Sunday, 14 July 2013

Easy peasy kettle cleaner

If you live in a hard water area like I do, you'll probably suffer from limescale build up in your kettle.  It's unsightly, and causes the kettle to be less efficient.  You could of course buy one of the nasty commercial descalers, containing who knows what yucky chemicals, but there's an easy homemade descaler that works brilliantly.  Citric acid.  And if you can't find any locally from a home-brew shop, try eBay, which is where I bulk buy mine from.

Simply boil a half to three-quarters full kettle of water, then carefully add a couple of tablespoons of citric acid, then leave it for 15 minutes or so and check back to see whether all the limescale has dissolved or not.  If it hasn't, and you can't see any small bubbles rising from the water, then your solution is probably saturated and you'll need to add a bit more.  Keep checking back until it's all dissolved, and if necessary, reheat the water to almost boiling point and add a bit more citric acid.

If you want to turn this into an interesting home-ed science experiment, then you can (carefully) leave the kettle lid open and stand back and watch the limescale dissolve.  Of course children should never be left unsupervised near hot liquids, and it's entirely at your own risk whether you choose to observe this simple chemical reaction or not.

Either way, you'll end up with a super duper clean kettle.

While I was descaling the kettle, one of these landed on the cupboard door, and I managed to dissuade the cat from trying to catch it long enough for me to grab a photo of it.  Just be grateful I didn't remember to take a "before" shot of the kettle.  It was really acky.

Anyone know what type of moth this is?  It looks very like a flying leaf with legs and antennae.

Until next time.


  1. I normally use white vinegar but will give this a try later, I have citric acid in stock for Elderflower cordial.

    1. We've tried the vinegar method, but it's a bit "vigorous" and my housemate managed to blow up the toaster when he wasn't quick enough and let the kettle boil over into it. Citric acid is gentler and just as effective, and saves on replacement toasters ;)


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