In the break room at work, there is a tea kettle that has some unappealing discoloration. I would like to use it, and lots of people do, but I find it terribly unappealing.

I can't remove it with soap, and my fingernail has no effect. I can't even feel it, so it doesn't seem like buildup. What causes this, does it adversely affect health or water taste, and is there a way to remove it or improve this teakettle?

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3 Answers 3


See this previous post that explains how to clean an electric kettle. The suggestions include boiling citric acid, vinegar, or descaling solution in the teapot.

Presumably these are impurities from the water that have solidified on the plastic. It is possible that the lack of texture that you mention is because the impurities have bonded with the plastic.

  • 1
    Please add denture cleaning tablets... They work a treat ... especially when descaling hot water urns... :)
    – Adrian Hum
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 11:36

using purified water will help. distilled or filtered. after you clean it with vinegar. otherwise it might be possible that someone is putting his or her tea bag (or other) in the pot and that can cause discoloration.


The best way to clean the inside of a kettle is using lemon.

Cut a whole lemon into quarters, fill the kettle with water and place the cut up lemon inside.

Boil the kettle a few times. Empty the water out and remove the lemon. Wipe out the inside of the kettle with a cloth. It will literally wipe clean :)

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