When you’re buying kitchen gadgets you’re probably doing so to make your life easier and choosing them based on long-term durability. Well if you live in an area where the water is hard then you may find that your electric kettles don’t last too long and your tea or pour over coffee doesn’t taste great. That’s because boiling hard water causes scale formations that either affects the taste of your brew or damage your kettle over time. The best electric kettle for hard water areas can prevent scales from forming to some extent but should also prevent the loosened scales from pouring out into your mug. Our reviews will help you find one just right for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Hard Water?
- 2 What is the Best Kettle for Limescale Removal?
- 3 Best Kettles for Hard Water Areas
- 3.1 Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric kettle
- 3.2 Breville BKE820XL Variable-Temperature 1.8-Liter Kettle
- 3.3 T-fal BF6138 Balanced Living 4-Cup 1750-Watt Electric Kettle
- 3.4 KitchenAid KEK1222 1.25-Liter Electric Kettle
- 3.5 ASCOT Stainless Steel 1.7 Liter Electric Tea Kettle
- 3.6 Bodum Ottoni 1 L Electric Water Kettle
- 4 Best Electric Kettle with Water Filter
- 5 How to Remove Limescale from Inside a Kettle
- 6 FAQs
Breville BKE820XL Variable-Temperature Kettle
Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Electric kettle
ASCOT Stainless Steel Electric Tea Kettle
What is Hard Water?
The term “hard” water originated from the fact that it is hard to wash anything in it. The reason for this property is the high presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium compounds as well as some metallic elements. Hardness prevents soaps and detergents from lathering so you tend to use them in greater quantities. Water hardness also causes soap scum to build up, which necessitates extra cleaning in the bathroom and kitchen.
Your skin and hair will start to feel the effects, with the former feeling dry and itchy and the latter becoming dry, dull, and tangled. Dishes and glassware get spots, and clothes become stiff and lose their brightness.
When water evaporates, either slowly or quickly, a hard white deposit starts to form on faucets and appliance parts. This is called limescale and it causes damage to water boilers, washing machines, dishwashers, kettles, and cooking pans over time, as it forms very quickly over heating elements, causing them to fail. It also raises energy costs, as the heating elements work less efficiently.
The Water Quality Association of America establishes the degree of water hardness and it is measured in milligrams per litre or grains per gallon. Less than 17 mg/L is considered soft, while over 180 is very hard water.
If you live in an area with moderately hard to very hard water, you will have to contend with the above problems in your home. The pace of damage depends on how bad the water quality is. To prevent this, you can either install a water softener for the entire house or separate water inlets or just use filters for specific faucets and appliance inlets.
If you want to boil water for your tea or pour-over coffee or fill the coffee machine’s reservoir, you’re better off using filtered water so that you don’t have to clean your tea kettle or coffee machine too often. This will also ensure that your coffee or black or green tea tastes clean and not metallic. Also check out electric gooseneck kettles for precision pouring of the water over your tea leaves or coffee grounds and read about the differences between electric kettles and stovetop kettles.
Even after filtering your water, some limescale will form over time and you’ll have to clean the kettle now and then. The best kettle for hard water should be easy to clean.
What is the Best Kettle for Limescale Removal?
If you don’t use a water filter, then you should at least get an electric tea kettle with a filter that blocks limescale from getting into your brew from the kettle. The most common filter is the kind that sits just behind the pouring spout. Any loose scales that form from the water boiling will be blocked by this mesh filter. What is left behind can be rinsed out or scrubbed clean after the kettle has cooled. The filter should be removable for periodic cleaning because it is also susceptible to scale formation and will slow down the water flow until it stops completely.
These days an electric kettle with a concealed heating element is common because even slightly hard water causes a quick buildup of limescale on the element, which is difficult to clean regularly and therefore causes the element to fail quickly. Modern electric kettles will have the heating element sealed and hidden underneath the base and all you have to clean is the smooth interior.
To make the cleaning process easier, the opening on the top of the kettle should be large enough for your hand to pass through and maneuver around while scrubbing.
These kettles are only meant for heating water and not for brewing tea. If that’s what you want, check out our recommendations for electric tea kettles with an inbuilt infuser.
