18th July 2016
Tired of dealing with limescale in your kettle? The white residue that you can often see in kettles is limescale, caused by hard water. This can not only spoil your drink, but also shorten the life of your kettle, eating away at the elements and creating corrosion. Luckily, limescale can be removed, and there are also ways to completely prevent limescale in kettles.
Limescale build-up is caused by hard water, which is rich in minerals such as calcium and magnesium. To test if you have hard water, try a quick home soap lather test. Put a small amount of soap into a water bottle and fill half way with water. Shake the bottle vigorously. If you have frothy, bubbly water, chances are you have soft water. If you have cloudy milky water and dull bubbles most likely you have hard water. If you suspect you have hard water, you can get a more advanced water test kit at any DIY store to check the accurate hardness of your water.
If you have already spotted residue forming and you would like to remove the limescale from your kettle, there are some simple (yet temporary) fixes to cleaning the residue out. You can clean your kettle with vinegar, by boiling the kettle with a solution ½ vinegar and ½ water, and then giving the areas with limescale a scrub. You can also use citric acid, like lime juice, or baking soda. However, remember, using kettle descalers does not prevent limescale from reappearing.
There is also a misconception that using bottled water can help in preventing limescale – this is false, as bottled water still contains minerals. Soft water is the best long-term problem solver.
Limescale in kettle occurs where mineral-rich hard water sits and eventually evaporates, leaving a build-up of minerals behind. You can prevent limescale in kettle by simply rinsing out your kettle after each use and drying it thoroughly.
If you are looking for a more convenient, long-term solution, you should consider purchasing a water softener, which will transform hard water into soft water by removing problematic minerals from the water, and reducing build-up. Soft water also improves the taste of your drinks, as hard water often has an unpleasant metallic taste – this is an added benefit!
Limescale in your kettle or on your taps is often the most obvious symptom of a bigger problem caused by hard water in your house. Soft water will also help prevent white stains on your dishes and glassware, and prolong the life of other home appliances that use water, such as such as your coffee maker, dishwasher, iron, washing machine, water heater and so on.