kettle that we had, I couldn't stomach the thought of drinking it. Now I'm really glad that I have no choice but to clean it regularly because I can see what it looks like.

You'll be pleased to know it takes around 2 minutes of actually "doing anything" and 20-30 minutes of waiting. The only thing you will need is white vinegar which costs around 79p for a spray bottle and this will do approximately 6 descales depending on how bad your kettle is and how often you do it.

white vinegar and water descaling kettle
Left: white vinegar left to soak  Right: Topped up with water

  • For my kettle, I unscrew the spray lid of the white vinegar and pour around 100ml straight into the empty kettle and leave for up to 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes I then top it up to around 400ml with tap water and then leave it for another 20 minutes.
  • Rinse the mixture out a few times to make sure there's no vinegar left in the kettle, then fill to the maximum fill line and boil.
  • Pour this away and there you have a nice sparkly kettle with no limescale. Or at least a whole lot less limescale if you were doing this for the first time in 4 years!
Probably around once a month or so, I clean out the spout filter as well to get rid of the limescale build up there. This generally doesn't need anything other than a wipe over with a sponge to clean.

clean kettle
All clean and shiny again!

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