How to Make Tap Water Taste Better

Find out why your tap water tastes bad, and six different ways to fix it including with a filter and free hacks with stuff you have at home.

By: Rachel Carollo

Water has dozens of health benefits, including improved brain function, physical endurance, and organ performance. It can help you with weight loss, constipation, headaches, and more. Water can even help prevent and cure hangovers. All told, without enough drinking water, your body simply is not functioning at its highest level. 

However, building up your daily water consumption can be a daunting task, just as any habit-building routine can be. It can be even more difficult to sip more if your tap water has an unappealing taste, smell, or appearance. Plus, these unappetizing characteristics can indicate the presence of unhealthy chemicals, heavy metals, or other contaminants in your water. Sure, some people purchase water in bottles, but doing so can be expensive. And, there’s plenty of research that suggests bottled water is even less safe than tap, especially water from plastic bottles. And let’s not forget the environmental impact.

This article will cover why your water might have a bad taste, and six ways to improve the taste of your tap water so that you can enjoy refreshing, crisp, clean water each and every day.

Why does my tap water taste bad?

Your tap water may taste bad for dozens of reasons, including its mineral content, chemical content, presence of heavy metals, and more. If you rely on public tap water from your city, chemicals may remain in your water from their treatment process. This can also affect the smell and appearance. It’s also worth noting that most cities follow the “legal” guidelines for the amount of contaminants in your water, this legal limit still includes many unwanted contaminants like arsenic, fluoride, and chlorine.

If you rely on a private well for your water, its unappealing taste may indicate potential contamination, like a groundwater leak or even a dead animal within the well. Here’s a quick reference guide for different poor water tastes and the potential cause:

  • Musty or moldy taste: A musty taste or odor may be caused by organic matter contaminants such as algae or bacteria. These contaminants appear naturally in large water bodies, but may also grow in pipes or your sink.
  • Rotten egg taste: If your water tastes like rotten eggs, this probably comes from hydrogen sulfide gas. Sulfur naturally occurs, especially in wells, and is actually safe to drink but unappealing to taste and smell. 
  • Chlorine or chemical taste: Chlorine is one of the most common disinfectantsfor water- in fact, it can take away the aforementioned rotten egg smell. Sometimes that chlorine flavor comes across as acidic, rather than the smell of a swimming pool.
  • Metallic taste: A metallic taste in your water often comes from zinc, copper, manganese, or iron. Sometimes, metal from pipes from your home can contaminate clean tap water as they deteriorate.

Using a water filter is often the first (and best!) line of defense when it comes to improving taste.

6 Ways to Make Tap Water Taste Better

In the battle to make your tap water taste better, you have many weapons in your arsenal including several DIY methods with little or no cost.

1. Use a water filter

Using a water filter is often the first (and best!) line of defense when it comes to improving taste. Their entire function is to remove harmful and unwanted contaminants from your water. So, if you choose the right one, you can rest assured that your water’s taste will improve instantly. Plus, these filters remove contaminants that alter the smell, appearance, and safety of your rap water.

Water filters can be installed unseen, under your sink. Or, you can choose a countertop system, which allows you to get your filtered water from a single location (like the kitchen). Or, you can opt to install a whole house system to get filtered water from every faucet. Browse all of your options at Aquasana, and choose the water filter that is right for you.

3. Infuse your water

Another way to improve the taste of your water is to infuse it with fruits, vegetables, and spices. These elements add more than flavor; they also add nutrients and appetizing colors. Start with a clean, glass pitcher, and try these homemade water infusions:

  • Raspberries and lemon
  • Lemon, cucumber, ginger
  • Blackberries and oranges
  • Blueberries, lemon, rosemary
  • Apples, cinnamon, ginger root

You can even purchase special pitchers that hold the fruit in its own container within the water so that you don’t drink any fruit pieces when you take a sip.

4. Alkalize your water

Alkalizing your water involves bringing its pH level back to a more appetizing place. The higher your water’s pH, the more bitter it becomes. (However, some people actually enjoy a higher pH, and that’s one of the reasons some people prefer the taste of bottled water.)

To improve your water’s pH balance, you can purchase an alkaline filter or apply pH drops. Or, for a homemade fix, you can alkalize your own water with baking soda (add a quarter teaspoon per quart of water) or with lemon juice.

5. Add fizz to make sparkling tap water

Some people find that fizzy water improves its overall taste. So, you can create your own fizzy water by purchasing a machine or faucet that creates sparkling tap water. You can even add fruit for a little additional flavor. However, keep in mind that fizzy water isn’t suitable for all dishes when cooking, and it can sometimes lead to an upset stomach or excess gas and bloating.

6. Clean or replace your pipes

Finally, you can clean and/or replace your pipes to improve the taste of your water. Sometimes, the contamination you taste comes from inside your own home, especially if you’re living in an older house, condo, or apartment. If old pipes are your problem and you don’t want to do a complete re-installation, a point-of-use water filter may be able to help. If you do opt to clean and replace your pipes, this might remove courses of contamination like sediment build up, moss growth, algae growth, and deterioration of metal from the pipes themselves.

Enjoy safer, better-tasting tap water

Even with treatment processes in place and pipes repaired, your tap water may still hold contaminants that affect the taste and safety of your water. 

The best option to remove contaminants is to use a filter. Aquasana has several types to choose from, including under sink and whole house systems that allow you to get filtered water from a single location or every faucet in your home. So, use the above techniques to improve the taste of your tap water while you research a new filter from Aquasana. Then, after installation — enjoy healthy, delicious water and peace of mind.


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