You have a really dirty looking electric kettle, and you’re wondering if it’s safer not to use it to boil your water. The thought has always crossed my mind. But what if you’re throwing away a perfectly good kettle and all you need to do is clean it up a bit? That’s always a scary thing for me. I hate wasting money. And what’s the point of buying a brand new electric kettle when you don’t really need to?
In this article, I’m going to talk about what to do and what you should do before you throw away that old electric kettle.
How often should you replace an electric kettle?
The average lifespan of an electric kettle is anywhere between 4 and 5 years. However, if you take good care of your electric kettle, it can last longer. Regular things like keeping your kettle clean, wiping it dry after every use, descaling it when it builds up limescale, and not filling the kettle to its maximum capacity can extend your electric kettle’s lifespan.
I have personally owned my electric kettle for close to 6 years now. And I’ve been taking care of it by making sure I follow all the best practices for taking care of kitchen appliances.
How long do electric kettles last?
If you take care of your electric kettle, it can last for close to a decade or more.
Although electric kettles have a longer lifespan if they are properly taken care of, there are still instances when they need to be replaced. Factors such as how often the kettle is used and how well it is cleaned will affect its longevity.
The average lifespan of a kettle is around 4.4 years, but it is best to consult with the manufacturer to get a more specific estimate.
What are the signs that your electric kettle may have an issue, and does it need replacing?
An electric kettle is a very useful kitchen tool and can help make cooking in your kitchen easier. That being said, there are some issues that might warrant replacing your electric kettle, or at the very least, looking to find replacement parts.
The inside of the kettle has rust inside of it
If the inside of your kettle has rust, this is, of course, an issue. You do not want to use water that has rust in it, as too much iron can be dangerous in the blood system and it can also taste a bit off. If you have a rusty kettle and you have tried to deep clean it, you may want to replace it. To deep clean, add two table spoons of baking soda, two tablespoons of lemon juice, and water to the kettle and then boil for 30 minutes.
The kettle doesn’t produce heat
If your kettle is not producing heat, you can always check to see if there is something wrong with the heating element, or if there is perhaps something wrong with the outlet that you are using. You can do a quick check to see if there is an issue that can be resolved, but if it is something more serious, you may do better to just get a new kettle.
The water doesn’t taste good
If the water in your kettle does not taste good, it can be because of things like rust in the kettle, something like calcium build up in the kettle, the water itself, or a residual taste that was left in the kettle. Try deep cleaning, and if that does not work, you may need to purchase a new kettle.
The electric cord has been damaged
If the cord has been damaged, you do need to either replace the cord if you have one that does have a removable cord, or get a new kettle if you cannot. Using a kettle with a damaged cord can be a very dangerous thing and may cause shock or fire.
There is a metallic taste in your tea or coffee
If you are experiencing a metallic taste, you can always try to deep clean the kettle and see if there is anything that might be left in the kettle that can then be cleaned out. If the taste persists, a new kettle may be your best bet.
The inside of the kettle is covered in lime scale
Lime scale is not necessarily a deal breaker. You can get limescale removed if you do take the time to really deep clean the kettle. You should be washing your kettle after each use to help make sure that you are removing any potential buildup. If you cannot remove the limescale, it may be best to get a new kettle.
The bottom of the stainless steel kettle is discolored
If the bottom of your kettle is stained, it may just be buildup that can be removed with deep cleaning. If you deep clean and the staining is still there, you may want a new kettle.
The heating element is exposed
If the heating element is damaged in any way you should replace your kettle. This can be a very hazardous situation and may cause a fire or electrical shock.
The glass kettle is cracked
If the glass kettle is cracked, you certainly need a new kettle. Using a cracked kettle can be dangerous, and cracks do make the kettle more likely to further crack or even explode if you continue to use it.
The kettle leaks
If your kettle leaks, there is likely nothing you can do to repair it. If there is a crack, the kettle is no longer safe to use and you should get a new kettle entirely to make sure you are safe and your kettle is safe to use as well.
The lid is broken
If the lid is damaged, you may be able to get a replacement lid and continue to use your kettle. If you find that you cannot get a replacement lid, it is safer to simply purchase a new kettle.
Is boiling water in an old electric kettle safe to drink?
There has been some concern lately about the safety of boiling water in old-style electric kettles. Some people are worried that the repeated boiling might be worsening their skin allergies and that the metal in the kettle might release harmful toxins into the water.
