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Every morning I look forward to my daily ritual — I take my dog out for a walk and then I make a matcha latte using my favorite ceremonial grade matcha. To make sure I am staying as true to the matcha tradition as possible, I also heat the water in my tea kettle between 165 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit. But on a recent morning I noticed thin, white flakes floating in my kettle as I filled it with water to heat up.
The difference between a clean and dirty tea kettle can actually make or break tea time. I decided to figure out what signs to look for to know when a tea kettle really needs cleaning, plus some helpful tips on how to clean it.
3 Signs Your Tea Kettle Needs to Be Cleaned
The thick consistency and bitter and earthy taste of matcha might have disguised the conditions of my dirty tea kettle. But, in general, always be on the lookout for a slightly sour taste.
2. There’s a white mineral buildup.
Those white mysterious flakes? It’s limescale or residue buildup from hard water. You’ll find that it usually coats the bottom and interior walls of the kettle as water boils and leaves buildup behind, according to Sarah McAllister, cleaning expert and founder of GoCleanCo.
If you’re accustomed to leaving your tea kettle full, or even if there is just a splash of water at the bottom, it’s likely you’re creating the perfect environment for rust. While drinking water from a rusty tea kettle is not dangerous, it can affect the taste of your tea and the look of your kettle.
How to Clean Your Tea Kettle
1. First, make sure your tea kettle is completely empty. Next, McAllister recommends pouring a cup of vinegar and then filling the rest with water. This process is known as descaling. “If the buildup is very bad, just use straight vinegar,” she says. “Let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight, and then rinse it thoroughly.”
3. After rinsing your kettle, fill it with water, let it boil, and pour it out to make sure none of the vinegar, dish soap, or any remaining mineral buildup stays behind.
To prevent your tea kettle from getting too dirty, McAllister suggests keeping it away from the stovetop when it’s not in use, especially when you’re cooking. This practice will help avoid grease and food splatter. With this simple and consistent cleaning routine, your kettle can stay spotless for your morning, afternoon, or evening cup of tea.
How do you clean your tea kettle? Tell us your tips and methods in the comments below.