Rusty Kettle – How Can It Be Cleaned? A Complete Guide

By Charlotte Dim

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If you have a rusty kettle and searching for methods to clean it, then there is no need to be worried.

Kettles’ surfaces can rust through time and use, especially if they are constructed of metal. Over time, exposure of iron or steel to moisture and oxygen leads to the formation of rust, a type of corrosion.

Is the water that has been boiled in this kettle safe to drink? I have no doubts. If you’re worried, just sand the rust off and boil it to destroy any live things (probably leftover food or drink residues).

In this article, you need to know some facts about rusty kettle and methods to clean them.

What Leads To Kettle Rust?

Over time, when iron or steel comes in contact with moisture and oxygen, it develops rust, which is a form of corrosion. Rust, a reddish-brown material, is produced as a result of this chemical reaction, which causes the metal to degrade.

Rust in kettle

The following explanation explains how rust develops in kettles:

  • The metal surface of the kettle is exposed to moisture, which can come from a variety of places, including the water used to fill it up or the steam generated during boiling.
  • Iron oxide, also referred to as rust, is created when moisture and oxygen in the air react.
  • The rough texture that rust’s creation on the kettle’s surface produces can further trap moisture and oxygen, encouraging rust growth.

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Rust can develop in a kettle for a variety of reasons, including:

Water quality: 

The kettle’s water quality can have a big impact on how much rust forms. Rust can occur more quickly in hard water than in soft water because water with high mineral content, like calcium and magnesium, is commonly referred to as hard water.

Use infrequently:

Kettles that are often used are more likely to develop rust than kettles that are used infrequently. This is so that rusting can happen more quickly due to frequent exposure to moisture and oxygen.


Compared to other materials like copper or aluminum, kettles made of iron or steel are more susceptible to rust.

Exposure to air: 

Due to increased exposure to air and moisture, kettles that are left exposed to the elements or kept in humid situations are more likely to rust.

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What Happens When a Rusty Kettle Is Used?

If we use rusty kettle for a long time how does it effects our bodies?

Consumption of rust in the body:

Small flakes of rust can come off and mix with the water you are boiling when you use a rusty kettle. You might swallow some of these rust flakes if you drink this water. 

A tiny bit of rust may not be harmful to you, but if you consume large amounts of it over time, it can cause iron poisoning.

The body’s tendency to store too much iron results in iron poisoning. Vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and in extreme cases, liver and heart damage, are all signs of iron poisoning.

Risks Associated With Consuming Rust:

Other health problems can result from eating rust. For instance, iron oxide, which is present in rust, can irritate the digestive tract and harm the gastrointestinal system. Additionally, it may result in nausea, diarrhea, and upset stomach.

Additionally, eating rust may result in a reduction in the body’s ability to absorb other vital minerals including zinc, calcium, and magnesium. Mineral shortages may develop as a result over time, which could be harmful to your health.

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Best Ways to Remove Rust from an Electric Kettle

To remove rust from a rusty kettle, you can follow these steps:

Unplug the kettle: 

Before starting any cleaning process, make sure the kettle is unplugged from the power source to ensure safety.

Empty the kettle: 

Pour out any water or liquid that may be inside the kettle. Rinse it with fresh water to remove any loose particles.

Create a cleaning solution: 

To create a cleaning solution, simply mix an equal amount of water and white vinegar in a bowl or container. An alternative to vinegar that you can try to use lemon juice, which is a natural option.

Fill the kettle: 

Fill the kettle with the cleaning solution, ensuring that the rusted areas are completely submerged. If the rust is only on the bottom, you may need to tilt the kettle to immerse the affected area.

Let it soak: 

Allow the kettle to soak for several hours or overnight. This will give the vinegar or lemon juice enough time to dissolve the rust.

Scrub the rusted areas: 

After soaking, use a non-abrasive sponge or brush to scrub the rusted areas gently. Apply a little pressure to remove the rust but avoid scratching the surface of the kettle.

Rinse thoroughly: 

Empty the cleaning solution from the kettle and rinse it thoroughly with water. Make sure all traces of vinegar or lemon juice are removed.

Repeat if necessary: 

If some rust remains, repeat the process until you are satisfied with the results. Stubborn rust may require multiple attempts.

Dry the kettle: 

Wipe the kettle with a clean, dry cloth to remove any moisture. Ensure that the kettle is completely dry before plugging it back in or using it to prevent any electrical issues.

By following these steps, you should be able to effectively remove rust from your electric kettle. Remember to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance, as some kettles may have different cleaning requirements.

