Kettle Tasting Or Smelling Bad? Follow These 5 Steps


Wondering how to remove the smell from your kettle?

You’re not alone! It can be quite frustrating when your drink doesn’t taste as good as it should due to an unpleasant smell.

But don’t worry; I’m here to help!

If your kettle tastes or smells bad, give it a full descaling and cleaning. Use white vinegar and water to half-fill the kettle and then boil it. Then, use a traditional detergent and sponge to clean it. If that doesn’t work, try covering the kettle’s interior with baking soda for an hour.

Read on to learn more about how to remove smells from your kettle!

How to Remove Smell From Kettle: 5 Fixes

Different reasons can explain why your kettle tastes funny or has an unpleasant smell. Luckily, there are various solutions you can try.

#1 Descale and Clean the Kettle

I tend to find that when a kettle tastes funny or has a bad smell, it’s usually because of hard water.

You see, calcium build-ups don’t just impact your water faucets or filters; they can also cause an unpleasant taste and smell on your kettle.

Limescale will also make the water appear a little murky. Cleaning and descaling the kettle can help you fix the problem.

limescale buildup on kettle
If your kettle smells bad, you may need to descale it.

Here’s how you can descale your kettle.

  1. Half fill the kettle with water and white vinegar.
  2. Boil the kettle. Then allow the solution to cool completely inside the kettle.
  3. Empty the kettle.
  4. Use a cleaning sponge and mild detergent to scrub away any stubborn limescale.
  5. Boil water inside the kettle, then discard it twice to remove the lingering vinegar smell.

#2 Clean It With Baking Soda

So we have covered how to remove an unpleasant smell and taste from an old kettle. But what if your new kettle tastes funny?

If you taste or smell something that is not quite right with your new kettle, do not panic. You’re probably smelling the chemicals used during your kettle’s manufacturing process.

You see, the inside and outside of your kettle are coated to ensure they do not rust after they are made.

Here’s how to get rid of the new kettle smell:

  1. Boil the water inside the kettle, then discard it. I recommend repeating the process to eliminate the odor. But, if the smell and new kettle taste continue, move on to step two.
  2. Fill the kettle with two cups of baking soda and leave it for one hour.
  3. Add water to the kettle and boil it.
  4. Once the water has boiled, empty the kettle.
  5. Refill the kettle with water, then boil it and discard it again to rinse away any remaining baking soda.

#3 Test the Water

If your kettle still has a funny taste or smell, you’ll need to test the water you’re using.

To determine if the water is the cause of the unpleasant taste and smell in your kettle, please do the following:

  1. Boil water using the kettle.
  2. Boil water using a saucepan.
  3. Compare the taste and smell of the water from the kettle and the saucepan.
    1. When the water from the kettle tastes different, my usual advice is to return the kettle to the manufacturer. You should be able to get a free replacement if your kettle is still under warranty.
    2. If the water from the kettle and the saucepan taste or smell the same, move on to steps 4 and 5 in this article.
boiling water
If your kettle is tasting or smelling bad, boil water in a saucepan, then compare it to the water from the kettle.

#4 Let the Water Stand

If you’ve determined that your kettle is not the cause of the unpleasant taste or smell but rather the water you’re using, please keep reading.

I find that when the water has a funny taste or smell is usually because there’s chlorine in it.

You see, chlorine is added to our drinking water to clean it- Don’t worry. Chlorine is generally considered safe in the levels used for water treatment – However, it could be why your kettle tastes or smells bad.

Here’s how you can remove the chlorine smell or taste from your water before you boil it.

  1. Fill a jug with tap water and cover it with a breathable material, such as a clean cloth.
  2. Place the jug in the fridge or leave it at room temperature.
  3. Allow the water to stand for a few hours* to give the chlorine time to evaporate.
  4. After a few hours, use the water to make hot drinks using your kettle as normal.

*TIP: Do not leave the water at room temperature for more than 24 hours because bacteria can build up again.

#5 Use Filtered Water

If your water is the issue behind your kettle’s unpleasant taste or smell, you can also try swapping it for filtered water.

Here are a couple of reasons why I recommend using filtered water:

  • Filtered water is cheaper than bottled water.
  • Water filters remove sediment, taste, and odor from water. They also remove hardness and bacteria.
  • Water filters are easy to clean and maintain. Simply replace the filters as per your manufacturer’s instructions.
jug with filtered water
If your kettle smells like fish or has an unpleasant taste, try using filtered water.

How to Keep Your Kettle Smelling and Tasting Fresh

Now that you know how to remove the bad taste and smell from your kettle, I’m sure you’ll want to learn how to prevent it from returning.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Descale your kettle regularly: You should descale your kettle once every three months to get rid of limescale. However, if you live in a hard water area, I find it best to do it once a month. Keep in mind that you probably have to increase the descaling schedule if you use your kettle very often throughout the day.
  2. Keep your kettle clean: In my experience, keeping your kettle clean on the outside and inside is crucial to prevent an unpleasant taste or strange smell. Giving it a rinse from time to time and a wash with a mild detergent should eliminate any bad smells or tastes. Make sure you rinse it well after you have cleaned it.
  3. Rinse a new kettle: Before using your new kettle, make sure that you boil the water inside it twice and discard it to get rid of dust or anything inside the kettle that would make the water taste or smell bad.
  4. Install a water filter: As mentioned above, install a water filter if you can taste or smell the chlorine in your water.

Wrapping Up: Fixing a Kettle That Tastes or Smells Bad

Hopefully, now you know how to remove any unpleasant taste or smell from your kettle.

Remember, if your kettle is tasting or smelling bad, you’ll need to descale it and clean it with vinegar or baking soda. Don’t forget to test the water.

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Good luck!


I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more