Has your hot cup of tea or coffee been marred by a strange taste recently? It could be that the water from your kettle is the culprit. There could be several reasons for this, including limescale build-up, chemicals from the kettle’s manufacturing process, or even the quality of your water source.
This blog post will help to demystify the causes of this unwelcome flavour and suggest some solutions to get your drinks tasting great again.
Could Your Kettle Be the Problem?
Often, kettles are the source of the funny-tasting water. Most brands use plastic water level indicators, which, although useful, can sometimes impact the taste. These can usually be removed without causing damage, but do check your warranty before doing so.
What to Try if You Have a Smelly Kettle
If your kettle begins to give off an unpleasant smell, there are a few different strategies you can try to rectify the issue. A thorough clean can often eliminate any smells or odd tastes. It’s worth noting that certain chemicals are used during the manufacturing process to protect the kettle. These substances also help prevent rusting while the kettle lies idle in warehouses and shops. If a newly purchased kettle is not properly washed before its first use, it may result in an off-putting taste.
Using Tap Water – Leave it to Stand First
If you have checked your kettle and found no issues, the problem could be with your water. Leaving tap water to stand for a few hours will allow any excess chlorine to evaporate. However, beware not to leave it for too long as this can lead to bacteria build-up.
Chlorine in Water
If chlorine is the issue, another solution is to store your tap water in a covered container in the fridge for a couple of hours. This should get rid of the chlorine, leading to better-tasting water when you boil it in your kettle.
Limescaling: A Hidden Culprit
Limescaling is a common issue, particularly in areas with hard water. As the water boils, insoluble calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate forms and spreads across the kettle. This limescale, when it reacts with the kettle’s metal coating, can cause the water to taste bad.
Maintaining a Clean Water Filter Jug
If you use a water filter jug, make sure to maintain it properly to prevent any taste issues from arising. Regular cleaning is essential, and a mixture of white vinegar and water or regular washing-up liquid can do the trick. Additionally, the filter should be replaced as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Regularly Run Your Taps
According to Thames Water, different odours in your water can point to varying issues. For example, a chlorine smell or taste could indicate changes in treatment at your local water plant. An earthy or musty scent might be due to a high number of harmless micro-organisms, especially if your home has been empty for a while. To avoid this, regularly run your cold taps for about five minutes, which allows old water to pass through and encourages regular usage.
Are the Funny Taste and Bad Odour Dangerous?
Different kettles can emit various odd tastes and odours like plastic, chlorine, or a general nasty smell. Most of these are not detrimental to your health. However, a plastic smell can be a cause for concern as it is often linked to BPA, an industrial chemical used in making plastic kettles.
Tips to Prevent Your Kettle Water from Tasting Funny
Tip 1: Thoroughly Clean Your Newly Acquired Kettle
Most new kettles are coated with certain chemicals used during production. These can react with the water in the kettle, resulting in unpleasant tastes and odours.
To avoid this, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean your kettle before using it. Fill the kettle with water and boil, discard the water, and repeat this process three to four times.
Tip 2: Use Bicarbonate
If you’re still facing issues even after cleaning, try adding two tablespoons of bicarbonate to the kettle, fill with water, and boil. Leave the kettle to cool overnight with the bicarbonate-mixed water, dispose of the water, wash the kettle, and refill with clean water.
Trick 3: Descaling with Vinegar
A final tip is to descale your kettle using vinegar. After boiling water in your kettle, add vinegar or a tablespoon of lemon salt. Let the solution cool for a few hours or overnight, discard the solution, and thoroughly rinse the inside of your kettle.
By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure your kettle water tastes fresh, helping you to enjoy your hot beverages once again. Just remember, a clean kettle is key to a great-tasting drink!