How to Clean an Electric Kettle in Under 5 Minutes (Because Yes, You *Do* Need to)

updated Feb 1, 2024
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Whether you’re a coffee person (hi, friends!) or a tea person, there’s nothing like a steaming cup of brew to start your morning — or pick up your afternoon. 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 there’s just one roadblock: How exactly do you clean an electric kettle?

After months of use, the interior tends to build up mineral deposits from the water you’re using, and it’s worth taking the time to give it a thorough clean. Of course, like any other kitchen staple, there are dos and don’ts you’ll need to know before you get started. Here’s how to clean an electric kettle in seven simple steps.

How to Clean an Electric Kettle

What You’ll Need

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


Credit: Joe Lingeman
  1. Mix the solution: Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a measuring cup.
Credit: Joe Lingeman

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.)

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Turn on the kettle: Let the solution boil, then turn the kettle off, unplug it, and let it cool.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Clean the outside of the kettle: Dip your microfiber cloth into the mixture and use it to wipe the exterior of the kettle.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Scrub the inside: Use the brush to give the inside a scrub. Make sure you get all the corners and edges!

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. Rinse: Pour out the solution. Rinse with water and pour out.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

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!