Brits have high standards when it comes to drinking tea, and drinking one made in a kettle covered in limescale is not one of them. Limescale build-up is a common nuisance in homes and can be found wherever water is regularly used, including taps, showerheads, toilets and kettles.
Cleaning limescale is one of the most frustrating cleaning challenges in the home and can build up quickly before you even have a chance to notice.
Limescale is caused by diluted minerals, such as magnesium and calcium carbonate, which crystallise and form limescale on surfaces.
It’s easy to spot – white, hard build-up on the inside and on the spout of your kettle.
The inside of your kettle is likely to be full of limescale if you haven’t cleaned it in a while, and even new kettles won’t be able to avoid the problem forever.
Those with steel kettles are also likely to have more of a problem with limescale in the kettle, as the interior sides are also sites for build-up, as well as the heating plate on the bottom of the kettle.
Limescale also occurs more frequently in places with a hard water supply.
Research conducted by Magnet found the 15 percent of homes in the UK have never descaled their kettle – which is astonishing when you consider that UK gets through 100 million cuts of tea every day in the UK, according to the International Tea Committee.
The limescale inside should come away easily with the pour, but if it doesn’t, wipe down the inside to get rid of any residue.
Make sure the kettle has cooled down before wiping inside to avoid burning yourself.
If the limescale doesn’t come away due to a particularly heavy build-up, repeat the process until it comes away.
Rinse the kettle several times with clean water to get rid of any leftover vinegar which could cause an unpleasant taste in your next cup of tea.
For best results, descale your kettle every six to eight weeks – the longer you leave limescale, the harder it is to get rid of.
Don’t forget that as well as the inside of the kettle, the outside could do with some cleaning too.
Vinegar is great for cleaning stainless steel as it helps to get rid of unsightly streaks.
Spray some onto the outside of the kettle and rub down with a dry, clean cloth, to keep it sparkling.
If your kettle is plastic, it’s safe and efficient to use normal non-bleach surface cleaner.