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Friday Arcade

Top cleaning tips: How to descale your kettle


Everyone loves drinking tea, well not everyone but most people. I am drinking a cup right now as I write this. You may even be drinking one as you sit there gawking at the screen reading my words. Well if your tea tastes rancid because your kettle is covered in that foe of all foes lime scale, then fear not my friend you have come to the right place.

Descaling your kettle is vital. You don’t want to drink ruined tea for the rest of your life, so get stuck in to that lime scale and fight the good fight. It can end up being quite a satisfying job. I enjoyed it so much the first time I did it, that I walked up and down the street knocking on doors offering my services, like some sort of Mary Poppins-esque Jehovah’s Witness. No one was interested, but anyway, here is my guide to descaling your kettle.

1. Phase one: weapon of choice
You wouldn’t eat soup without a spoon now would you? No; I thought not. You cannot descale a kettle without the use of some form of acid. My friend Jitender tried to eat his minestrone soup without a spoon once and ended up burning his fingers; staining his favourite ‘Frankie Says Relax’ t-shirt; and wasting a good sized tin of lovely soup. So make sure you decide on which cleaning agent you will use. White vinegar or the citric acid from a lemon is advised.

2. Creating your potion
Now you have to mix your chosen cleaning agent up with some water to make the perfect descaling substance. If you are using vinegar then mix it up with water at a ratio of 1:1.

If however you have gone for the fruity lemon choice I would advise you to mix 30g (1oz) of the lemons with 500ml (2 cups) of water.

3. Application of your mixture
Now you have to pour your wonderful homemade mixture into your kettle until it is full. Now, if you have used vinegar you should leave it inside the kettle for a couple of hours without boiling.

If, however you went for the citric acid of the lemon then you should fill you r kettle with your mixture and boil it. Once it has boiled you should leave it to cool again.

4. Pour out the contents of your kettle
I don’t want to patronise you for this part of my guide. It is pretty self-explanatory. Instead of telling you what to do here I will just give you a lovely little fact that I found out earlier from a friend. The word kettle originates from Latin catillus, which in various contexts is translated as bowl, deep dish, or funnel. Actually I found this out on the internet, none of my friends are that clever.

5. The wipe down
After you have poured the contents of your kettle away you should check to see if all of that pesky lime scale is gone. If it isn’t grab either a cloth with some bicarbonate of soda on it or a toothbrush and get scrubbing. Whatever remnants remain, will become dislodged easily and you will then have a clean kettle.

All you have to do now is rinse your kettle out with some clean water and all of your cleaning is complete. I advise you to rinse it about five times before making a cup of tea.

Well, there you go. I hope this has been of some help and I hope you can now drink your tea in peace and not be disturbed by the lingering twang of lime scale.

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