How to remove kettle limescale without vinegar: All you need is one cheap and natural item

Nothing ruins a cup of tea more than finding chunky white flakes in your brew, but there is a simple way to get rid of kettle limescale that only takes 15 minutes.

When water boils, minerals can dissolve and become limescale, a harmless but annoying substance that will form a crusty residue at the bottom of a kettle. 

Limescale can affect the taste of a cup of tea plus over time will cover the heating element of a kettle and eventually damage it so it is best to clean it as soon as you notice it.

White vinegar is often recommended to descale a kettle but it is very pungent and a kettle will need to be thoroughly rinsed after using vinegar otherwise it will leave a horrible aftertaste.

One tea enthusiast took to Reddit and asked if there was a better solution to clean away the kettle limescale than vinegar as it was not very effective for them.

They wrote: “I got this kettle around 10 months ago and yes, didn’t realize that using it for so long without consistent de-scaling will make the limescale harder to clean off.

“Poured a white vinegar and water mixture to sit overnight which did remove some of it, but there is still a ring of light brown spots there. I’ve tried pouring some more white vinegar and boiling it a few times over, trying to clean off the rest of the limescale with paper towels, etc. It’s not going away altogether.”

Instead, it turns out the best way to descale a kettle is citric acid, an organic acid found in lemons, lime and oranges which can naturally dissolve limescale.

The top comment said: “A spoonful of citric acid with a bit of water, boil for a few minutes, rinse very well several times to wash out the lemon flavour. Done!”

Limescale is mainly up of a compound called calcium carbonate and when it reacts to the citric acid it neutralises and becomes incredibly easy to simply wipe away.

All you have to do is dissolve a few tablespoons of citric acid powder in a mug of water, and mix until it fully dissolves.

Pour the citric acid solution into the kettle, making sure it covers the crusty limescale deposits and then boil the kettle at heating to accelerate the reaction.

Leave the kettle alone for at least 15 minutes or longer for the citric acid to fully react to the limescale.

Once the time is up, pour the solution out and give the kettle a quick rinse with fresh water, and easily wipe away any limescale that remains.

Your kettle should be sparkling clean and completely rid of limescale, but for very heavy limescale build up you may need to repeat this process a few times.

Citric acid is a natural and cheap way to remove all sorts of limescale build-up around the home as a pack only costs £2 at Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury while being £2.25 at B&Q.

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