Defurring a tea kettle : LUSENET : A Country Singletree : One Thread

Good morning everyone! I trust you have been busy with the outside stuff and that is why the forum has been so dead.

Anyway, I have a question about getting or keeping the calcium deposits out of a tea kettle. Many years ago I lived in England and they had a thing you would put into the tea kettle to keep lime/calcium deposits out of the kettles. It was a metal thing as I recall. I have checked at harware stores but they don't have anything. At one place the woman there said her grandmother used a piece of cloth in the kettle. I have tried it but the deposits are still bad. Does anyone have any ideas other than just cleaning it out every so often?


-- Susan in MN (, May 22, 2002


Oooh! I just saw one of those metal thingies and believe it or not, I think it was at Wal-mart on the household gadget aisle. I remember kind of wondering what the heck you used it for! LOL I've also had good luck removing calcium deposits with straight white vinegar. Pour the vinegar in the kettle and let it soak for as long as you can. If this is the first time cleaning it, it may take more than one soaking before you're happy with it. I also used to run vinegar through my coffee maker, too. Worked like a charm! I don't have to worry about these things now that we have absolutely wonderful mountain spring water!! I now have a new appreciation for living water!

-- Bren (, May 22, 2002.

My grandmother used a piece of metal in her kettle that was real susceptable to build up. I cant recall the exact type though. Maybe someone else her may know the type of metal.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, May 22, 2002.

Susan~ I had never heard of this till now, for a teakettle. One of those low-tech things that will be lost some day, huh? I do know for people who have "sulfur" smell in their water here in Tennessee, they have a replacement anode for your water heater that is made from Aluminum instead of the normal Magnesium (or is it vice-versa?) Anyway the different metal affects the way the sulfur comes out of solution in the water and makes the gassy smell. Now I wish I'd paid more attention in Chem I, lol. It has to be some kind of ionic thing, huh?

-- IveyNelson (, May 22, 2002.

Was hoping that someone would come up with an answer to or name for the item you were refering to. I came up with zero during all my internet searches. Would of been interesting to look at the science behind such a device.

-- BC (, May 27, 2002.

Me too BC! I won't set foot on WalMart property so I can't tell you the name of what they have or if it is the right thing. I'm using my little piece of cloth, it works alright. The thing as I remember it was stainless and may have has a ceramic thing inside the metal. Maybe I should post this on the other forum and maybe Don Armstrong or someone else from England would know what I am talking about.

-- Susan in MN (, May 27, 2002.

I was intrigued by this, I also had never heard of it. No luck yet with the thingie you descibed, although I did get some interesting replies so far. The Brits haven't shown up yet, so maybe there will be an answer upcoming.

From New Zealand. Coke, as in cola.

USA, vinegar!

From Germany. This was interesting, and probably closer to the "answer",

"Take the fresh peel from potatoes and boil them in the pot. When I heard this first, I didn't believe it myself, but it does work. I've tried it with a kettle that had a thick layer of calcium inside, and it took it all out.

I just wish I'd knew how it works...

Another method pops up in the memory box: When the kettle (or the tea pot) is new and not yet used, put a piece of white marble inside. Leave it inside forever, it will prevent any calcium to stick to the pot. All of it will stick to the marble. Must be something like a family instinct. It does not work at a later time, cause then the calcium is already established in the pot."

-- Patty (, May 27, 2002.

Hmmm! I'm not looking so much for a way to get rid of the deposites, that I know. I'm looking for a way to prevent them from happening in the first place! This thing I am talking about would collect the lime/calcium. For whatever reason the deposits were more attracted to this THING than they were to the kettle's interior.

The search goes on!

-- Susan in MN (, May 28, 2002.

Well I know! ;) I just thought it was interesting. Didn't like the piece of marble suggestion, huh?

From Britain- almooost the answer, lol

"They're common as anything here - made out of stainless steel, a bit like a scouring pad and the massive comparative surface area of the wire mesh (compared to the heating element of the kettle) is what does the trick - the deposits from the hard water clog the mesh in no time. Then all you do is run tap water over it once a week or so whilst gently rubbing and squeezing the gizmo and it'll be ready to use anew.

I've just sat for 10 minutes looking at the screen trying to remember what the hell they're called, and I've failed. It's probably something daft like "kettle de-scaler".

Oh - and a bonus side effect of the things is that hard water 'scumminess' in your cup is reduced."

-- Patty (, May 28, 2002.

Susan~ Could it have been stainless with white marble inside, not ceramic?

-- IveyNelson (, May 29, 2002.

Well, I found this blurb that explains a little bit more about what it is and how it works but I still haven't found a place that sells them...

*****As a solution to the "crusty teapot problem," several years ago, when my electric kettle was new, I purchased a "Teapot Descaler." It is a little roll of stainless steel wire about the size of the business end of a corncob pipe. It tumbles along the element as the water boils, and I've never had the slightest bit of scale. I have seen them since on the long walls of kitchen whatnots in large kitchen outlets. I don't know that the little gadget would remove a build-up, but it does keep it from forming.*****

-- Bren (, May 29, 2002.

You got it that is the thing! Well done! I had a thought of what might work. I remember my mother having a stainless steel(?) tube that she would put on the end of the laundry machine water output tube. The end that goes in to the laundry tub or whereever it goes. She did this to collect lint. I know I used them too, or an old stocking. Anyway when you buy these things they are rolled (like a condom) in a little plastic packet. to use them you unroll them and place it on the tube. Well, I bet you could just leave it rolled and put it into the tea kettle adnit would work.

Ivey, the ceramic may be a figment of my imagination. I bet that the tumbling action of the thing not only collects the lime deposits but scrubs the kettle too!

Cool! Thanks everyone for doing so much work on this. It really is a nifty thing. You know I have discovered that many things that are used over in europe that save time and money are NOT promoted here because of the capitalistic tendancies of this country. Another example is the Bosh tankless hotwater heater. I have one! I remembered using them in England and how nice it was to have endless hot water but at the same time not having to pay to heat a tank of water and keep it hot. When I found them in the country I was thrilled. The plumber who put it in was amazed. He had never seen one. The electric company of course had awful things to say about it and to promote their off-peak system, and water storage system. The plumber said it would put the electric company out of business if they promoted them. Most of their money is made on hotwater heaters.

Sorry off topic a bit. I'll let you know if I try that laundry thing.


-- Susan in MN (, May 29, 2002.

Well, here I go off to see what information I can find on tankless hot water heaters! ! ! Never, ever, heard of them. Just finished remodeling the old farmhouse, and the plumber talked me into GAS appliances. I like the hot water heater, HATE the gas stove. Cooked on electricity all my life - and now I burn everything. I am convinced the flame is too high - repairman says no, but what does he know anyway? Laughing. ( I really think he didn't know).

Oh! The point I was making. My plumber never mentioned to me there is such a thing as a tankless water heater!

-- Granny Hen (cluckin, May 29, 2002.

Hey Susan, do you know where we can find one of those tankless heaters, I've heard of them but never seen one up close.

-- Sherry (, May 29, 2002.

-- Leslie (, November 10, 2004.

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