Oct 30th, '10, 00:17
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Joined: Oct 29th, '10, 23:00

Pathetic newb requesting tea kettle help.

by Streak » Oct 30th, '10, 00:17

Hi folks,

Can anyone enlighten me on the best way to clean a tea kettle, a Chef's Choice Smart Kettle in particular?

I splurged on a Chef's Choice Smart Kettle about 3 weeks ago. So far, I've only used the kettle twice, and while it seems to be getting the temperature right, I am frustrated by what appears to be dirt/dust/mold in the "seam" around the bottom inside edge of the kettle, where the sides meet the base of the kettle. I've tried wiping it out with a damp cloth, scrubbing it with a dry (and brand new, of course!)toothbrush, boiling water in it and wiping it out again, and finally I decalcified it (after only one use, bear in mind), but while I did get some of it, there was still foreign matter around that edge.

To complicate things further, the opening is small enough that when I place my hand inside it to clean it (or dry it off after use), I can't actually SEE inside the kettle to make sure I'm getting it clean/dry. It makes sense that it might get mold if I'm not getting it completely dry after use, but I can't figure out how anyone manages to thoroughly dry this thing since the opening's so small, and since you can't actually see what you're doing while you're doing it.

So, how does everyone clean/dry their tea kettles? Is there something obvious that I'm missing?

I'm very new to loose leaf teas, and tea making in general. I hope you'll forgive me for what probably seems like a ridiculous question (and I'm sure this won't be my last). Believe it or not, I actually only recently discovered that there was even a difference between a tea pot and a tea kettle, and what the purpose is for each.

I'm wondering now if maybe I should just send back the perpetually dirty, impossible-to-clean Smart Kettle, and just invest in a glass tea kettle -- or something that can safely be immersed in water and left in a strainer to air dry -- and a good water thermometer. Oy vey.

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Oct 30th, '10, 01:46
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Re: pathetic newb requesting tea kettle help..

by entropyembrace » Oct 30th, '10, 01:46

My kettle has a small opening too...I clean it by filling with vinegar and boiling it...then boiling and dumping out water until the vinegar smell is gone. It doesn´t need to be done very often though. Mold isn´t an issue...it´s stainless steel so there is nothing for the mold to eat.

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Oct 30th, '10, 03:20
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Re: pathetic newb requesting tea kettle help..

by iannon » Oct 30th, '10, 03:20

entropyembrace wrote:My kettle has a small opening too...I clean it by filling with vinegar and boiling it...then boiling and dumping out water until the vinegar smell is gone. It doesn´t need to be done very often though. Mold isn´t an issue...it´s stainless steel so there is nothing for the mold to eat.
most likely mineral deposit froms your water.. hard water leaves a lot of mineral in your pot..looks like white dust buildup almost

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Oct 30th, '10, 08:00
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Re: pathetic newb requesting tea kettle help..

by JRS22 » Oct 30th, '10, 08:00

If it were my kettle I'd return it just to make sure nothing was left in the seams of this particular one during manufacture. Then with the new one, the occasional vinegar treatment, as recommended above is a good way to clear build-up. Avoidance of this problem in the future might be possible if you filter the water before putting it in the kettle. I use a Brita pitcher and I've never had build-up in my kettle, which is almost 3 years old. Also, just to be clear, since you said you just learned the difference between a tea pot and a tea kettle, you now know that nothing but water goes in the kettle?

Oct 30th, '10, 16:11
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 29th, '10, 23:00

Re: pathetic newb requesting tea kettle help..

by Streak » Oct 30th, '10, 16:11

Thanks for the replies :) I really appreciate the help, and I feel a lot better about having made the purchase now.

iannon, there is definitely a hard water issue here, and your description sounds a lot like what I saw, so that's probably it. Our tap water is filtered but there must still be enough residue left to show up in the kettle. I'll just have to be diligent about decalcifying on a regular basis.

Entropye, I did a vinegar treatment but it was diluted with water. It didn't occur to me that I could use just vinegar, but I'll definitely be doing it that way next time. Thanks for the suggestion!

JRS22, thank you for the input. I will probably do as you suggested and exchange this one, and I feel a lot better knowing what to expect and how to care for the next one. We have a DuPont filter system on the kitchen faucet and I only use filtered water for tea, both to prevent buildup and also to prevent ending up with odd flavored tea. The water is pretty hard around here so I don't expect perfection, but I'm hoping that sticking with filtered water will make things easier. And, yes, thankfully, I realized upon receiving the kettle and reading through the manual that it should never have anything in it but water (it was a close call, though). I'm sure I'll want a good teapot eventually, but for now I have a 20 oz insulated stainless steel mug/thermos from Klean Kanteen that works great as a makeshift teapot.

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