How to clean your kettle

Cleaning your kettle

The inner chimney of your kettle should not need to be cleaned (I have never cleaned my own kettle which is now over 20yrs old).  We find that the soot tends to dry up and flake off over time and it never really builds up to such an extent that it hinders the performance of the kettle.
Dry hardwoods burn very clean and leave little or no residue.  On the other hand however, pine cones can be quite waxy and can leave a sticky residue on the inner chimney wall of the kettle.
If ever you felt that it needed a slight cleaning then:

  • If you need to scrub the chimney walls or the outside of the kettle, use a nylon or plastic scrubber and soapy warm water can be used to gently clean the chimney.....although this may require some elbow power!
  • A tip we heard was to spray it with WD40, let it soak for a while and then wipe it off!
  • Another easy sounding idea is to spray on oven cleaner ...then simply wipe off later with paper towels! (Thanks for the tip Dave)  CARE: Please use the appropriate Cleaner for your make of Kettle i.e. Aluminium or Stainless Steel.  If you use a cleaner that is not suitable for the metal of your kettle, it may cause corrision.  

Of course, I could be accused of been lazy for not cleaning my own kettle but ..... Mark Marshall in the U.S. kindly wrote in and pointed out that heat is infrared electromagnetic energy which is absorbed better by a black surface than a reflective one.  So, it is quite possible that a slightly sooty chimney actually helps the kettle heat more quickly and efficiently....than a clean one!  The sooty chimney certainly adds character to ones kettle!  :-)

To clean inside the water chamber:
Aluminium Kettles:
you can add 1-2 cups of white distilled vinegar to the water in the chamber. Bring the mixture to the boil, then allow it to sit and cool in the kettle for a couple of hours. Discard the mixture, rinse the kettle and boil again with water. Discard this boil also. Your kettle should now be clean. If not fully clean or if limescale is particularly heavy - simply repeat the steps above.
Stainless Steel Kettles: For a quick clean, introduce a small bit of washing up liquid and boil the kettle. Then discard and rinse. You can also put a small piece of a dishwasher tablet into the water and boil it up. Rinse well before use and you should be good to go! This usually leaves the water chamber spotless.