Why does my water taste like plastic?

Although it most commonly occurs when you let water sit in a plastic bottle for too long, plastic tasting water can actually be caused by a number of things.

Why does my tap water taste like plastic?

There are two common reasons for your tap water tasting like plastic, and believe it or not you may be able to discern the difference just by testing how the tap water tastes yourself. If your water has a fruity plastic taste, it’s likely leachates from your plastic pipes. However, if it’s more of an antiseptic chemical or soapy taste you may be getting backflow from your appliances.

How to fix the fruity plastic taste

As mentioned a fruity, sweet, plastic taste is an indication of leachates from plastic plumbing that was likely installed recently. If you have had your pipes recently installed to remove the taste they should be flushed completely and then allowed to sit unused for 14 days. If this doesn’t remove the odour then you should have your water tested as something within the water may be interacting with your pipes.

If you can detect (by smelling) higher than normal levels of chlorine in your water then that may be the cause of the plastic taste in your drinking water.

How to fix the antiseptic or cleaning agent taste

If your water supply tastes more like a cleaning chemical, it is likely that your appliances we installed wrong and are allowing backflow into your system. This could be any appliance that is connected to your plumbing such as washing machines or dish washers. This taste will be more of a cleaning agent and may give off a scent that you are familiar with in the case of detergent or dishwasher tablets.

To fix this you will need to prevent backflow into your water lines.

What water filtration system is best at removing plastic taste?

Fortunately, the cause of a plastic taste in most water systems is caused by plastic piping or improperly installed appliances. This means installing an expensive water filtration system in your home will be ineffective as it will still be using the same plastic pipes. However if you would like to remove the taste easily a granular activated carbon water filter installed at the tap, under the sink, or in a jug will remove most of the plastic taste for you.

Why does my bottled water taste like plastic?

Unfortunately one of the drawbacks of using a plastic water bottle is that it is likely to imbue a slight plastic taste to the water inside. There are certain circumstances that will make your water bottle taste more like plastic than others.

  • Cheap plastic – It is best to use a BPA free plastic that is food safe. Even better, use glass or stainless steel.
  • Warmth – Warm water is more likely to cause chemical leaching into your water.

Why does my fridge water taste like plastic?

If you’ve recently purchased a new fridge then it is likely that your refrigerator water and ice will taste plastic. Don’t despair! This should just be a temporary inconvenience that can be remedied quite easily.

If it’s your fridge water that tastes like plastic

Run the water through the fridge dispenser until the plastic taste is gone. This should just be a case of ‘new fridge taste’, and a few cycles should fix or drastically reduce the plastic taste.

If you’ve flushed the system a few times and can still strongly taste plastic then some models may allow you to put a solution of warm water and vinegar through the lines. You will want to run at least 3-4 gallons of water through the system.

If it’s your ice machine that tastes like plastic

Turn your ice maker on and allow it to produce a few batches. Throw them out as they will likely contain contaminants from the manufacturing process and some plastic chemical residue from the lines. Once you have made 3 batches of ice, run 3-4 gallons of water through the water dispenser to clean out the lines. Voila! You should have neutral-tasting ice.

The Taste Series

If your water tastes bad then find out why with our taste series.

Adam S

Adam S

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