The effects of hard water can be a real pain when it comes to kitchen appliances and cooking. However, there are a number of solutions that can mitigate these problems and leave you with a well balanced water.
One of the most common problems with hard water is the limescale it creates on appliances which regularly come into contact with water. Such as a kettle.
In this post, I’ll be sharing the best 5 kettles for hard water, and discussing long term and short term solutions to remove hard water from inside your home.
I’ll also provide solutions on how to clean a new kettle, and how to descale your kettle if you find that you’ve had a build-up of limescale as a direct result of hard water.
What Is Hard Water
Hard water is water which contains a high mineral content, specifically the minerals; calcium and magnesium. This is a result of rain clouds being formed from sedimentary rocks such as limestone, chalk and sandstone.
Hard water poses no health risks, however, it is seen as a nuisance as the minerals can build up and cause limescale inside pipes and on surfaces which commonly come into contact with water such as a kettle.
Some of the telltale signs of hard water include;
Lower Water Pressure – The mineral deposits can in some cases form in the pipes when stood for an extended period of time. This shrinks the diameter of the interior of the pipe and reduces the flow of water.
Glass Spots – You may notice some darker cloudy spots on glassware and silver. These are often signs of the calcium carbonate deposits.
Taste & Smell – The water may taste or smell weird as a result of the hard water.
Limescale Build Up – Around the edge of sink taps, showers and on appliances regularly used with water such as a kettle.
This article has some great tips and tricks on how to check if you have hard water and how to reduce the hardness of the water.
How To Prevent Limescale In A Kettle
There are a number of different ways you can look to prevent limescale build-up in a kettle. The right method for you is likely to depend on the density and damage of the hard water as well as the budget you have to rectify the problem.
For example, if the limescale build-up is only a small one then it’s likely not worth a $1,000 plus investment to resolve it. However, if it’s damaging internal pipes in your home and causing large expenses and issues then resolving the issue with a more expensive and permanent solution may be better in the long-term.
Using Water Softener
The best way to prevent limescale in a kettle long term is by using a water softener. These appliances come in four different forms; ion exchange, salt-free, reverse osmosis and magnetic.
They are generally connected to the entrance point of your homes water supply to soften the water prior to it entering the pipes within your home. Different water softeners require a different level of upkeep. This is something you’ll want to consider when picking the right one for your home.
An affordable short term solution to preventing or removing limescale from your kettle is through cleaning.
To clean your kettle create a solution of white vinegar (citric acid or baking soda can be used as alternatives) and water with a ratio of 1:1.
Remove the kettle from the mains and be sure to tell your family it’s being cleaned to prevent it being used.
Then pour the solution into the kettle and leave it to soak for between one and two hours.
After this time remove the solution from the kettle by pouring it down the sink. Then, boil the kettle on empty (without any liquid in). Once fully boiled full the kettle with water and boil it again.
Once the kettle has cooled pour the water away and rinse the kettle to ensure it’s nice and clean both inside and out.
Kettle descalers are designed specifically for different types of kettles (stovetop, electric, metal and plastic) and often come in the form of a sachet.
Each brand of descaler will work slightly differently so it’s best you read the instructions prior to use. However, unlike the general cleaning method, these solutions tend to work in as little as 10 minutes and require very minimal effort.
How often you descale your kettle is likely to depend on the hardness of your water, I’ve found personally that between four and eight weeks works best.
Obviously, the longer the limescale has built up the harder it becomes to remove, so removing little and often is both easier and causes less long term damage to your appliance.
Best Kettle Descaler
Here are some of my favourite kettle descalers on the market right now;
EcoZone – This combo pack of EcoZone includes 3 descaling sachets which can be used in both kettles and irons. EcoZone is known as being one of the most eco-friendly descaling manufacturers.
Caffe Nu – This bottle of Caffe Nu descaling solution is suitable for two applications and can be used in kettles as well as an extensive range of coffee makers.
Oxo – This all-natural descaling solution is suitable for a range of household appliances including kettles, dehumidifiers, coffee machines and more. The solution is fast-acting and leaves no nasty smells behind.
Do Kettle Descaler Balls Work?
As well as removing limescale build-up using a descaler you can also purchase descaler balls which are designed to collect limescale inside the kettle and simply need to be rinsed and washed with warm water every couple of weeks to remove the limescale build-up.
I’ve found that descaler balls do work to some extent, however, they should be used in conjunction with a liquid/sachet based descaling solution. It’s just likely you won’t have to use that liquid/sachet solutions as much as you would have if you didn’t have the descaler balls.
Descaler balls cost around $1 and can be purchased from the majority of major cookware stores. As they are made from vinegar coated stainless steel they don’t pass any metallic elements into your drinks.
Best Kettle For Hard Water
There are some kettles which have been specifically designed to mitigate hard water build-up. My favourites include;
HadinEEon – This glass electric tea kettle is a great choice for those looking to minimise the impacts of hard water in the appliance.
KRUPS – This sleek black digitally designed kettle is a great choice for those looking to mitigate the problems hard water poses.
Mr Coffee – This stovetop kettle is a great choice for those looking to minimise the problems of hard water inside kitchen appliances.
LeCruset – Being a high named brand with a fantastic reputation you can rightly expect that the LeCruset stovetop kettle does a great job in mitigating the problems of hard water.
Cuisinart – This is another fantastic brand of kitchen appliances and this specific kettle is perfect for minimising the damage that hard water causes.
How To Clean A New Kettle Before Use
If you do decide to purchase a new kettle for hard water (or a new kettle in general) then there are a handful of things you should do before using it. This includes cleaning the kettle thoroughly.
After all, your kettle has come from a factory and has then been sat in a box for weeks, months, perhaps even years.
The best way to clean a kettle before use is by following the cleaning method above. Filling the kettle with a ratio of 1:1 with water and vinegar, before boiling the kettle.
Drain the solution from the kettle carefully and repeat with just water. Once carefully drained once more your kettle should be ready for use.