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Jan 18, 2011 05:39 PM

hard water stains?

I use a stainless steel kettle to boil water every morning for my coffee. Every morning, it gets hard water / mineral deposit? stains or film on it. I use vinegar to remove the film before washing in the dishwasher. Is this the best method? This occurs even with filtered water from the Brita filter and occurs whether I wash by hand or in the dishwasher. Any other cleaning ideas?

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  1. Most faucet water filters do not remove that much salt/minerals. Here:

    Does the BRITA water filter cartridge remove all minerals from drinking water?

    The BRITA water filter cartridge only partially removes the hardness from drinking water. This part is temporary hardness, which causes scale deposits during cooking. It does not remove all of the minerals from the water. It reduces the concentration of calcium and magnesium with cation ion exchange resins, but theses substances are not completely removed as in desalination systems or industrial plants that use reverse osmosis or distillation processes, for example.


    That said and done. Vinegar, lemon juice ... acid solutions can be used to remove these hard water stains. I think the most effective and yet readily available product would be Bar Keeper's Friend. Try it:

    I bet you that I won't be the only person mentioning it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I have a little item that works perfectly in preventing mineral deposits from accumulating in my stainless teakettle and has for over two years. It's a small cylinder of twisted stainless steel wire that measures an inch across and high. You keep this device in the kettle and somehow it prevents hard water stains and scale from forming. It works perfectly.

      Unfortunately, I can't remember what it's called or where I got it. It probably came from either Bed, Bath and Beyond or Kitchen Collection and was displayed on the gadget walls or with the teakettles. It was inexpensive and probably cost 2 or 3 dollars. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.

      1. re: wvgardener

        Found it!! It's called the Tea Kettle Scale Collector and is made by Fox Run. I found it on a few websites for $3 - 4. As stated above, I started using mine with a brand new stainless tea kettle. It has worked perfectly since. There is no scale on the inside in spite of hard water.

        This is one source:

        And another:

        Note that the stated dimensions must be for the packaging card. The actual measurements for the device is one inch by one inch as shown here:

        1. re: wvgardener

          Thanks. It looks like it works by absorbing much of the mineral deposition. I wonder if you need to eventually descale this thing.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Product description says you simply squeeze it under running water to descale it. Probably chips right off.

            I just bought three of them. I've gone through two electric kettles in the past 10 years from scale build up. Hopefully this will extend the life of my current kettle.

            1. re: LovinSpoonful


              "I just bought three of them. I've gone through two electric kettles in the past 10 years from scale build up."

              Have you tried to descale the two electric kettles? I know descaling can be a pain, but I am under the impression that it can be done. I believe the mild and common descaling solution is simply using distilled white vinegar.


              There are also stronger descaling solutions you can purchase.

              I use white vinegar to descale my humidifier.

    2. I had heard that just putting marbles in the tea kettle will stop this problem. I wonder if you could use plain old stainless steel wool instead of this item.