It might sound like I’m jumping on the natural cleaning bandwagon but I’ve actually cleaned with vinegar, lemon and even just a bottle of lemon juice for years. Why do I love these natural products for cleaning? Because often I see the results without putting much effort in. Descaling a kettle with vinegar or lemon is exactly this.
We had to buy a new kettle last year and I went for a lovely shiny glass Russell Hobbs jug kettle. It lights up blue when it boils and just looked lovely and clean. Anyway fast forward a couple of weeks and I was shocked at the limescale building up on the base. As the kettle is glass, the limescale is visible for all to see.
Because this limescale is now so obvious, every couple of weeks I pop either some vinegar in or lemon and watch it clean itself.
Descaling my kettle with vinegar in the video literally took less than 5 minutes to do. And in that 5 minutes I don’t actually have to do anything, usually I’m fussing over the kids and making their dinner or something. Do I scrub it, or even wipe it? Nope. I just watch it and maybe swirl it if I’m near by. Then rinse the vinegar out and bobs your uncle, job done. Sometimes a quick wipe helps and like with my old kettle if it has very thick limescale I’d suggest leaving it for an hour and boiling it seems to help too.
I do swirl the kettle out with water a few times after as I don’t really want vinegar tasting tea, but again that’s seconds of ‘work’.
If you try this remember if you do scrub or wipe the inside use a non-abrasive cloth/sponge and don’t scrub the heating element as you don’t want to damage it. Also this is just the process I use to clean my glass kettle, and I’m no expert in this if it doesn’t work or has any other effects.
How to descale your kettle with vinegar…
1. First I remove the filter in the spout
2. Pour in vinegar (distilled vinegar is best, but I’ve used usual malt before!)
If your limescale goes higher up the sides use a 50/50 mixture of vinegar + water
3. Leave it to sit and watch the limescale disappear*
May be instant, but may take a few minutes, or an hour if the limescale is very thick or hard to see i.e. not a glass kettle)
4. Swirl the kettle a few times to see even more disappear, then let it sit a while longer
5. Pour the vinegar out and rinse the kettle out with water
You can also use the vinegar to wipe away limescale on the spout – dab it on, then wipe away.
I also usually rinse water through the filter at the same time as doing this.
* if the limescale isn’t lifting try boiling the kettle (make sure there’s enough water in, past the minimum boiling level, add some more water if not). You’ll need to let it cool if you do this.
It’s such a drastic improvement for all of a few seconds of actually doing anything I get a lovely sparkling clean kettle. Seriously, it might be sad but it’s results like this, that make me smile.
Natural cleaning with lemon and vinegar
You can also use lemon to descale your kettle, taps, and anything else water reaches!
I’ve shown before how you can use vinegar to clean shower heads and shower screens. You can also buy vinegar shower cleaners in spray bottles for less than £1, yes, even in Waitrose! I swore by the Waitrose version before I twigged it was basically just vinegar.