Why Do Electric Kettles Get Noisy? Answered 

Electric kettles are very convenient, especially for making tea or coffee, but you might wonder why do electric kettles get noisy? Learn more in this article.

Why do electric kettles get noisy?
Electric kettles get noisy because heat is transported into the water

For most people, including me, an electric kettle is essential for our daily lives. We use it not only for boiling water but also for making tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and many other drinks. The only problem is that it can get noisy, and some people find the noise annoying. 

Electric kettles get noisy because heat is transported into the water. Within the kettle, an electric element receives a strong current, causing it to heat up. The heat from the element is thus transferred locally to the water molecules surrounding it via convection and conduction, causing them to become agitated and hot. 

After a while, a bubble of hot water forms around the element, attempting to expand and float away from it because warm things rise, but as it rises, it loses its heat to the surrounding water. As a result, this bubble of water and water vapor suddenly collapses, a process known as cavitation. So, the hissing is caused by the water vapor bubbles popping.

Fortunately, there are several ways to quieten your electric kettle.

How Loud Is An Electric Kettle?

A consumer watchdog group tested the decibel (dB) output of many popular electric kettles – the quietest was at 79 dB, and the loudest was at 95 dB.

The quietest electric kettles usually have safety features like auto shut-down or boil-dry protection, which prevents the kettle from boiling if there is no water or if the water level falls below a set level on the water gauge.

Normal human speech has a decibel level of around 60 to 65; thus, the noise may easily disrupt a discussion. Vacuum cleaners create approximately 83 dB, lawnmowers around 90 dB, and drills 90 to 95 dB. 

So, if you use your electric kettle a lot, be aware that prolonged or repeated exposure to sounds at or over 85 dB can cause hearing loss. You might also be interested in our guide on what is a coffee kettle

How To Make An Electric Kettle Quiet

1. Using A Tea Cozy Or Tea Warmer

Use a tea cozy or tea warmer
A tea cozy can keep whatever is inside your teapot warm for some time

Tea cozies, or tea warmers, are still used for insulation in houses and restaurants. They come in different forms and designs, most of them hand-knitted. 

A tea cozy can keep whatever is inside your teapot warm for some time. Thankfully, it can also assist in making an electric kettle quieter. When placed on an electric kettle, it muffles the sounds, allowing you to boil water with minimal noise.

You can choose whatever design you prefer; just make sure that the tea cozy that you will use is thick or insulated. 

2. Rubberized Undercoating Spray

Rubberized undercoating spray is commonly used in automobiles to prevent rust and reduce road noise. It offers similar benefits when used on an electric kettle – not only does it protect your electric kettle from dirt and dust, but it also makes it quieter or even soundproof.

You can get a can of 3M’s Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating on Amazon. Make sure to wash and dry your electric kettle before spraying. You should also avoid the holes and wire as you spray. 

Sale
3M Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating, Corrosion, Water and Salt Spray Resistant, 03584, 16 oz. Aerosol
  • MULTI-PURPOSE UNDERCOATING may be applied to cars, truck and recreational vehicles
  • SOUND DEADENING PROPERTIES help reduce road noise
  • ASPHALT-BASED product is excellent for wheel wells, quarter panels, interior fenders, under the hood and more
  • PROTECTS THE UNDERCARRIAGE of vehicles from rust and abrasion
  • AEROSOL DISPENSER allows for easy spray-on application

3. Extra Padding

After a quick test, adding extra padding beneath your electric kettle works. You can use sound deadening mats or any thick material that can minimize the noise.

However, if you lift your electric kettle while it’s boiling, and the noise reduces, the problem is most likely agitation. 

4. Limescale Solution

Some of my neighbors say their electric kettle was not noisy initially.

Limescale or sediments that sit in the electric kettle as it gets older may contribute to its noise. Limescale, also known as calcium carbonate, is a tough deposit commonly found in hard-to-reach areas where hot or boiling water evaporates and solidifies – scrubbing alone isn’t enough to remove them. 

Removing limescale is called descaling, and this can also turn your electric kettle back to its quiet state. Here are some methods that you can use:

Method 1: A Vinegar Rinse

  • Pour vinegar and plain water into the electric kettle, and let it sit for at least an hour.
  • After an hour, boil the mixture in the kettle to dissolve the limescale completely.
  • Pour out the mixture, and rinse thoroughly. You can also wash it with dish soap.

Method 2: Citric Acid Rinse

  • Mix one teaspoon of citric acid and 100ml of water in the electric kettle.
  • Boil the mixture for some time, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
  • Pour out the mixture, and rinse thoroughly. You can also wash it with dish soap.

Method 3: Lemon Juice Rinse

Lemon Juice Rinse
Pour lemon juice and plain water into the electric kettle, and let it sit for at least an hour

For this method, you can repeat the procedure for vinegar rinse, but using lemon juice instead of vinegar. It gives the same result, but with a fresh scent in the kettle.

  • Pour lemon juice and plain water into the electric kettle, and let it sit for at least an hour.
  • After an hour, boil the mixture in the kettle to dissolve the limescale completely.
  • Pour out the mixture, and rinse thoroughly. You can also wash it with dish soap.

5. Switch To A Stainless Steel Or Retro Kettle

If your electric kettle is still making a loud noise, you might consider switching to stainless steel or retro kettle with a lower dB level.  We recommend using Amazon’s choice for a retro electric kettle – Nostalgia Retro Stainless Steel Electric Water Kettle.

You might also find our guides on the best electric kettles and why do electric kettles have a minimum water level helpful.

Nostalgia WK17AQ Retro Stainless Steel Electric Water Kettle, Holds 1.7 Liters, Auto-Shut Off & Boil-Dry Protection, 360-Degree Rotating Base, Water Level Indicator Window, Aqua
  • RAPID BOIL: Powerful, 1500-watt kettle rapidly boils up to 1.7 liters of water in just minutes - perfect for making tea, coffee, hot chocolate, instant soups, oatmeal, pasta and more.
  • BOIL-DRY PROTECTION: Boil-dry protection system automatically shuts off power once water has reached the boiling temperature or there is no more water inside, ensuring safety and energy consumption
  • 360-DEGREE BASE: This water kettle boasts a user-friendly 360-degree rotational base for simple, cord-free serving
  • SIMPLE TO USE: The exterior has an easy-to-read lighted On/Off indicator switch, temperature gauge, and a water level window with capacity markings
  • CORD STORAGE: Nestled neatly into the base of the unit is a cord wrap that allows for tidy storage

Author

  • Danico Dacillo became a fan of coffee when he was in college 'cause it helps him stay awake. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, but now working as a content writer. His passion for writing started when he was still in grade school -- as a sports news writer.