Kettle Tasting Or Smelling Bad? Follow These 5 Steps


Is your kettle giving an off smell?

This can be quite a common problem – and a big one. It sucks if every drink you make is tainted by a weird smell that you just can’t get rid of.

Thankfully, fixing a kettle with a weird smell can be a simple process that won’t take you longer than 15 minutes.

If your kettle tastes or smells weird, give it a full descaling and cleaning. Make sure to 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, covering the interior of the kettle with bicarbonate of soda for an hour may do the trick.

That’s the quick answer (I know a lot of people on the internet are in a rush!) but there’s more detail than that.

If you’d like more of a step-by-step guide to getting your kettle’s water back to tasting crisp and fresh, then read on.

5 Ways to Get Rid of the Bad Taste Or Smell

We all like our water to taste and smell of…well…nothing. That’s just the way it’s supposed to be. Water should have that tasteless taste and that odorless odor that we all love. So if the water from your kettle has a slight whiff, you know something is off. And if you can taste it, then there is definitely a problem.

Coming up are 5 things you can do to identify your kettle’s water problem and fix it.

#1 Descale and Clean the Kettle

If you live in a hard water area, you’ll likely have run-ins with calcium build-ups. This will no doubt affect your water faucets, water filters, and kettle.

While the limescale inside your kettle won’t make the water taste funny, it could make it appear a little murky. It could also give you a rather disconcerting crunch when drinking a hot drink. Cleaning and descaling the kettle can help you eliminate this problem.

Here’s how you can descale your kettle.

  1. Hall 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 Bicarbonate of Soda

So we have covered what you should do with an old kettle. But what if your kettle is brand new and it is giving your water a metallic or funny taste?

If you taste or smell something that is not quite right with your new kettle, do not panic. What you’re smelling might just be chemicals from your kettle’s manufacturing process. The inside and outside of your kettle are coated to ensure they do not rust after they are made. This coating may be the culprit of the smell or taste.

To remove any tastes or smells when using your new kettle, do the following.

  1. Boil the water inside the kettle then discard it. Do this twice. If the smell and taste continue, move on to step two.
  2. Fill the kettle with two cups of bicarbonate of soda. Leave it to sit 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 once more. This will rinse away any remaining bicarbonate of soda

#3 Test the Water

Have you completed the steps listed so far in this article but still have not been able to solve your water problem? Then the issue may not lie with the kettle itself but with the water. How can you be sure?

To test your water, 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. If the water from the kettle tastes different, then you may need 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 pot of water
Boil water in a saucepan then compare it to the water from the kettle

#4 Let the Water Stand

One of the reasons why your water might smell or taste funny is because of the chlorine in it. Chlorine is added to our drinking water to clean it. This isn’t dangerous for us, but this could be the taste or smell that you are detecting from your kettle.

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

  1. Fill a jug with tap water
  2. Cover the jug with a breathable material such as a clean cloth
  3. Place the jug in the fridge or leave it at room temperature
  4. Allow the water to stand for a few hours*. This will give the chlorine time to evaporate.
  5. 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. This is because bacteria will start to build up again after this time.

#5 Use Filtered Water

If you are having a problem with your water, then it might be time for you to try swapping to filtered water. Here are a couple of reasons why this is a great option for many homeowners.

  • 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
A water filter removes taste and odor from water

How to Keep Your Water Smelling and Tasting Fresh

Ok, so you have done all that hard work to get the water from your kettle to smell and taste as it should. So, now let’s take a look at what you can do to keep it that way. Here are some suggestions.

Descale Your Kettle Regularly

You should descale your kettle once every 3 months. If you live in a hard water area, however, you will need to descale it once a month. You may have to increase this schedule if you use your kettle very often throughout the day.

Descaling your kettle will rid it of limescale and stop it from having an unpleasant taste.

Keep Your Kettle Clean

Keeping your kettle clean on the outside and inside is important. Giving it a rinse from time to time and a wash with a mild detergent should halt any bad smells or tastes. You can use a mild detergent to clean your kettle on the inside. Make sure you rinse it well after you have cleaned it.

Rinse a New Kettle

Before using your new kettle, make sure that you boil the water inside it twice and discard it. This should get rid of dust or anything inside the kettle that would make the water taste or smell.

Install a Water Filter

Can you taste or smell the chlorine in your water? Then installing a water filter could fix the problem. This is a better long-term solution than filling jugs and allowing your water to stand.


Does the water from your kettle smell or taste like something’s not quite right? Then I am sure the 5 steps in this article have helped you restore the flavorless flavor and odorless smell we all love to your water.

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Have a great day!


Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more