How to Clean Calcified Heating Elements

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It is common for minerals from your tap water to leave deposits on your household appliances, especially those with heating elements. The coffee maker's hot plate, an electric stove's heating coils, and the plate of a mug warmer are all prime examples of heating elements that come into frequent contact with water. Cleaning calcified heating elements does not necessitate toxic, heavy-duty chemicals that stink up the room and require the use of rubber gloves. Using a common, nontoxic acid found in every home -- vinegar -- accomplishes the job nicely.

Things You'll Need

  • White distilled vinegar
  • Washcloth
  • Old toothbrush
  • Turn off the appliance with the heating element, and unplug it from the outlet, if possible. Allow the heating element to cool completely before proceeding.

  • Wet a washcloth with white distilled vinegar, and lay the washcloth on the cooled heating element for five to 10 minutes.

  • Wipe off the heating element with the washcloth.

  • If any calcium deposits remain, wet a toothbrush with the white distilled vinegar, and scrub the heating element. Wipe the heating element with a clean washcloth to remove any debris.

Tips & Warnings

  • Any vinegar smell will dissipate as the vinegar dries and evaporates.
  • Frequently wipe your heating elements that come into contact with water to prevent calcium buildup.
  • Always wait until the heating element is completely cooled before wiping it or cleaning it.

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