Scale refers to a hard gray substance that forms at the spout or base of a kettle. It is formed in kettles by evaporated hard water. The scale is dangerous to our kettles because it can damage them and can make them inefficient. Descaling refers to the process of getting rid of the scale.
Why is it important to descale
To prevent the breakdown of the kettle and to make it more efficient. The scale blocks the spout of the kettle decreasing the speed taken to pour water from the kettle and also causes the kettle to switch itself off before boiling point is reached. By descaling, the kettle working speed is retained and water in the kettle boils until the boiling point is reached.
Descaling regularly helps in reducing bacterial diseases. The chemicals forming scale can mix with the water, therefore, making it infested with bacteria that may cause diseases to people using it. Descaling helps in eliminating these bacteria. It is also advisable to disinfect during descaling to stop the growth of those bacterias.
Helps in energy, time and money saving.
Less energy and time are used in heating the required water and therefore the cost of electricity bill does not get too high.
That being said and done, follow the following steps to descale your kettle
Identify that your kettle has scale.
You can conclude that your kettle has scale if it keeps switching itself off before boiling point is reached. Likewise, scale can be noticed as an accumulation of gray hard substance at the spout of your kettle.
Choose which ingredients to use for descaling
You can use a commercial descaler which is often packaged as a paste or powder. However, some cheaper and equally effective alternatives exist. These include the use of citric acid and white vinegar.
Pour the mixture into the kettle
Some commercial descalers require being mixed with water. Others can be used directly. Put the recommended amount in the kettle. In the case of vinegar, mix with one part water and one part vinegar.
Leave your mixture for about one hour in the kettle without any application of heat. This will loosen the scale that is attached to the base or spout of the kettle.
Pour out your mixture from the kettle. Most of the scale will come off. If any scale is observable, wipe it off with a damp cloth with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
Then, rinse off with a generous amount of water for at least 4 times.
If you choose to use lemon, make a mixture of 1-ounce lemons with two cups of water. Then put in the kettle and bring to a boil. Pour out while still hot and rinse off with fresh water.