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Why Does My Kettle Water Tastes Metallic?

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: February 2, 2024

You are probably here because your new kettle is spitting out water that tastes funny. To be more specific, the water or tea tastes metallic, and you are worried that your kettle is wrong. If you want to discover why your kettle water tastes metallic, continue reading this article!

Firstly, this is nothing to worry about. 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, 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 only two components are involved—the kettle and the tap water—it is not very difficult to identify where the problem lies. 

Let’s talk about why the water is metallic, and then we will drop a nugget about identifying whether it is the kettle or the water. Either way, we have solutions that will make your problem disappear and leave you feeling better. 

Packaging 

 Why Your Kettle Water Tastes Metallic

The first reason is related to the packaging of the kettle. Many factories manufacture this little appliance, and honestly, they don’t put much 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 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.  

Protective Coating 

 Why Your Kettle Water Tastes Metallic

The second reason for the metallic taste coming from your kettle is that some manufacturers add a few layers of protective coats to ensure the kettle does not rust and degrade sooner than they promise. 

This is to ensure that the kettle does not disintegrate before it even leaves the supermarket’s shelves. The kettles, as well as packed, sometimes collect dust while 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; we’ll tell you what it is in a bit.  

Tap Water 

 Why Your Kettle Water Tastes Metallic

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 the metal content of your tap water. Your tap water may have 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 the metal coatings 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, you need to know something. After reading the third reason, you might wonder—is it the kettle or 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 tap water in a regular dish like a pot.  
  • Step 2: Drink it once it cools down and see if it tastes metallic. 

If the answer is yes, 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. 

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? 

 Why Your Kettle Water Tastes Metallic

First, you don’t have to buy a special 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 ensure the kettle is clean and has lost all the chemicals or dirt causing you all this trouble. 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 slightly 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 wash it a few times with a dishwashing liquid or soap. Just be careful to ensure that you don’t let the water into any of the electrical components of the kettle

Do A PH Test 

 Why Your Kettle Water Tastes Metallic

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 to 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 can contain calcite, magnesium oxide or calcium carbonate and adjust the pH levels.  

The metallic taste of tap water might also result from 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 with vinegar and the other half with water. 
  • Step 2: Boil the solution and leave it that way for at least 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 

 Why Your Kettle Water Tastes Metallic

And finally, here’s another one. If you can find some bicarbonate, here’s what you do. 

  • Step 1: Fill the kettle with water and mix two tablespoons of bicarbonate. Boil it. 
  • Step 2: Leave it that way overnight. 
  • Step 3: Remove the solution and rinse the kettle the next morning. 
  • Step 4: Fill it with fresh water and boil it. Get rid of this batch to ensure no bicarbonate residue in it. 
  • Step 5: Refill the kettle with water and taste it. Your problem should be solved. 

You can also do this with lime; the same should 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.  

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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