How To Clean an Electric Kettle

updated Mar 5, 2021
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

These days a lot of my friends are off coffee — or at the very least, they sneak in that one espresso in the morning and then it’s all about tea for the rest of the day. And while I grew up boiling water for tea in a measuring cup in the microwave (don’t judge!), I know that a far superior way to do it is to use an electric tea kettle. It’s amazing how quick they can be!

But after months of use, electric kettles can build up mineral deposits from the water you’re using. It’s worth taking the time to give it a thorough clean. Of course, you don’t want to clean it with anything that’s not food-safe or that will be too harsh. Here’s how to clean an electric kettle.

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Mix the solution: Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a measuring cup. (Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How To Clean an Electric Kettle

What You Need

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water
  • Scrubby brush (like a bottle brush)
  • Microfiber cloth


  1. Mix the solution: Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a measuring cup.
  2. Pour it into the kettle: Pour the mixture into the kettle. Of course, you could pour the vinegar and water directly into the kettle, but if you don’t want to eyeball it, one extra step isn’t so bad.
  3. Turn on the kettle: Let the solution boil, then turn the kettle off, unplug it, and let it cool.
  4. Clean the outside of the kettle: Dip your microfiber cloth into the mixture and use it to wipe the exterior of the kettle.
  5. Scrub the inside: Use the brush to give the inside a scrub. Make sure you get all the corners!
  6. Rinse: Pour out the solution. Rinse with water and pour out.
  7. Run a plain water cycle: Boil a pot of plain water once or twice and dump it. This will remove any remaining vinegar odor or taste. Plus, the hot water is good for your drain!