Risks To Your Health When Using A Rusty Kettle

The Kettle’s Corrosion

The corrosion of the kettle itself is one of the main health hazards connected to using a rusty kettle. The presence of rust indicates corrosion, which over time can severely harm the kettle’s structure.

The kettle becomes weaker due to corrosion, which can cause leaks and other problems. Lead, copper, and zinc can be released into the water as the kettle begins to corrode; these compounds can be dangerous if drunk in significant quantities.

Rust-related bacterial growth

Additionally, rust can foster a favorable environment for bacterial development. On the kettle’s surface, bacteria can thrive, especially where rust has developed.

Water-borne bacteria have the ability to grow and produce toxic byproducts. Drinking water infected with germs can cause a number of health problems, such as nausea, diarrhea, and pains in the stomach.

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How Can I Prevent My Kettle From Rusting?

Use gentle water, dry the kettle after every use, and store it somewhere dry to prevent rust from accumulating in the kettle. 

Rust can also be avoided with routine upkeep and cleaning.

Correct Cleaning Methods:

After each use, you should clean your kettle, and you shouldn’t leave water in it for too long. Fill your kettle with a solution of water and vinegar, bring it to a boil, let it cool, and then give it a good rinsing. 

Specialized kettle descalers can be used to get rid of any mineral buildup or rust.

Recurrent Upkeep:

Dry-clean the inside of the kettle to remove any moisture that can collect and cause rust to form. Additionally, you should frequently check your kettle for any indications of rust and take immediate action if necessary.

Alternative Resources:

Alternate materials might also aid in preventing the formation of rust in your kettle. For instance, you could choose a kettle composed of rust-resistant materials like glass or stainless steel. 

When not in use, you can store your kettle somewhere cold and dry to avoid moisture buildup.

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Frequently Asked Questions about rusty kettle

Question No.1: What causes a kettle to become rusty? 

Answer: A kettle can become rusty due to exposure to moisture, particularly if it is not dried properly after each use. The presence of minerals in the water, such as iron, can also contribute to rust formation.

Question No.2: Why is it important to remove rust from a kettle? 

Answer: Removing rust from a kettle is important for several reasons. Rust can affect the taste of the water boiled in the kettle and may even be harmful if ingested. Additionally, rust can weaken the kettle’s structure over time, leading to potential leaks or damage.

Question No.3: What materials are needed to clean a rusty kettle? 

Answer: To clean a rusty kettle, you will need water, white vinegar (or lemon juice), a bowl or container for the cleaning solution, a non-abrasive sponge or brush, and a clean, dry cloth for drying.

Question No.4: Can I use other cleaning agents instead of vinegar or lemon juice? 

Answer: Yes, there are other cleaning agents that can be used to remove rust from a kettle. For example, you can use citric acid or commercial descaling solutions specifically designed for removing limescale and rust.

Question No.5: How long should I let the kettle soak in the cleaning solution?

Answer: It is recommended to let the kettle soak for several hours or overnight to allow the vinegar or lemon juice to dissolve the rust effectively. 

Question No.6: Is it safe to scrub the rusted areas of the kettle? 

Answer: Yes, it is generally safe to scrub the rusted areas of the kettle. However, it is important to use a non-abrasive sponge or brush to avoid scratching the kettle’s surface. Apply gentle pressure while scrubbing to remove the rust without damaging the kettle.

Question No.7: How can I prevent rust from forming in my kettle in the future?

Answer: To prevent rust from forming in your kettle, make sure to dry it thoroughly after each use. Avoid leaving water or moisture inside the kettle for extended periods. If you live in an area with hard water, consider using a water filter or descaling the kettle regularly to remove mineral deposits.


As a result of the potentially hazardous bacteria and pollutants that can be found on the rusted surface, a rusty kettle can cause a number of health problems. Rust is a chemical reaction that happens on metal surfaces when there is both moisture and oxygen present.  Rust is a chemical reaction that happens on metal surfaces when there is both moisture and oxygen present.

 It is vital to keep your kettle clean, dry, and filled with soft water to avoid rust formation. Performing regular maintenance and cleaning on your kettle can prolong its lifespan and prevent potential health hazards. 

To maintain a safe and healthy environment, it is crucial to be aware of the dangers of using a rusty kettle and to take the proper precautions to prevent rust accumulation.

Charlotte is a seasoned writer and an established authority in the field of kitchen appliances. With a keen interest in culinary arts and a passion for providing practical guidance to consumers, Charlotte has dedicated years to researching and reviewing various kitchen products, including kettles.

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