A woman cleaning a Kettle

How to Tackle Mold in a Tea Kettle: 4 Easy Methods

Imagine this: you’re all set to brew a comforting cup of tea after a long day, but when you open your teapot, you’re met with an unwelcome sight—mold. 

The struggle is real, and it makes you wonder: How do I get rid of it?

Got ya covered. Let’s explore some different tactics to tackle mold in your tea kettle.

Can Mold Grow in a Tea Kettle?

Yes, mold can grow in your tea kettle, and leftover water is the main culprit behind this problem.

As you know, such microorganisms love moisture. However, mold also needs a food source to feed on. That’s where tea comes in handy – it provides a nutritious environment for mold to grow.

The problem is that different types of fungi can contaminate tea leaves. Even premium teas like orange pekoe can carry mold spores. Not only that, but fresh water can also harbor this hairy problem.

Mold spores are resilient. They typically perish at temperatures around 140-158°F when exposed for approximately 10 minutes. 

However, some heat-tolerant fungi can withstand temperatures as high as 194°F. This means that some of the contaminated spores in your kettle may survive. 

When exposed to favorable conditions like warm water and a food source like tea, mold can grow and thrive.

A kettle on a kitchen counter

How to Tackle Mold in Tea Kettle

To rid your tea kettle of mold, there are several effective methods you can use. These include white vinegar, lemons, baking soda, and citric acid.

By the way, these techniques are suitable for electric kettles as well. So, let’s discuss each method in further detail!

Citric Acid

Citric acid is a mild organic acid found naturally in citrus fruits like lemons. It’s a versatile all-purpose cleaner that can help inhibit mold growth. 

You can find Citric Acid pretty much anywhere, and use it for all kinds of kitchen tasks. Try this 5-pound bag from Milliard. The durable, resealable packaging allows for safe and long-time storage.

Milliard Citric Acid 5 Pound – 100% Pure Food Grade Non-GMO…
  • The fine granular NON-GMO citric acid is a kitchen essential used in preserving, flavoring, and cleaning completely; preserves the Vitamin C content of a food product.
  • Adds an acidic or sour taste to meat, candy, soft drinks, and ice cream. It keeps fruits and vegetables fresh and food flavorful. Perfect for craft making, candy making, pH adjustment, water softening, and more!
  • Perfect for bath bombs, used as the main ingredient along with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to make the bath bombs fizz away!!

While it may not completely stop mold growth, citric acid can penetrate fungal cell walls and effectively remove them.

If you want to use citric acid to remove mold from your tea kettle, follow these steps:

  1. Wear protective gloves to prevent any skin irritation.
  2. Empty your tea kettle and discard any tea debris and visible mold. You can use a soft sponge or a damp cloth for this.
  3. In a separate container, mix a tablespoon of citric acid powder with a cup of warm water.
  4. Pour the citric acid solution into the kettle, making sure to cover the affected areas. Leave it for about 30 minutes.
  5. Use a soft-bristled bottle brush with a small amount of dish soap to scrub away any residue.
  6. Rinse the kettle thoroughly with fresh water. 
  7. Make sure to rinse it several times to ensure there is no lingering taste or smell of citric acid.
  8. If your tea kettle is dishwasher-safe, run it through a dishwasher cycle to ensure thorough sanitization.
  9. For electric kettles, fill them with water and boil them 1-2 times to help kill any remaining mold.

White Vinegar

Regular old White Vinegar makes a formidable opponent for mold. Yes, this powerful cleaning solution contains acetic acid, which is known for its low pH. That helps change the surrounding medium to be acidic, which disrupts mold growth. 

For optimal results, it’s best to use white vinegar with a concentration of 5-8%. Once you get that on hand, here’s what to do:

  1. Wear protective gloves.
  2. Remove tea debris and visible mold using a disposable soft sponge.
  3. Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water to create a 1:1 solution.
  4. Pour the mixture into the kettle, making sure to cover the areas affected by mold and mineral buildup. 
  5. Boil it and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  6. After the waiting period, safely discard the vinegar solution and use a soft sponge to scrub away any mineral buildup.
  7. Rinse the kettle multiple times to ensure there’s no vinegar taste or smell.


Lemons are a naturally acidic solution with a low pH (around 2-3). That makes them an excellent choice to stop mold growth in your tea kettle. Plus, using lemons is straightforward and totally safe.

Here’s how to use lemons to clean your teapot:

  1. Remove any tea debris and mold using a clean cloth or sponge. Make sure to wear gloves.
  2. Fill half of your kettle with water.
  3. Cut 2-3 lemons in half and squeeze their juice into a bowl.
  4. Pour 30 ml of the freshly squeezed lemon juice into your kettle.
  5. Boil the solution.
  6. Allow the lemon juice to sit in the kettle for about an hour.
  7. Pour out the water.
  8. Use a soft sponge and soapy water to scrub away any remaining mold. 
  9. Rinse the tea kettle with clean water. Repeat this step twice. Alternatively, throw the teapot into the dishwater and run a disinfection cycle.

Baking Soda

You probably already know that baking soda is a versatile household item with many cleaning benefits. But did you know that thanks to its mildly alkaline nature, baking soda has antifungal properties?

While it may not kill fungi outright, baking soda creates seriously unfavorable conditions for fungal growth. Therefore, it can prevent mold spores from germinating.

Here’s how to use baking soda to remove mold in your tea kettle:

  1. Wear protective gloves (of course!) and use a damp cloth to discard tea debris and mold.
  2. In a small bowl, mix enough water with baking soda to create a thick paste.
  3. Spread the paste onto the areas of your kettle affected by mold. Make sure to cover the mold thoroughly.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit in the kettle for about 30 minutes.
  5. Use a bottle brush to gently scrub away any remaining mold.
  6. Rinse with clean water to remove any residual baking soda.
  7. Fill 3/4 of your kettle with water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
  8. Boil and let sit for an hour.
  9. Wash the kettle with soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Alternatively, put it in the dishwasher.

Final Thoughts

Having mold in a tea kettle can be a pesky problem, as it affects the taste of your tea and, more importantly, your health and safety.

Luckily, natural solutions like citric acid, white vinegar, lemons, and baking soda can help you send mold on its merry way.

These methods are all simple and safe, and can ensure that your tea kettle stays spick and span . So, say so long to those spores and say hello to a fresh, mold-free tea experience.

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