Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cleaning a kettle

When I initially moved to the UK I always laughed at how you get asked if you would like a cup of tea as soon as you step into someone house. You see, in South Africa, as I suspect in many other countries, you just offer people 'a drink' or you 'go for coffee' at a coffee shop.
I've been in the UK for almost 5 years now, and on Thursday this week I received my British Citizenship...

and I'm glad to report that I can indeed make a good cup of tea, and I now too automatically offer people tea when they step through the front door. England is very much a tea drinking nation, and kettles here work overtime. Combine non-stop tea drinking with the hard limescale water most of Britain has and you end up with a furry kettle. Kettle's need cleaning, so here's how.

Let's work from the inside out because it's more important how your tea tastes than how your kettle looks (well, it should be anyway). I've tried all these fancy gadgets to help reduce limescale in the kettle, but the limescale still builds up rather quick. So the best and easiest way to keep your tea from being crunchy (eugh, it's horrible when you get a piece of limescale in your mouth) is to clean your kettle regularly. How often depends on how bad the water is where you live, but this is simple to do, and once a month should be plenty!

Half fill the kettle with water and half fill it with clear vinegar. Leave it to soak overnight, then wipe it out with a sponge or soft wash up brush and rinse. Refill the kettle and boil it once more before using for drinks (unless you like the taste of vinegar in your tea).

Kettles seem to get grubby on the outside quickly too and I'm never sure how or why, but they just do. But a regular wipe down with a microfibre cloth will usually do the trick. If it's a bit dirtier, try these. Plastic kettles ought to be wiped down with some warm soapy water and a soft cloth - anything abrasive will scratch the surface. Metal kettles can be washed with soapy water and polished with a microfibre cloth.

So much to do, so little time eh? This week I am preparing for Halloween - we are hosting a party which I am really excited about. I'll make sure to post some pics of how the house looks when all decorated. I'll also be posting photos of our new updated bedroom soon - yup, Mr L has wallpapered our bedroom, and I LOVE it! Thank you Mr L.
Have a great week, and for those of you who like spooky things, enjoy preparing for Halloween.


Lorilee said...

I no longer have to worry about the limescale since we installed a water softener several years ago. I enjoy Earl Grey, but I am a real coffee nut! I even love iced coffee too!

Florence and Mary said...

I know I'm getting old now when I get home and think I'd rather have a cup of tea than anything!

Congrats on your citizenship

Victoria xx

Ivy said...

I just think it's so lovely, and a wonderful gesture of hospitality, to offer someone tea when they stop by for a visit.
I should remember to do this more often. Well... maybe only on the cold days in California. I don't want people to think I am some crazy tea lady that offers hot tea on a hot day. YIKES!

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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