Electric kettle limescale prevention

I currently am in need of advice. I love drinking tea at work, but the only way to get hot water is to use an electric kettle. I don’t know if it’s a cheap kettle or what, but I only get 5 uses out of it before limescale begins to form and float around in the water. I know about using vinegar to remove it, but I’d like to be able to go longer than a week without needing to do so. I’ve read that you can use a glass or steel marble to prevent build up (it’s supposed to attract the limescale so you just clean the marble instead of the kettle). However I am hesitant to just buy a glass or steel marble and start drinking water it’s boiled with. Does anyone have any experience with this method? Or maybe even a different method to prevent or slow limescale buildup? Any help would be appreciated, as I’m starting to go crazy from lack of tea…

30 Replies
mrmopar said

Garret at mandala has some cleaners for the kettles they sell that work pretty good. Try this link for them http://shopmandalatea.com/tea-wares/water-heaters/zojirushi-water-heater-cleaner-descaler.htm

Thank you, but that wouldn’t prevent the limescale, just clean it.

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darby select said

Are you able to bring in your own water? That would be the cause and it sounds like your work has really heavy minerals in it.

I could do that, but I don’t have any container to transport the water. Obviously I could just buy one, but, and I’m shamed to admit, I’ve never really made tea at home, so I don’t know if the water I have is any softer. I’ve read that sometimes magnets can help?

darby select said

I’d just buy a bottle of water and take that in…not sure where you’re at but they’re usually a dollar at the grocery.

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K S said

We have extremely hard water as well. The best prevention would probably be taking a jug of store bought drinking water to work. I don’t know if Brita type filters removes minerals.

What I do to minimize lime build up is to use only as much water as is immediately needed. I empty the kettle completely each time and leave the top of so the kettle can air dry between uses. This helps a lot.

Never tried the marble thing. I suppose if it didn’t shatter when boiled it couldn’t hurt anything. Would be interesting to see if it works. Bet it makes a racket.

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Will said

If you want less scale in your kettle, you’ll need to use water that doesn’t have as much mineral content / scale, whether that means pre-filtering better (to answer the question above, I doubt Brita / Pur pitcher type filters will remove much scale, though there are multistage filters that well), or bottled spring water with a lower amount of dissolved solids. I would not recommend using reverse-osmosis filtered or distilled water, though, which will have too few minerals.

I bring my own water to work (as our filtered water tastes awful); I use glass jugs that I bought from Specialty Bottle (I worried about leaching from using the same plastic gallon water jug over and over). The glass jugs work well, though they’re heavy and breakable.

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Dustin said

I’m staying at a place that has water that I don’t like the taste of so I bought a Brita water bottle to filter my water before putting it in my kettle. I’m not sure what all it filters out and if it would help the build up you are getting, but for $10 it might be worth a shot. It’s the size of a normal water bottle, so it’s more compact than a regular Brita pitcher. I fill it up and squeeze it into my kettle. Found mine at Target.

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James R said

I would recommend some bamboo charcoal. You can buy some at Yunnan Sourcing here http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/product.php?id_product=2178

Very interesting. Apparently it’s good for air quality and as a sleep aid as well.

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First, I want to thank you all for your advice. I have decided to buy water from the store and bring it in. I’m confident this water won’t cause the buildup as quickly as the water at my work.

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My kettle has started to develop white spots on the bottom (I’ve had it for a week or two now)…I thought it could just be dried water but they haven’t dissapeared after adding water. I don’t think it’s mold or limescale….anybody know?

Try boiling it with vinegar. I had a similar problem, I think, and that fixed it.

Is apple cider vinegar ok to use?

I would assume so. Try it and see? I can’t imagine it would have any negative effect.

It didn’t seem to work…

Lala said

It sounds like you have mineral deposits from hard water. If vinegar doesn’t work you might have to try something stronger like CLR.

Dinosara said

For others that might read this I did actually have success boiling undiluted white vinegar in my kettle to remove mineral deposits/lime scale. Not that that helps you, GiggleGoddess, but it does work in some cases.

It’s just weird cause our water is softened and shouldn’t be hard at all. I’ll have to take a photo of it sometime and ask my dad about the water filter/softener b/c it’s not the typical water softener.

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shannonRay said

Hi! This is great, and it’s $2.99 – it’s called a tea kettle descaler. It’s basically a small metal wire bundle that attracts the minerals and keeps them, for the most part, from depositing on your kettle. Best is to clean your kettle first with white vinegar and pure water – let it set over night / and or boil it. Then put the coil in. This solution is much cheaper than bottled water. Cheaper than bottled water. you can buy it on Amazon. or search for ‘metal kettle descaler’


That’s pretty cool. I think I’ll get one of those!

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Hey guys, I just wanted to say that I used to use vinegar but it took many many many boils to get rid of the taste so this time I used the juice of one lemon and it worked just as well. I boiled again with water to rinse out any remaining lemon. I haven’t used it yet for tea drinking after cleaning it so I don’t know if any lemon taste was left, but even if a hint of lemon flavor remains that much better than vinegar tasting water in my opinion.

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