Getting that Electric Kettle clean

Recently purchased a new electric kettle . Read the instruction booklet etc and got to the part about de scaling residues that built up from boiling water . They recommended a certain descaling product that I knew Bunnings stocked . Went to have a look at Bunnings and found out the main component of the descaler was citric acid . Was not cheap either . What I always do monthly with my Kettles to descale them is to cut a lemon into quarters , place them in the kettle , fill with water , boil , let sit for 20 minutes , empty out water , refill , boil again , tip out lemons and water , rinse out kettle . clean as new .
Be careful to read the instructions on the kettle it may have some components that re act to citric acid , lemons contain that , so use what the manufacturer recommends . Use as directed because some descalers contain some real “nasties” in them . I’ll stick to the humble lemon .


You can buy citric acid at supermarkets generally around the spices and salt section. Just add a teaspoon or 2 to the kettle when you want to descale. Also it can be used in making home made cordial.


Good point mate . You can use white vinegar too but tends to leave a bad after taste for awhile .

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Citric Acid is what I used as a professional small appliance repairer.

You will find it in the baking section of Woolworths or Coles, Very small container cheaper than a bag of lemons.

Fill kettle to its Max mark.
Bring to boil.
Disconnect from power and place kettle in Kitchen sink.
Use a teaspoon to a tablespoon in the very hot water and watch, the stain dissolves in a minute or two.
Tip the water out as soon as the stain goes i.e. about a minute or two, other wise if the kettle is copper,
with a chrome like lining, the the chrome will dissolve.

I clean my kitchen sink with it and toss in my stainless steel cutlery, experiment with it.
Google Citric Acid so you know what you are dealing with.

Cautionary Notes
Citric Acid looks like sugar, so make sure it is clearly labelled in your Kitchen cupboard.
Put it well out of the way of children as it can be catastrophic if consumed.
Citric acid is used in cooking so is safe in small doses, BUT is not eye friendly so treat with caution.


Thanks for that . I get lemons for free . Great fruit bearing tree but noticed yesterday at Coles lemons were $1.70 each . You are right . THe citric acid would be cheaper .


We use vinegar. Almost fill with water, add about a tablespoon of vinegar. Boil. Rinse. Fill & boil. Empty.

Doesn’t seem to have any residual flavour and the inside is as clean as a whistle.


We have a glass kettle so the scale really shows. Always used a lemon cut in quarters with enough water to cover the base. I don’t boil it but leave overnight (+8 hours). The kettle comes up as new the next morning.


Great idea . Will keep in mind ifI get a glass kettle .

I have a coffee machine and after I cleaned it I used the expelled solution to do the kettle as well. Worked like a treat and kettle came up like brand new.
The product used was bought in either Coles or Woolworths. Can’t remember which one but it was not citric acid (useless!) and it was pretty abrasive. You use the citric acid (= lemon juice!) after that treatment to clean away all traces of the toxic chemical in the product.


The post is about cleaning electric kettles not coffee machines . With those you should always use the manufacturers recommended cleaning procedure . Thanks for the input though .

Correct. If you buy the product discussed you will see it applies to coffee machines as well as kettles. In the end you have a the same issue on both appliances which needs to be removed. That is what ‘descaling’ is.

KK not a problem . Sorry for the misunderstanding .

Do you repair in the Frankston area. I bought a soup maker via TV and didn’t use it for ages. ie out of warranty. when I did try to use it, zilch happened. Thank you for your hint, I will use that citric acid trick on my kettle. Happy New Year.

Hi Margeret I am now retired living a little South of Canberra.

I just re boil with fresh water and throw that water out and no problems with vinegar , just use a good splash in kettle, Fantastic.


same, vinegar works a treat!

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I only use rainwater when boiling the kettle. I also only need to descale my kettle once a year!

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when i have old lemons i know i won’t use i squeeze them and freeze the juice 1 or 2 cubes in the kettle then boil leave for an hour or 2 or overnight and kettle is clean and ready to go

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I use vinegar as mentioned by others, 1/2 to 1 cup vinegar and fill the kettle with water. Then when the kettle has boiled with the vinegar added, I take it outside and pour the boiling vinegar water on weeds growing in the brick paving, the weeds are usually dead after one or two times of doing this, plus the kettle is clean, so reboil with plain water to get the taste of vinegar out.


When I clean my coffee machine I use the discarded cleaning agent in the kettle. Absolutely phenomenal. You can buy this in Woolies and Coles. Two sachets per packet and well worth the $6 or so it costs as you can clean many items with the one sachet. Only need to do once every couple of years.