I left my teapot on the stove for about 30 minutes by accident. By the time I noticed, all the water had boiled out. So, I turned off the stove and let it cool.

When I went to put water in it again, black flakes began to come off the bottom of the pot on the inside, but I could not scrub out all the flakey stuff easily.

I have a stainless steel teapot. Are these flakes hazardous? How do I clean my pot to make sure it's safe to drink from again?

  • Actually, leaving the kettle/teapot to boil dry and then immediately fill it from the cold water tap is a way to have the limestone break, so you can rinse it out. Don't overdo this though, that would be bad for the kettle.
    – user34961
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 19:56
  • What counts as overdoing it?
    – Seth
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


It's probably just limescale stuck to the bottom of your pot that blackened. I don't think burnt limescale is harmful, but it shouldn't be too hard to remove. You can try cleaning it using standard means to remove scale from kettles, like using vinegar.

  • I would speculate that the black colour comes from dried tea components embedded in the limescale. With no impact on the safety aspect, though. Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 14:23

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