Cleaning Tips For Belfast

How to descale your kettle safely

If you live in a hard water area, which let's face it, most of us do, you kettle, taps, sinks and pipes are liable to build up lime-scale deposits. These are made of calcium naturally occurring in the water. When it settles it clings and grows on itself like stalagmites and stalactites. The effect is ultimately to block pipes and stop appliances that use water working correctly, this may include washing machines, kettles, water filters and even tap diffusers.

Calcium is a hard substance and with enough present, it can require chipping away with an old knife or screwdriver. These days there are products on the market especially for descaling kettles, but they are expensive and one of those products where we don't really understand what chemicals are in them. For me, I'm worried about these chemicals, something that is strong enough to eat my lime-scale and then I'm going to drink a cup of tea from the kettle, is not a pleasant thought.

Something more palatable is required. Instead of these chemical based cleaners ( which may be ok in washing machines where I'm not going to consume the contents ) I prefer to use something I can trust more. The best and safest thing I have found is a mix of water and white vinegar - not malt vinegar but white vinegar. These should be mixed in a 50/50 ratio and left to soak over-night in the kettle. In the morning the lime-scale is usually all gone, the kettle will need a good wash out to remove any trace of the vinegar taste and smell, but once done the kettle will produce much better tasting cups of tea and coffee. Furthermore as the element will be free of lime-scale, it will work more efficiently and boil the kettle quicker. Of course this means that as the kettle boils quicker, it uses less power, meaning you get less to pay on your electric bills. You would be surprised how much kettles contribute to your electric bill, they use a lot of power and if like me you're always with a cup of tea on the go, it can really mount up.