Dear Home-Ec 101:
I have an electric water kettle that I’ve used for years. Since it can’t go in the dishwasher or even really be hand washed other than just rinsing it out, I am always careful to empty any leftover water out before I store it. My parents came to visit in July and apparently when the kettle was put away there was some water left in it which I just discovered last night. I dumped it out and wiped it out with soapy water and a sponge but there is still some residue on the bottom. I used it to boil water for instant gravy last night and the gravy tasted funny, not sure if it was the water or the gravy mix. What is the best product to use to get this residue out? Could I use a limescale remover (CLR, limeaway, etc.) or is that not safe? Normal soap & water scrubbing is not touching it.
Tail Over Teakettle
Rest assured, it was the gravy mix.
I kid, of course.
First – Please remember to unplug and let the electric kettle cool before cleaning.
In this case, I’d reach for Bar Keepers Friend®. It’s acidic like limescale removers, but it’s safe for contact with food surfaces. I know long time readers are probably tired of hearing of this product, but it’s cheap, easy to find (think Walmart near the Comet). I was once in one of those fancy cooking stores and I saw they had a small can of BKF and some sponges for $14. I nearly spit out my latte -when in Rome. . . Seriously, skip the fancy cooking store, and grab a big can for usually less than $3 or $4.
That should do the trick.
Is your electric kettle past repair? There are a lot of electric kettles for sale on Amazon.
If you don’t want to wait until you have BKF on hand, fill the reservoir with white vinegar and allow it to soak for a while, then add some baking soda for the entertainment value -look a volcano! Actually, dump out the vinegar and rinse out the kettle. Really you don’t need the science experiment part, but that’s some quality entertainment right there. If there is still some residue try scrubbing with a damp sponge and a paste of baking soda and salt (this has an alkaline pH which may work where the vinegar failed).
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