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How to Clean a Stainless Steel Kettle & Remove Any Rust

a residential cleaning service worker cleans an electric kettle

If you enjoy a hot cup of tea, then a stainless steel kettle is your best friend. They’re easy to use and can keep water at a perfect temperature for a long time. Maybe you favor an old-fashioned stovetop stainless steel kettle or perhaps a more efficient electric version. Whether your go-to is black tea, green tea, tea bags, or loose leaf tea, a kettle is a must for every tea drinker.

However, putting off washing your stainless steel kettle for too long, or worse, not washing it at all, can affect the quality of the water and, consequently, the quality of your tea. Keep reading to learn why it’s important to clean your stainless steel kettle and to discover different ways to clean it.

Why You Need to Clean Your Stainless Steel Tea Kettle

If you haven’t cleaned your kettle in a long time (or ever), you’ve probably noticed that it’s started to rust and develop white residue. What causes these rust and mineral deposits in your stainless steel kettle? It’s simple: letting water sit in it for too long. However, damage can also be caused by other habits, such as not cleaning your stainless steel kettle often enough.

First of all, when you don’t wash your stainless steel kettle often enough, you risk it developing limescale. Limescale is that white, chalky residue that you may sometimes notice inside and at the bottom of your kettle. It is the build-up of minerals present after the water boils off.

Because the source of limescale is water, it gets worse over time. That’s why it’s important to clean your stainless steel kettle between uses to prevent the accumulation of too much limescale, which eventually becomes harder and harder to clean.

Let’s check out how to clean your stainless steel kettle.

How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Tea Kettle

If you clean your kettle every time you use it, maintenance isn’t too difficult. But even if you do slip up and neglect your kettle for a little too long, it’s quite possible to get it back into top shape in very little time.

Here are different methods to clean your stainless steel kettle.

Everyday Cleaning

The best way to prevent limescale buildup in your stainless steel kettle is to clean it every day with soap and water. When you clean your stainless steel kettle every day, it isn’t too difficult, and you can do it when you clean the rest of your dishes.

Clean your stainless steel kettle with hot water and mild dishwashing soap. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Make sure that the kettle dries completely, or you risk it rusting.


Even if you wash your stainless steel kettle every day, there’s still a chance that limescale may develop over prolonged use, especially if your home has hard water. When this occurs, you must descale with warm water and white vinegar.

Pour a quarter cup of white vinegar and two cups of water into your kettle and simmer for about 20 minutes. After that time, you should see the limescale floating in the water. Pour the contents of the kettle out and rinse until clean.

For a Truly Deep Clean

If you neglect your stainless steel kettle, you’ll need to perform a deep clean to get rid of the excessive build-up of limescale and potential rust, depending on how bad of a state your kettle is in.

For a deep clean, you need to combine equal parts baking soda and lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons of each) with a cup of water. Add the mixture to the kettle and boil it for about 30 minutes, but be sure not to let the water evaporate. After 30 minutes, let the kettle cool down, then rinse thoroughly.

Cleaning the Outside of Your Stainless Steel Kettle

The inside isn’t the only part of your kettle that needs regular cleaning. Chances are that if your stainless steel kettle is near the stove, you may occasionally get some splatter and grease on it. You want to prevent a buildup of this just as you want to prevent limescale. Although wiping your kettle down every day is a good habit, sometimes your kettle needs a deeper clean.

To remove grease from the outside of your stainless steel kettle, combine baking soda and vinegar to form a paste, and use it to scrub the grease and other substances off of your kettle. Repeat this as necessary.

Best Stainless Steel Kettle

If you’re looking for a new stainless steel kettle, we’ve got you covered. Here are some stainless steel kettles that, with proper cleaning, will last you a long time.

JOYOUNG Electric Stainless Steel Tea Kettle

JOYOUNG Double Wall Electric Kettle BPA Free Stainless Steel Electric Tea Kettle & Hot Water Boiler with STRIX for Auto Shut-Off Boil-Dry Protection, 1.5L, Sliver

Our first kettle is a JOYOUNG Electric Stainless Steel Tea Kettle.

Electric kettles are great since they don’t require constant monitoring. As with many electric kettles, this best electric kettle has an automatic shut-off with boil dry protection to prevent the water from getting too hot and causing any damage to your kettle.

The double layer of stainless steel structure ensures that this kettle is durable yet easy to clean.

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Viking 2.6 Quart Stainless Steel Whistling Tea Kettle

Viking 2.6 Qt Stainless Steel Whistling Kettle with 3-Ply Base, Mirror Finish

Next, we have the Viking 2.6 Quart Stainless Steel Whistling Tea Kettle.

Featuring a mirror finish and a glass lid, this stainless steel kettle isn’t just beautiful on the outside. It also works as well as it looks!

The surgical grade stainless steel stovetop kettle is non-reactive, preventing the transfer of a metallic taste to your tea. It is also easy to clean so you can be sure to prevent rust and limestone from building up.

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AMFOCUS Whistling Tea Kettle

Tea Kettle Stovetop Whistling Teakettle Classic Teapot Stainless Steel Tea Pots for Stove Top with Thin Fast Heating Base, Mirror Finish, 2 liters

Our last stainless tea kettle recommendation is this AMFOCUS Whistling Tea Kettle.

This affordable stovetop kettle is made from durable stainless steel to ensure it’s rust- and corrosion-resistant, making it easier to clean. The ergonomic handle ensures that the kettle is comfortable to use, and the mirror finish adds some elegance to this stainless steel kettle.

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Wrap Up

Although they are one of the most useful tools to make the perfect cup of tea, at some point, everyone dreads cleaning their stainless steel kettle. The good news is that if you keep washing with soap and water every day, you’ll be able to maintain your kettle pretty easily. Even if you do have limescale buildup, it isn’t the end of the world, as you can deal with that pretty easily, too.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Brock Yates

Because Brock is the tallest member of the team at 6 foot 5 inches, when he’s not thinking about food, he’s eating his favorites: pizza, burgers, tacos and burritos. He's always experimenting with the latest kitchen gadgets and exploring new techniques in the kitchen.

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