We’ll show you how to descale and clean your kettle later in this article but for now, let’s review our top picks.
Best Kettles for Hard Water Areas
Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric kettle
The newest model of the popular Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp is perfect if you like to brew different types of teas and want to be able to control the temperature of the water. It is not just for boiling water, and if you live in a hard water area then the opening at the top is wide enough to let you reach in to clean. Because it has the ability to be programmed to heat water to any of 6 different presets, you can get the perfect temperature settings for specific teas that you brew. That’s why we also recommend it as one of the best electric kettles with temperature control.
This 1500 watt cordless kettle sits on a 360-degree swivel power base to make it easy to serve your guests with and also to take it to the sink to fill it up from the tap. The hinged lid pops up and away at just the press of its button that’s set on the top of the handle. The kettle has a 7 cup capacity and the water level marked window behind the handle is backlit so that it’s easy to read to let you know how much water is inside. You can keep it off the base for up to 2 minutes if you want it to remember what it was programmed to and restart heating or continue in the warm mode when you bring it back. The heating element is hidden inside the base below and the kettle is all stainless steel, making it easy to clean inside, although you only need to use a descaling solution once in a while to remove any hard water spots from the inside.
The preset buttons with temperature readings are set on the outside of the handle, which some users may not like in terms of ergonomics. You first select one of the presets and then you press “Start” to start heating the water. When the water reaches the required temperature a soft beep alerts you and the kettle switches to the keep warm function automatically. It’s a good kettle for quiet office environments. The kettle will stay on it for up to 30 minutes before shutting off. This way you can wait a bit before having your first cup or if you want to pour another cup of tea after your first one without heating it again. If you want to stop the warming before that, you have to hit the “Keep warm” button.
If you accidentally turn on the kettle when there’s no water or not enough water inside, the unit will automatically shut off so that it doesn’t boil dry. You’ll also get an audible beep and a flashing light to alert you.
There is a removable and washable scale filter that slides into a slot just behind the pouring spout. Other than this being a good programmable kettle to use with hard water, it is also quite fast to reach a full boil. Be careful around it though, as it gets very hot on the outside since the body is stainless steel. However, the handle is heat-resistant so you can lift it without worry.
- Fast heating.
- Very quiet and suitable for office environments or for early morning use.
- The keep warm function automatically turns on after the desired temperature is reached.
- The beep alert is too low for some people to hear.
- The pop up lid may get stuck after some months but it is easily fixed if you follow the instructions in the support section of the brand’s website.
- The opening is a bit too small for a large hand to go in if you want to scrub the bottom.
Breville BKE820XL Variable-Temperature 1.8-Liter Kettle
The 1500 watt Breville BKE820XL Variable-Temperature 1.8-Liter Kettle is fairly similar to the Cuisinart above in operation but different in style, a little more ergonomical, and more expensive. Its updated model has garnered rave reviews, has a new scale filter that’s set behind the spout, and the old leaking issue has been fixed.
This allows you to control the temperature and comes with 5 preset temperature settings for you to do so. The boil dry auto-shut-off protection engages and emits a subtle beep when it reaches the selected temperature. You can press the Keep Warm button to allow it to stay hot for 20 minutes more if needed. You have to select a temperature button again if you remove the kettle from its base while it’s heating.
The control panel is on the front of the base of the kettle instead of the handle, so you can’t accidentally push a button when you lift the kettle. The water level window is set on the front and back of the kettle, so it’s much easier to see how much water is left inside, whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. The lid opening button is found on the lid itself and the opening is wide enough to allow you to clean the stainless steel interior easily.
While the kettle is set in a 360-degree rotation base, it will not remember your previous setting if you remove the kettle and bring it back after serving, but selecting the required button again is not really a big deal.
- Good for lefthanders and righthanders with water level window on both sides.
- Good size opening on the top if you need to clean it inside.
- Heats up really fast.
- Pours smoothly.
- It beeps too many times – when you lift it, set it down, start it, and when it reaches the desired temperature.
- The lid on some units pops open easily.
T-fal BF6138 Balanced Living 4-Cup 1750-Watt Electric Kettle
If you’re looking for a small electric kettle that’s just enough for two people or small enough for travel, then the 1 litre T-fal BF6138 Balanced Living Electric Kettle is a good pick. You never know what the quality of water is away from home but if you like to make your own tea in your room and there is no kettle there, you may as well take a small kettle that has a scale filter.
