How to clean a kettle with lemon, vinegar and other easy-to-implement methods

Give your kitchen kettle the once-over and get it sparkling

If you live in a hard-water area, limescale will gradually fur up the heating element of your kettle and it’ll take longer to boil.

More kettle know-how: Best kettles – the top models for the perfect cup of tea in a flash

From using a shop-bought cleaner or a natural method, we show you the best ways to clean your kettle.

How to clean a kettle of limescale

You'll have to use your eye as a guide as to how often you will need to descale your kettle. As a general rule applying one of the cleaning methods below once every three months should keep your kettle in tip top shape and ensure your morning cuppa is as clear as can be.

How to clean a kettle with vinegar

vinegar spray with lemon

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

White vinegar can be used to clean many things, but did you know that your kettle is one of them? Just follow the steps below for amazing results:

  • Using equal parts water and white vinegar, fill the kettle three quarters full.
  • Bring to the boil and allow to cool.
  • Drain the water, rinse several times.
  • Boil again so there’s no aftertaste.

How to clean a kettle with lemon

with lemon chopping borad

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

The most unexpected products can be used in your home. And lemon, is just one of them. This fruit is high in citric acid, making it a powerful cleaning agent, ideal for kettles that have seen better days. It is also a favourite method of cleaning expert Lynsey Queen of Clean. Here is the technique she uses for descaling her kettle

  • Fill the kettle half full with lemon juice. You can pick up a bottle in the cleaning aisle.
  • Fill the rest of the kettle up with water.
  • Boil it and let it sit for 30 minutes until the limescale starts to dislodge.
  • Pour out the lemon and water, and rinse.

For kettles that haven’t be descaled in a long time, you may need to repeat this process a few times to get rid of most of the limescale. Alternatively, you can leave the vinegar to soak as well.

'Both of those work extremely well, and you just pour it away and the limescale bits from the bottom just come away in big chunks, so it's quite satisfying to see,' adds Lynsey.

Related: How to clean a microwave with lemon, washing-up liquid, baking soda and more

How to clean the outside of your kettle

metal kettle with tea bag

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Don't forget to give the exterior of your kettle a little cleaning TLC as well, as that's the part you'll see every day as you make your favourite hot drinks.

  • Use a multi-surface cleaner to clean the outside if you have a stainless steel kettle.
  • Then a dab of baby oil on some kitchen roll will buff it to a streak free shine, or use a specialist stainless steal cleaner.

Will you be trying one of these methods for a spotless kettle, inside and out?