Do you live in a hard water area and find cleaning your kettle properly nigh on impossible?
Hard, mineral water isn’t bad for us health-wise, but it can quickly fur up your kettle and make cleaning it a real chore. The limescale forms when hard water is heated. Carbon dioxide in the water evaporates and leaves behind calcium carbonate deposits. So that’s the science behind why your appliances get furred up with chalky stuff, but how on earth do you clean it off?
The trick is to use a mild acidic solution to dissolve the hard deposits. This helps them to disappear into water, and once you’ve rinsed thoroughly your appliances will be good to go.
All-Natural Cleaning Solutions
You can use lemon juice or vinegar, but one of the best things is powdered citric acid. It’s very cheap, safe, and won’t make your kettle smell like vinegar does. If you don’t have citric acid to hand and want to descale your kettle right away, try the vinegar method. Dilute vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio – 1 cup of vinegar to one cup of water etc. Leave it for at least an hour, then tip the vinegar out and rinse thoroughly. If there is limescale left on, wipe it down with a little bit of bicarbonate of soda on a damp cloth. Be sure to unplug your kettle before you do this. Rinse your kettle out at least 5 times before you use it again. To use lemon or lime juice, mix 30mls of juice with 500ml of water. Boil the kettle, and then tip the water out before it cools. Rinse out with several changes of water before you use it again.
How to Use Citric Acid
You can bulk-buy food-grade citric acid from Amazon for less than ten pounds. If you’re into home canning and preserving you may already have some in the house, as it’s used as a preservative. You need about 1 teaspoon of citric acid powder for every cup of warm water, 4 teaspoons for every litre. Stir it up until it dissolves, then pour it into your kettle, cover and leave for at least twenty minutes. If you want to clean your coffee maker, you can run the solution through it then flush it through with clean water. If the scale is stubborn, you may need to give your kettle a gentle scrub, but usually you don’t need to do that unless the build-up is very thick. You can also run a solution through your washing machine every so often to remove limescale build-up inside. It’s cheaper than buying special washing machine cleaners that claim to remove limescale, and it could help your machine to last longer.
The solution to a sparkling clean kettle and other household appliances is as simple as that. Try it when you have a spare twenty minutes and you won’t have to cringe in horror every time you open the lid of the kettle to fill it!