Are there any advantages/disadvantages for different methods for cleaning limescale (from a kettle/thermos)?

The methods I know about:

I usually prefer the former, since it's easier to wash it without getting a taste or a need to re-wash it.

The advantages/disadvantages I'm looking for are regards those or other methods, in the terms of safety, easy to use, not hurting the kettle etc.



Methods I know about:

  1. Vinegar
  2. potatoes peels
  3. citric acid
  4. Coca-Cola
  5. baking soda

Each of them is actually better for different types of kettles.

  1. for glass where lime is quickly visible or where there is large amount of lime. Con is the smell that require multiple washing.
  2. for kettles where heating element is not part of the chamber. Cheap and easy but con is that require multiple brewing changing peels with each one.
  3. Best for steel ones (but work for others of course) cons is that it need time to work (usually overnight) and shouldn't be boiled.
  4. very soft method, best for ceramic kettles. cons - it's coke and people may taste the extra sugary and additives for many brews.
  5. good for electric kettles or with exposed heater. cons is again, the after taste that require multiple boiling's and pouring out the water. With very hard water you can end up at the same place when started.

Apart form the coke all advantages is the price. They are all relative cheap and with peels you can just use some that normally would be thrown away.

Citric acid with a little of water is best for prevention as you can just quickly wash it once every week.

  • At 3) you said that the acid shouldn't be boiled - you're referring to steel kettles or in general? I have an electric glass kettle, and I once in around two weeks run it with citric acid boiling and then washing it a bit. – arieljannai Jun 6 '18 at 11:40
  • @arieljannai all kettles. When boiling acid you turn it into mist. It can irritate your eyes and skin (or penetrate kitchen and speed corrosion). Also if you bring citric acid to high temps toxic decomposition products are released. – SZCZERZO KŁY Jun 6 '18 at 11:58
  • Oh, I didn't had any idea that it can be toxic. What is considered a high temperature? And are we talking about the same thing? citric acid is lemon salt as I thought? or the translation was bad? – arieljannai Jun 11 '18 at 8:05
  • I don't know actually. Usually they say that around 40-50 it's stable. And then just write "higher". So I assume it's boiling point is something that change it. BY citric acid I meant en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid – SZCZERZO KŁY Jun 11 '18 at 13:37
  • Thanks, I think I'll try to find more information about the how it's safe to use – arieljannai Jun 14 '18 at 21:32

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