Many people use an electric kettle to quickly boil water for tea and coffee. It also comes in handy for heating water when preparing oatmeal, instant noodles, instant soup, hot chocolate and anything else that requires hot water to be added to it.

However, when it comes to cleaning, this popular kitchen equipment is often neglected.


clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

With frequent and regular use, a milky white deposit called limescale can build up inside the kettle. In addition to having an unpleasant appearance, this layer of limescale lengthens the time it takes to boil water and shortens your kettle’s lifespan.

Cleaning a kettle can be a challenging task, and scrubbing alone won't rid your kettle of limescale. But instead of using commercial de-scaling products, it is possible to naturally clean limescale from your stainless steel electric kettle.

Steps for Cleaning Limescale from Your Stainless Steel Electric Kettle

Things you’ll need:


clean electric kettle thingsneed

  • Distilled water
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Paper towel
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Soft non-metallic scrub
  • Dry soft cloth

Step 1. Pour distilled water and vinegar in the kettle

pour distilled water and vinegar to clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

Taking the "maximum water capacity" mark on the kettle as the highest limit, fill your kettle halfway with distilled water. Add an equal amount of white vinegar. The solution should not exceed the "maximum water capacity" mark.

White vinegar contains acetic acid that will help loosen the limescale. It also has cleaning and de-scaling properties.

The distilled water does not contain any minerals and will not leave any water marks.

Step 2. Allow the solution to soak

clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle


After filling the kettle with vinegar and distilled water,  set it aside for an hour. There is no need for boiling the solution at this stage.

If the kettle is extremely dirty, increase the soaking time by another 30 minutes.

Step 3. Boil the solution

boil the solution to clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

After an hour of soaking the kettle, boil the solution.


After boiling, allow the warm vinegar-water solution to sit in the kettle for another 20 to 30 minutes. This will further loosen the limescale.

Depending upon the amount of limescale on your kettle, you may discard the solution after 20-30 minutes and repeat the first three steps 2-3 times to ensure you loosen up all the limescale.

Step 4. Clean the inside with a soft toothbrush

clean the inside with soft toothbrush to clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

Using an old, soft toothbrush, gently scrub off the limescale. Apply a bit of extra effort to clean particularly stubborn spots, if needed. However, you must avoid scrubbing vigorously to avoid damaging the special coating inside the kettle.

Next, empty the kettle and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Do so 2-3 times, if needed.

Step 5. Boil water with lemon pieces

boil water with lemon pieces to clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle


While white vinegar is great at removing limescale, it is likely to leave a sharp and acidic odor in your kettle. To get rid of this smell, fill the kettle with clean water and add lemon pieces of 2-3 lemons to it.

Once again, bring the water to a boil, and keep it aside to cool.

Not only does lemon effectively mask the smell of vinegar, it also helps remove any remaining buildup inside the kettle.

Step 6. Empty the kettle and rinse with clean water again

empty the kettle and rinse with clean water to clean electric kettle

After the water cools down completely, empty the kettle and rinse it again with clean water a couple of times. Your kettle will be smelling nice and lemon-y by this point.

Step 7. Wipe the inner surface

wipe the inner surface to clean limescale from electric kettle

Once the interior is clean, wipe the inside of the kettle with a clean cloth and leave it open to dry. This will prevent the formation of water marks on the inner surface.

Step 8. Clean the exterior with white vinegar

clean the exterior to clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

Next, shift your focus to the exterior of the kettle, which also gets quite dirty after regular use. If the outer surface is made of stainless steel, use undiluted white vinegar to clean it.

Soak a cloth in white vinegar and wipe the outer stainless surface with it. Vinegar will help remove dirt and fingerprints.

Make sure not to use any kind of liquid on the bottom of the kettle where the electric socket is located. Getting liquid in or around that area can damage the functionality of the kettle.

Step 9. Use dish soap for final cleaning

use dish soap for cleaning to clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

To finish cleaning the outside of the kettle, use any mild dish-washing liquid. Dish soap is one of the most versatile cleaners in your arsenal.


Put a few drops of the dish-washing liquid on a non-metallic scrubbing pad and use it to clean the outer surface. Work in the direction of the steel’s finish so you don’t scratch it.

Again, avoid cleaning the bottom of the kettle with liquid.

Step 10. Wipe with a damp cloth

wipe with a damp cloth to clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

To get rid of the soapy residue, wipe down the outside of the kettle with a damp cloth. Soak a clean cloth in a bit of water and gently wipe it down the kettle.

Step 11. Buff with olive oil

buff with olive oil to clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

Finally, dip a paper towel in a bit of olive oil and rub the outer surface of your kettle with it. Olive oil will add shine to the stainless steel surface of your kettle and enhance its appearance.

Instead of olive oil, you may also use baby oil for buffing.

Your clean electric kettle is ready for use now.

If the water you're boiling after the cleaning process smells like vinegar or lemon, simply boil some fresh water in the kettle a couple of times until the smell fades and you get odor-less boiled water for use in food and beverages.

clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

Additional Tips:

  • If you have only a little bit of limescale in your kettle, you can use a small amount of baking soda and gently rub the insides of the kettle with it using a damp cloth, before rinsing it out with water a few times.
  • Do not use malt vinegar as it is unsuitable for cleaning.
  • Always unplug your electric kettle before cleaning it.
  • Empty your kettle after each use and wipe down the interior with a clean cloth.
  • Do not immerse your kettle in water as doing so can damage the electric socket.
  • Wipe down the exterior surface once or twice a week to keep it clean and shiny.
  • Use this cleaning method once every couple of months. If you live in an area that gets a supply of hard water, you may need to clean your kettle more frequently.

Summary of How to Clean Limescale from Your Stainless Steel Electric Kettle:

how to clean limescale from stainless steel electric kettle

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