The office kettle is one of the most used appliances in the workplace and considering the large volumes of hot drinks we consume, it’s important to keep this clean.

Hard water areas cover over 60% of the UK and London is classed as one of the ‘hardest’ areas. This means kettles are prone to limescale buildup, commercial cleaning London specialists are used to having to deal with this but if you don’t have the benefit of this service, it’s important to know how to deal with it before it gets too late.

What Is Limescale?

Limescale is a chalky substance that is deposited by water along pipelines and can build up into hard fragments in our kettle and other appliances.

The higher the deposits, the harder the water is and this varies throughout the country.

Thankfully, there are no bad health implications from limescale, but it can impact the taste and enjoyment of our morning brew.

Most modern kettles have some form of limescale prevention built into them, usually a metal base plate, but this isn’t a fool-proof solution, it simply prolongs your kettle’s life that little bit longer.

If the issue gets too bad, it can also impact the performance of our appliances so it’s important to address the issue early on to reduce the cost and waste of purchasing a new kettle. This is why it’s crucial to know how to clean a kettle with limescale.

How To Descale A Kettle

So, how do you descale a kettle? There are lots of descaling products on the market and these are great. However, they often prevent use of the kettle for a while due to chemicals having to be removed afterwards. This isn’t great for a busy office with a lot of traffic, the prevention of morning caffeine can cause a lot of upset.

Also, local supermarkets don’t always have these products in stock, below we will show you how to clean limescale out of a kettle with common household items. This makes the process easier and quicker as you don’t have to worry about removing any chemicals before enjoying a cuppa.

It’s also just one of the small steps your office can make towards green cleaning.


Knowing how to clean the inside of a kettle with vinegar can be hugely beneficial to your kettle. It’s an ingredient that is easy to get hold of and won’t do any harm if accidentally ingested.

Simply fill your kettle with a mix of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water and leave to soak overnight. In the morning, the limescale will have broken down and will be easy to pour out.

Rinse thoroughly to remove any vinegar residue and it’s ready to go, how to descale a kettle with vinegar is as easy as that!

Top tip- unplug the kettle at night and leave a note saying not to use it, early morning workers may accidentally use it and be in for an interesting cup of coffee if not.


If you don’t have time to descale overnight, knowing how to descale a kettle with lemon can be a lifesaver, especially if you have visitors to the office who will definitely be wanting a cup of tea or coffee.

Take 30ml lemon juice, fresh or bottled, and mix with 500ml of water. For larger kettles, you can scale these measurements up. Remove any water in the kettle already and pour the lemon mixture into it, leave for an hour then bring to the boil.

After boiling, pour this away, rinse out and boil again. Repeat this process until all scent of lemon has gone.

Baking Soda

This is the quickest way to descale a kettle and as baking soda has such a long shelf life, it can also be the most economical, read on to find out how to descale your kettle with baking soda.

Fill your kettle with water and mix a teaspoon of baking soda within, use two teaspoons for large kettles. Then boil your kettle and let the hot solution rest in the kettle for 20 minutes.

Pour away and rinse the kettle thoroughly with cold water, repeat if needed.

How Often Should You Descale a Kettle?

This can vary depending on how much use your kettle gets and how hard the water is in your area. The average is every 4-8 weeks, however, if you see limescale beginning to build up or is particularly noticeable in your mug, you should do this more often.

How To Prevent Limescale

The most effective way to prevent limescale in a kettle is to use a water softener, this is often installed with the main pipes so your tap water has already been treated.

This can be costly, so another method is using filtered water, you can purchase water filters and fill them up at the beginning of each day for specific use in the kettle, this won’t stop limescale completely but will certainly help.

We often refill the kettle after making our cup of tea out of politeness for the next user. This is actually contributing to limescale as this water sits within the kettle for longer. It’s best to completely empty the kettle after each use and only fill up as much as we need when boiling.

Cleaning The Outside of a Kettle

The outside of a kettle if often forgotten about but it still needs to be given attention, especially as so many hands touch it. Wipe down the sides, handle and lid regularly with an all-purpose cleaner or antibacterial wipes.

Steel kettles should be polished to prevent watermarks and an unsightly appliance, a little known trick is olive oil.

Use a little olive oil with a soft cloth and polish in circular motions. Wipe with a clean cloth in the same way to remove residue.

You should now have a comprehensive idea of how to look after your kettle, keep it free of limescale and make sure every last drop of tea and coffee has it’s best taste potential- a crucial factor in every office!