The best kettles – including electric and stovetop options

The best kettles – including electric and stovetop options

“Hard water is found in areas where there’s chalk and limestone in the ground,” explains Dr Emma Goslan, a lecturer in water chemistry at Cranfield University. “As it passes through the rocks, it picks up the chalk carbonates, and that determines the level of hardness.” 
In these chalky, limestone areas, therefore, the residues build up in the kettle and create a white scum. It will also create a slight film on tea or coffee, which is visible to the eye. “Hard water makes coffee taste more bitter, with a woodier taste,” Goslan explains. Soft water is also said to be better for the flavour of tea. 
There are no health disadvantages in hard water, according to Goslan. In fact, hard water has plenty of calcium, so it could even provide health benefits.
Goslan advises against using water softeners for boiling your water, because in the softening process the calcium is changed into sodium. Certain filters, like Brita, can soften your water, but many just remove chlorine and organic compounds, so it’s worth checking the product information before buying. 
There are a few ways to prevent limescale (a common one is a kettle descaler, which is a wiry stainless steel ball placed in the device that attracts the residue). But whether your water is soft or hard, at some point you will get a build up of limescale. Goslan’s favoured method of removal is simple: “The best way is to add some vinegar and water and leave it to soak, it doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold water.” 

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