This hard water electric kettle also features temperature control, but by an indicator knob instead of specific preset buttons, so you have to figure out the best setting by trial and error at the beginning for your favorite types of teas.
This kettle is also cordless with a swivel power base and auto shut off. It is very powerful for such a small kettle, as it’s rated at 1,750 watts of power and should boil 1 cup of water in as little as 90 seconds. The hinged lid opens by the press of a button on the handle and closes it locks into place. The heating element is concealed inside the bottom of the kettle. It has a water level indicator window on the front and to one side.
The scale filter here is a bit different and is designed like a small basket that fits into the pouring spout. It is removable for cleaning. If it becomes too worn out after frequent use, replacement stainless steel filters are available on the T-Fal website.
- Water comes to a boil very quickly.
- Lasts for years.
- Safe to touch even when it is hot.
- Only has 3 temperature settings.
KitchenAid KEK1222 1.25-Liter Electric Kettle
If you don’t need the temperature control feature and don’t like the modern stylings of the other kettles here, the beautiful retro-styled KitchenAid KEK1222 1.25-Liter Electric Kettle that’s available in a variety of colors should please you and match your kitchen decor.
Its 1.25-liter capacity is a bit smaller than the above two but it is just as powerful at 1500 watts. It features an LED indicator right next to the on and off lever switch at the bottom of the kettle which sits on a 360-degree swivel power base. It features a stainless steel body, smooth top aluminum handle, removable lid with handle, and removable limescale filter. The handle does not get hot even when the water reaches boiling. The body does get hot but the bottom is insulated enough that it gets just mildly hot and can be placed directly on a countertop.
While this kettle cannot be controlled for temperature, it does have an auto shut off when it reaches a full boil. The lever pops up with a click and the blue light indicator goes off to let you know. It is easy to reach your hand in from the top to clean.
A limescale filter does a good job at catching scales before they’re poured out with the hot water.
- Fully removable lid.
- Looks good and comes in a few different colors.
- The plastic filter is removable but the plastic filter holder is not.
ASCOT Stainless Steel 1.7 Liter Electric Tea Kettle
If all you want is to boil water quickly and have it shut off automatically when done, then the ASCOT Stainless Steel Electric Tea Kettle is a good value electric kettle. What is unique about this kettle is the one-of-a-kind design and a fashionable look.It has an anti-scald handle, circular spout, separate lid, and spout filter. It is made of food-grade stainless steel and glass with BPA-free bits on the handle of the lid and kettle. No part that comes in contact with water is made of plastic.
You press the lever at the base to start heating and 1.7 liters of water will reach a rolling boil in 5 minutes, at which point the lever will click back up. You can lift the kettle off the base completely to take it elsewhere to pour. There is cord wrap storage in the base to keep your countertop or cabinet tidy.
The kettle’s handle is well balanced so you won’t feel the need to touch the body, which does get warm. The circular spout has very good pour control and the top lid will stay securely in place as you pour.
The filter at the base of the spout is made of stainless steel mesh and cannot be removed. It is designed in such a way that it is easy to clean up limescale buildup. It sits at just the maximum level line of water, so to clean it you can fill the kettle to just above that line with diluted white vinegar or use citric acid tablets dissolved in water.
- No plastic in contact with water.
- Looks very good and unique.
- Ergonomic handle and very easy to pour smoothly.
- The lid opening is on the small side.
Bodum Ottoni 1 L Electric Water Kettle
Another very unique looking electric kettle is the Bodum Ottoni 1 L Electric Water Kettle, which is designed to look like a stovetop kettle but with some very stylish elements. The body of the kettle is stainless steel with a polished look on the outside. There’s a maximum-fill line on the inside as the only water level indicator. While you can heat up to 4 cups of water, this kettle is perfect for heating just enough for a single cup of tea or coffee because there is no minimum fill requirement.
The lever at the bottom has to be pressed to start heating but it will depress automatically and turn off heating once the water has reached a full boil. It’s lit blue when the unit is on.
