Over time your kettle will get a build up of lime scale. It’s that chalky layer that forms over the heating element in the kettle and prevents it from heating the water effectively.
There are a couple of issues with this — the lime scale means your kettle takes longer to boil, it wastes electricity because the scale stops it from getting to the right temperature, and if the element burns out you’re in for a new kettle. Perhaps worse is that the lime scale can break free of the element and float in the water, meaning it might just end up in your cup of tea or coffee. Yuck!
If you open your kettle and find it looking a bit unsightly, follow these simple steps to get it looking schmick (and save yourself some money along the way).
Fill the kettle half full using a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Bring the solution to the boil and allow the kettle to switch off. Unplug the kettle and let the solution sit in the kettle for around 30 minutes.
Pour out the vinegar solution and rinse the kettle with clear water. Don’t get the electrical element wet.
Once you’ve rid your kettle of all traces of lime scale and vinegar, give it a wipe with a damp cloth and leave it to air dry. If your kettle is one of the stainless steel varieties, use a soft cloth in a little olive oil and wipe this over the outside surface, which polishes the kettle and makes it shine.
When the kettle is completely dry, plug it in, fill it 3/4 full of water and boil. Discard the boiled water (great for watering any potted plants once cool).
Voila, your kettle is now clean and ready for use.