How to Clean an Electric Kettle

Cleaning an electric kettle regularly is important to keep it functioning properly and safely. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to effectively clean an electric kettle.

Why Clean an Electric Kettle

There are a few key reasons why you should clean your electric kettle regularly:

  • Removes mineral deposits – Hard water can leave behind calcium and magnesium deposits over time. If left unchecked, these mineral deposits can scale your kettle and impact its heating efficiency.
  • Prevents bacterial growth – The moist, warm environment of a kettle can allow bacteria and mold to grow, especially if you don’t empty out all the water after each use. Regular cleaning helps inhibit their growth.
  • Improves taste – Mineral deposits and bacteria can make your water taste unpleasant. Cleaning keeps your water tasting fresh.
  • Extends lifespan – Allowing mineral scale and bacteria accumulation to go unchecked can shorten the life of your kettle. Regular cleaning helps preserve its lifespan.
  • Safety – Mineral scale on the interior heating element can be a fire hazard. Proper cleaning reduces the risk of overheating.

So don’t neglect cleaning your electric kettle! Follow the simple steps below to keep it in tip-top shape.

Supplies Needed

Gather the following supplies before getting started:

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Water
  • Spoon or small spatula
  • Small cleaning brush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Baking soda (optional)

Make sure the kettle is unplugged and completely cool before cleaning.

Step 1: Descaling with Vinegar

The acidity in white vinegar breaks down mineral deposits and scale inside the kettle.

To descale:

  1. Fill the kettle with equal parts vinegar and water. The vinegar should cover the scaled areas.
  2. Bring the vinegar solution to a boil, then let it sit in the kettle for at least 30 minutes up to a few hours.
  3. After letting it sit, bring the vinegar solution to a boil again, then let cool.
  4. Once cooled down, discard the vinegar solution.

Step 2: Wipe and Rinse

Wipe down all interior surfaces with a soft microfiber cloth. Pay close attention to the spout and other nooks where mineral deposits accumulate.

Rinse the kettle 2-3 times with fresh water to remove any residual vinegar. Bring it to a boil and discard the water to eliminate lingering vinegary taste.

Step 3: Optional Baking Soda Scrub

For stubborn mineral buildup, make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply the paste to problem areas using a small spatula or toothbrush. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing clean with water.

The baking soda gives an abrasive scrub to hard water stains. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Step 4: Clean Exterior

Wipe down the kettle’s exterior with a damp microfiber cloth. Use a mild dish soap if needed for sticky surfaces.

Pay attention to the base to remove any mineral deposits around heating element openings.

Step 5: Air Dry and Reassemble

Allow the kettle to air dry fully before reconnecting any parts like the lid or filter.

You can use a clean microfiber cloth to gently dry the inside if needed. Ensure no moisture is left on heating element area.

How Often Should You Clean an Electric Kettle?

  • Clean the inside of your kettle every 1-2 weeks for light use.
  • Clean once a week if you use your kettle daily.
  • Clean immediately if you notice mineral buildup. Don’t let it go too long.
  • Give exterior wipe downs as needed when dirty.

FAQs About Cleaning Electric Kettles

How do you clean an electric kettle with baking soda?

Make a paste of baking soda and water and use a small brush or spatula to scrub problem areas. Let sit briefly before rinsing clean. The baking soda is a gentle abrasive for mineral deposits.

Can I use bleach to clean my kettle?

Bleach is too harsh and can damage the interior or leave a chemical taste/smell. Stick to gentler options like vinegar.

What removes tea stains from electric kettles?

The tannins in tea can leave behind stubborn stains. Make a solution of equal parts water and lemon juice and boil in the kettle to naturally break down stains.

Should you boil water before first use?

Yes, boil fresh cold water in a new kettle 2-3 times and discard to remove any manufacturing residue.

What if my kettle has mold inside?

Scrub the moldy areas with a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Rinse very thoroughly afterwards. Be sure to descale regularly to prevent mold growth.


By regularly cleaning your electric kettle with simple vinegar descaling and baking soda scrubbing, you can keep it operating at peak efficiency for years of reliable service. Pay close attention to hard water mineral deposits and tea staining for best results.

Deep clean the interior every 1-2 weeks and exterior as needed. Discard old water, rinse thoroughly, and let air dry completely before use. Take proper care of your kettle and it will take care of your morning coffee and tea for a long time!