How can I reuse or recycle an electric kettle?

We’ve had an email from Simon:

We’ve got two old electric kettles in our garage, one works but is very grimy, the other doesn’t work, not sure why. Can we do anything with them?

Electric kettles are covered under the WEEE Directive so in theory, you should be able to send them back to their manufacturer for recycling. In practise though, this isn’t always easy to do – but most, if not all, councils in the UK have some provision for small appliance recycling at household waste centres. Some even do periodic doorstep collection of electrical items so do check on your local situation.

It might be worth seeing if the dirty working one can be rescued though – it might just need some elbow grease and a good de-scaling. If you don’t have a use for it, someone on your local Freecycle/Freegle group might be able to use it either for general kettle use (if they’re happy with how it cleans up) or for non-food purposes.

Fun/pretty old kettles – or vintage-style new ones – might also have some appeal as a quirky planter.

Any other reuses or better ways to recycle them?

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5 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle an electric kettle?”

  1. Linda says:

    With the cord removed and electrics disabled would be great for children playing house or for their water play.
    If measures on the side are clear could be good for diluting and applying plant fertiliser.

  2. cmdweb says:

    I always struggle with what to do with small appliances. Seems such a waste to just throw them away. I finally gave up last weekend and took two dead irons, an expired hairdryer and a downright dangerous hand blender to the council recycling point. Hopefully they’ll do something semi-smart with them.

  3. eve says:

    i have a stainless steel kettle and filled it with geraniums and put it out in my garden it looks really attractive and a good talking point.

  4. Christina says:

    I think that Curry’s is still taking electrical items to be recycled though I think you need to go to the bigger stores as the Curry’s Digital, that’s my nearest one, got really shirty when I asked them if I would take an old iron!

  5. Monika says:

    Apart from elbow grease and Ajax scourer on the outside of the grimy kettle that still works, the best way to get rid of build-up on the inside is to put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in – guaranteed to get rid of stains and should be used periodically.

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