The spout has a detachable filter that keeps limescale out of your cup and the heating element is concealed for easy cleaning.
The power cord is long enough for most countertop outlet situations and any excess cord may be concealed by wrapping it inside the built-in storage area underneath the base. While the fixed handle is comfortable to hold, it is made of composite wood.
- Boils water rapidly.
- There’s no minimum fill requirement.
- Pour spout is designed for you to pour as fast or as slow as you want.
- The maximum-fill line is hard to see.
- Maintaining the shiny finish takes some effort.
- The round squat shape means that it may be awkward to fill it directly under a tap.
Best Electric Kettle with Water Filter
Viante Electric Kettle with Built In Water Filter
The Viante Electric Kettle with Built In Water Filter is probably the only electric kettle in the US that has a built in water filter. If you don’t use a filter on your kitchen tap or for your home’s water inlets, then having a filter just for your electric kettle is the best option. Keep in mind that if you live in a hard water area, it’s better to use the separate filter option so that all the water you consume is safe.
In addition to preventing limescale buildup, this kettle’s Mavea filter removes chlorine taste and odor, metals, and organic impurities. Keep in mind that you have to change the filter regularly, depending on how often you use the kettle and how hard the water is in your area. It will roughly be every 4 weeks, however, an indicator on the handle will let you know when it’s time to replace it.
There is a water line window and if you heat up the maximum allowed amount of water, it will take 6 minutes to come to a full boil. Just press the lever at the bottom and the blue indicator light will turn on. The lever will click back up and the light will go off once the water has reach a boil. There is cord storage in base to keep extra cord length in place.
- Mavea filters are very effective and readily available.
- The inbuilt filter means you can take the kettle anywhere with you and always have safe water.
- May not be worth it for soft water areas.
How to Remove Limescale from Inside a Kettle
Not only does cleaning and descaling your electric kettle regularly extend the life of it but it also reduces your energy bill. Before we show you how to clean hard water stains from an electric kettle, you should try to prevent limescale from forming too quickly. If you don’t use all the water in the kettle in one shot, don’t leave the remaining amount to sit inside for too long, as this is enough to cause a slow build-up. Empty the kettle as soon as possible and wipe the interior dry with a cloth. Taking this precaution will require less frequent descaling of your electric kettle.
When you do notice a while layer forming around the inside, and particularly the bottom, of the kettle, it’s time to descale. The best limescale remover is also completely natural and safe to use. You take equal parts of water and white vinegar and fill the kettle up to half or three-fourths its capacity. Close the lid, turn it on and let the mixture boil. Let it auto-shutoff or you can switch it off when you see it boiling. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then unplug the kettle and pour out the solution. This solution of vinegar and water can also clean a blender and eliminate odors.
You can scrub the inside now to remove any scales still attached to the bottom and the walls. If you see some that are not coming off easily, then use a little baking soda to help. Once done, rinse the inside with fresh water several times until the smell of vinegar leaves. Wipe the inside with a dry cloth and let it air dry before boiling water again to remove all traces of vinegar. You don’t want your tea tasting sour, do you?
Also, clean the scale filter periodically. To do this, leave it in a cup of vinegar for a few minutes to loosen the scales up, and then scrub it by hand with a scrubbing pad and rinse it under a tap.
The vinegar solution works best if you haven’t allowed too much buildup to take place. If you have, then it probably won’t be enough to completely descale the kettle. In that case, you should use an activated kettle descaler like Urnex Liquid Dezcal. It is completely safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable and will remove even the thickest layer of limescale from all kitchen appliances.
Yes, the Viante Electric Kettle with built-in water filter that is reviewed above removes limescale impurities from hard water that is poured in, so scales won’t form inside.
It is okay to drink from a kettle that has limescale in it. Limescale is caused by the high calcium content found in the hard water we drink. There is no indication that this is hazardous if consumed in tea or coffee. However, it can have an effect on the flavor and leave a chalky white build-up floating in the liquid. Too much accumulation around the heating element of an electric kettle will eventually cause the element to fail.
In order to maintain the efficiency of your kettle, descaling should be done at least every four to eight weeks. Keep scale in check because the longer it’s there, the harder it is to remove. Even a little exposure will eventually cause the heating element to fail.