If you keep seeing white rings or spots on your tea kettles, coffee pots or hot pots and have tried to clean them without success, you know how unsightly and annoying calcium buildup can be. The tap water you use to wash dishes, make coffee or boil tea often contains small amounts of calcium and magnesium that it picks up. If you get your water from a well, the mineral deposits are sometimes more pronounced. Although calcium deposits aren't harmful to consume, clean them away using common household supplies.
Things You'll Need
- White vinegar
- Soft sponge
Unplug your appliance from the wall outlet, and allow it to cool down.
Mix equal parts white vinegar and lukewarm water in an empty sink, and put the cookware in the sink. If you want to clean heavily stained cookware, use 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water. White vinegar contains acetic acid, which reacts with calcium to dissolve it.
Allow the cookware to sit for 20 minutes. This gives the mixture time to do its work.
Pour the mixture out, and wipe the cookware clean with a soft sponge.
Wash it as normal.
Tips & Warnings
- Running a water-vinegar mixture through your coffeepot cleans the grime and old grounds from the carafe, making for better-tasting coffee. Just run plain water through the pot afterward to get rid of the vinegar aftertaste.
- Heat a water-vinegar mixture for 15 minutes in a teakettle to remove stubborn calcium deposits from the inside of the kettle.
- Leaving calcium stains on cookware for too long ensures that it's there permanently, so regularly cleanse with vinegar.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images