You are probably here because your new kettle is spitting out water that tastes funny. Well, to be more specific, the water or tea is tasting metallic and you are worried that there is something wrong with your kettle.
Firstly, this is nothing to worry about. In fact, it is quite common and there are some simple explanations for it. There are also a few simple solutions, all of which will be discussed in this article. So, keep reading. And if it makes you feel better, no, your kettle does not hate you. Let’s begin.
Why Your Kettle Water Tastes Metallic
There are three main reasons why this happens as often as it does. And since there are only two components involved—the kettle and the tap water—it is not very difficult to identify where the problem lies.
Let’s talk about the reasons why the water is metallic and then we will drop a nugget about how to identify whether it is the kettle or the water. Either way, we have solutions that will make your problem go away and leave you feeling better.
The first reason is related to the packaging of the kettle. A lot of factories manufacture this little appliance and honestly, they don’t put a lot of effort into cleaning them before packing them up for distribution.
They are clean enough to make the kettle look presentable, but that’s where the caretaking exercise ends. They don’t really rinse the kettles or dry them properly. That’s why whatever comes out of the kettle tastes either metallic or plastic, depending on the material of your kettle. This will continue until you do something to fix it. We’ll get to that in a moment.
The second reason for the metallic taste coming from your kettle is that some manufacturers add a few layers of protective coats to make sure that the kettle does not rust and degrade sooner than they promise.
This is to make sure that the kettle does not disintegrate before it even leaves the shelves of the supermarket. The kettles, well as they are packed, sometimes do collect dust while they are sitting in warehouses and other storage areas. And there’s nothing wrong with treating the kettle because it’s just good business.
Typically, these coatings are also a way of waterproofing the kettle. So, you can expect the taste to stay that way unless you take action to prevent it. And if the manufacturer is British, there is a good chance that the components are made in eastern countries.
These countries have many regulations about using chemicals in the manufacturing process. So, they do a lot of work to treat the kettles and some residue causes this taste. Don’t worry. There’s a fix and we’ll tell you what it is in a bit.
Depending on how much you know about the tap water you get, this might seem either obvious or completely surprising to you. But here’s what it is.
The kettle smells and tastes like metal a few times in the beginning because of your tap water’s metal content. It’s possible that your tap water has more of that than it should.
For instance, if your area gets a lot of hard water, your tap water will contain a good deal of magnesium and calcium. You might think they are good but not in this form.
These two minerals are the reason why kettles develop limescale over a period of time. It is the result of interacting with coatings of metal in your kettle. And it is likely to stay that way for a bit. But, once again, there is a simple solution to this problem too.
How Do I Know If It’s The Kettle Or The Water?
Before we jump into the solutions, here’s something you need to know. After reading the third reason, you might be wondering—is it the kettle or is it the water.
Well, which one is it? We don’t have a straight answer for you because we don’t know where you live and what kind of kettle you bought. But a very basic test will give you the answer and it has only two steps.
- Step 1: Boil some tap water in a regular dish like a pot.
- Step 2: Drink it once it cools down and see if it has that metallic taste.
If the answer is yes, well, your kettle is fine and you need to do something about the hard water coming from your tap. If the answer is no, then the kettle is the villain in this situation.
Solving this problem means figuring out who the manufacturer is and how they made the kettle. Even if you don’t know these details, there are solutions. And here’s that information.
How Can I Stop This?
First of all, you don’t have to go buy a specialty appliance or cleaner to solve this problem. There are a couple of homemade remedies and a special one for those who like to be extra careful. And whichever category you fall into, we’ve got your back. Here we go.
Clean It With Boiling Water A Few Times
If you have boiled the problem down to the kettle (and not the hard water from your tap), here’s what you need to do:
- Step 1: Look for any tags, stickers or labels your new kettle has. Remove them all right away.
- Step 2: Check the maximum capacity of the kettle and fill it to that point with regular water.
- Step 3: Turn on the kettle and boil the water. Get rid of the water once you are done.
You will need to do this a few times to make sure the kettle is clean and has lost all the chemicals or dirt that has been causing all this trouble for you. There is no exact number of times you need to do this because that depends on the kind of kettle you have and the number of coatings it has.
Taste the water a little bit to see if the metallic taste is still lingering. You will have to do this each time until you are satisfied.
If that doesn’t seem good enough and you have the extra energy, you can also wash it a few times with a dishwashing liquid or soap. Just be careful to make sure that you don’t let the water into any of the electrical components of the kettle.
Do A PH Test
Your second option is to do a pH test. This is the step to take if you have determined that tap water is the culprit. You can try a simple filtration system and that can solve the problem. But there is another way and here’s what that is.
- Step 1: Get a basic kit that will help you conduct a pH test on the water.
- Step 2: If the result is less than 7, the water has low pH and is acidic in nature. You will need something called the neutralizing filter which has the ability to contain calcite, magnesium oxide or calcium carbonate and adjust the pH levels.
The metallic taste coming from tap water might also be the result of old pipes. That can be sorted out with a filtration system. But before you buy one, you must consult with a good water treatment brand that will assess the situation and tell you what to do.
Oftentimes, they recommend getting a strong filter that will fix the problem with any and all pipes bringing the tap water into your home. You won’t need this for rooms like bathrooms because you won’t be drinking that water.
Try A Homemade Vinegar Solution
This is one of the easier solutions if you don’t want to get all sciency about it.
- Step 1: Take the kettle and fill half of it with vinegar and the other half with water.
- Step 2: Boil the solution and leave it that way for a minimum of two hours or overnight if you can.
- Step 3: Pour the solution out and rinse the kettle thoroughly.
- Step 4: Fill it up with water again and boil it. Rinse the kettle again, boil water and taste it. It should be fine now.
Use Bicarbonate Or Lime
And finally, here’s another one. If you can find some bicarbonate, here’s what you do.
- Step 1: Fill up the kettle with water and mix two tablespoons of bicarbonate in it. Boil it.
- Step 2: Leave it that way overnight.
- Step 3: Get rid of the solution and rinse the kettle the next morning.
- Step 4: Fill it with fresh water and boil it. Get rid of this batch too to make sure there is no residue of the bicarbonate in it.
- Step 5: Refill the kettle with water and taste it. Your problem should be solved.
You can also do this with lime and the same is supposed to happen. And if none of these solutions work, you have a different problem. Take comfort in the fact that there is always the option of returning the kettle to the manufacturer.