Woman horrified by grim limescale build-up in kettle shares trick to remove it

If you’ve ever seen white flakes floating on the surface of your cup of tea and wondered what it is – it’s limescale.

Limescale build-up is common in hard-water areas where there is a higher concentration of magnesium and calcium.

But, it’s still a chore that many people fail to tick off their to-do list when the problem arises.

Thankfully, TikTok user @ashleighhh97 has revealed how to get rid of it.

In a video that has been viewed more than 600,000 times, Ashleigh reveals how much limescale has built up in her kettle after just one week of use – and it’s pretty grim.

She said: “That is in your kettle, that builds up after about two weeks, that’s scummy, that’s proper disgusting, imagine that in your tea and coffee.”

To deep-clean the kettle, Ashleigh uses distilled malt vinegar.

Ashleigh pours one part vinegar and one part water filling the kettle up halfway.

She then boils the kettle and leaves it to sit for half an hour, before revealing what has come away from the kettle.

“Can you see that? All those chunks coming away,” she said as she heaves.

Tony Jones, General Manager at Harvey Water Softeners explains the science behind this hack and what makes it so effective:

“White distilled malt vinegar is very very acidic with a fairly low PH level, around 2.5.

“The residue left by hard water has a high calcium content and is naturally on the other end of the PH scale – as an alkaline, it’s PH level will be more than 7. Because of the residue’s natural properties which are predominantly alkaline, the acidity of the vinegar is great for neutralising the scale left from hard water in our kettles.”

If you don’t have any distilled malt vinegar, don’t worry, here are five other household items you can use instead and how to use them:

  1. Fluoride Toothpaste – This can be used to scrub the inside of your kettle to remove any limescale. Be sure to boil some water before drinking or else you’ll have very minty coffee.
  2. Lemon – Fill the kettle ¾ full of water and one lemon, let it soak for one hour and then boil the kettle three times. Allow it to cool, then rinse thoroughly several times and wipe the outside of the kettle with an anti-bacterial multi-purpose cleaner.
  3. Bicarbonate of Soda – Following a similar method to the lemon and vinegar, use a few teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and let it settle in the water after stirring and then continue the process of boiling.
  4. Coca Cola – Fill your kettle halfway with coca-cola, boil and leave to settle. Wash away and clean the kettle after. Its carbonic acid properties help to break down the limescale.
  5. Pickle water – Fill the kettle halfway to three quarters, leave to soak and then boil. The citric acid in the pickle juice will break down the hard water residue.

If you’re unsure how impacted your kettle, bathroom and your pipes are from hard water, you can use a hard water postcode checker that will show the quality of your home’s water.