However, there is no concrete evidence to support this theory. In fact, many experts believe that it is safer to filter your water first and then boil it in a new kettle rather than risk drinking unclean water from an old one.
If you plan to continue using an old electric kettle, over time, these kettles can start to produce a metallic taste and smell in the water they boil. This is often due to scaling, which is a build-up of minerals on the kettle’s heating element. In addition, if an electric kettle has not been descaled for a long time, it may be necessary to do so in order to make sure that it is safe to drink boiled water from.
Limescale isn’t necessarily unsafe to drink. However, it is recommended that you remove limescale because it can affect the taste of the water. The real concern you should focus on when using an old kettle is whether there are any bacteria or germs in it. In many cases, you’ll likely kill the bacteria right after boiling it, but in other cases, if you plan to drink water right out of an old electric kettle, then make sure it’s clean.
That being said, it is always a good idea to descale your kettle regularly using vinegar or another commercial descaling agent. And if you have a new electric kettle, there’s no reason to keep using an old one – just replace it!
Can you repair an electric kettle on your own?
Repairing an electric kettle may take a bit of work and knowledge of how kettles work. There can be a number of reasons why your kettle is no longer working.
Inside every electric kettle, there is a metal coil. Electricity runs through the wires and heats up this metal coil, causing the water to boil. Such things as railed wiring, damaged coils, or loose connections can cause your electric kettle to fail. If there are any issues like this, then they’ll most likely require some replacement parts.
Most manufacturers don’t want you to open up an electric kettle and repair it. Don’t make it difficult by sealing the edges and gluing it shut.
Many of the reasons why electric kettles fail are faulty or broken lids, punctures that can cause leaks, or power issues.
Even though it is possible to repair these parts, it may be cheaper on both your end and the manufacturer’s end to just replace the entire unit completely. Honestly, it would be surprising if you could even find the part required to fix the issue.
My recommendation is that if you figure out the problem and it’s an easy fix that doesn’t require any replacement of parts, then go ahead and attempt to repair it. But if it requires the removal and replacement of a brand new component, then it’s probably best to just replace the entire kettle completely. You can always find these kettles online for $20.
How to take care of your electric kettle
Electric kettles are a great investment. They are a great part of your kitchen and they can really help you get the best outcome when cooking. If you do have an electric kettle, it is always best to know just how to care for it.
- As soon as you are done using it, you should turn it off and unplug it. This will keep it from heating up and causing stains on the bottom and boiling out all the water.
- You should wipe down the outside of the kettle with a damp rag, avoiding the heating elements.
- You then need to clean the inside with a gentle dish detergent and make sure it is fully dry. If you have limescale, you can use a bit of vinegar in the kettle and allow it to boil.
- After it has cooled totally, dump out the vinegar water and then wash with warm soapy water.
- In order to prevent rust and limescale, you should let your kettle dry fully before you put it away.
Keep your kettle clean for better taste
It’s important to keep your electric kettle clean so that you can enjoy better tasting tea or coffee. You should descale it every 4 to 8 weeks using a vinegar and water solution. Alternatively, you can use a product specifically designed for this purpose.
In addition, be sure to heat only the amount of water you think you’ll need for each use. This will help conserve energy and reduce the risk of accidental boil-overs.
Finally, always empty all of the water after every use of the kettle. This will prevent the build-up of lime scale and other debris.
If you have hard water or come from a natural well, you may need to use distilled water instead of tap water. Over time, this can help reduce the amount of scale that builds up in your kettle.
And lastly, remember to clean your new kettle before its first use! Some kettles come with a built-in filter that can be removed and washed. Others require descaling with a vinegar and water solution.
Remove lime scale deposits for improved heating
Over time, white calcium deposits form on the inside of kettles over time, and these can cause decreased efficiency in heating. If left untreated, limescale will build up and can eventually damage your kettle. There are several ways to take care of this issue:
Commercial products to descale your kettle are readily available and usually do a good job.
Everyday acids such as vinegar or lemon juice can also be used to descale a kettle. Be sure to use full-strength solutions and allow them enough time to work.
Dish soap can also be used as a descaling agent. Use a soft sponge and clothes, and make sure to rinse and squeeze each month. You can also use a stainless-steel wire ball for scale buildup prevention.
If the deposits are especially heavy, you might need a repeat treatment to completely break them down.
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