Day 213 A little helpful hint

I happened upon a conversation at my work this week where one of the ladies was talking about getting money from petty cash to buy a new kettle for the lunch room. The old kettle still works quite well but due to who knows what in the water the inside of the kettle goes quite black over time.

This new kettle buying has gone on in the past in fact I rescued the last kettle from it’s certain demise with the simple hint that I am about to share with you. Clearly word had not got around that I knew the secret of cleaning the kettle. I find this very odd because as you might have guessed by now, I am quite opinionated, hate waste and am not adverse to notifying everyone of any small piece of brilliance I possess.

So here was my opportunity to shine once again! I informed the person involved that I have the power to solve this problem. I am sure she thought I was quite “full of it” and didn’t believe me for one minute but was prepared to be amazed. And amaze her I did.

As luck would have it I had brought a lemon into work that very day to give to her (but that is a whole other story which I won’t bore you with)  so I cut off a slice threw it in the kettle, filled it up with water and put it on to boil. At first I thought it wasn’t going to work and I was going to look like a prize idiot but I don’t give up that easy. I left it there to soak and came back a while later and sure enough a gleaming white kettle was what greeted my eye.

Of course I gloated well over my brilliance to everyone prepared to listen so hopefully the next time the kettle gets to this state everyone will know how to fix it and won’t rush out to replace it.

I may have embellished this story to my detriment but that was just a bit of fun. Really I am very pleased to have saved that kettle from the trash and avoided one more notch in the belt of unnecessary supply and demand.


These game used baseball bats fetched $90 on eBay
Game Used Baseball Bats $90

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Nice work! I had forgotten that gem of a tip! 🙂 Thanks for doing what you’re doing. I love your blog and look forward to it each day. It usually inspires me to get up, grab something I don’t need, and put it into the “donate” bin.

    • Hi Carrie B,
      thanks for the kind words. I am glad you are chipping away at the excess every day. I look forward to the day where I feel that I am done but until then I will keep chipping ways too.

  2. My FB post was similar today, covering the importance of maintaining things – particularly mechanical things – so that they don’t become clutter. Way to clean Colleen!

  3. It really is amazing how quick people are to throw something out! It is a wonder how our ancestors ever survived with all that dirty and unusable stuff! 😉

    • Hi Stephanie,
      luckily our ancestors weren’t so materialistic and a little more organic or else our planet would be in even a more sorry state than it is in right now. We have a lot to answer for in the last 100 years or so.

  4. It always amazes me how reluctant people are to repair things now. Whether it is the iPod losing battery life, the DVD player making clicking sounds, or a dirty kettle, it is nice to see someone trying to keep one of them working and out of the trash.

    Now, if only things were made as well today as they used to be. I know my mom treasures her 25-year-old sewing machine because it is made with metal parts that are far less likely to break than the newer, more plastic, models.

    • Hi Valerie,
      thanks for joining in the comments here at 365lessthings it is so nice to hear from you. You are so right about our throw away society. The sad part is that manufacturers are deliberately making items so they can’t be repaired to increase supply and demand. This is one of the things governements need to be working on, not just carbon taxes but ruthless materialism.

  5. Before and after picture would have been nice.

    Love it :-)0

    • Hi Angelina,
      yes before and after pics would have been a good idea but it was such a spur of the moment event that I wasn’t prepared for and it was only later that I decided to blog about it. Maybe I should carry my camera at all times.

  6. Off to slice a lemon into our kettle!