There are a lot of reasons why you might want to change how your tap water tastes.  Perhaps you live in a community with a high concentration of chlorine in your tap water, or there may be other particulates in your water that is affecting its taste, such as a high mineral content.

In this article, we describe some quick and easy ways that you can get your tap water tasting better without breaking the bank.

Why Does My Water Taste ‘Off’?

The ‘odd’ or ‘off’ taste of your tap water will be determined by its chemical components (unless you’ve recently developed a health condition that affects your taste).

Usually this means that there are specific minerals in the water that give it a particular taste.  For example, think how sulfuric water can taste if taken from a well or the ground.

There are other chemical components that can be found in drinking water which also affect taste. High levels of chlorine or chloramine in tap water (which are often used as disinfectants in the water supply) can change both how it tastes and smells.

Filters

There are a lot of different water filters available, many of which can make your water taste crisper and cleaner by filtering out excess minerals.  Activated charcoal or carbon filters are some of the most common, and can filter out basic mineral and organic compounds. Reverse osmosis filters are another common drinking water filter, which remove unwanted contaminants and larger particles from your water supply.

Some filters are sold as part of a water jug or other container, while others can be attached directly to your kitchen faucet.

Use the Water as a Base or Add a Flavor

You can also consider flavoring your water, or using it to make another type of beverage with a better taste.  For instance, you could put the kettle on to make tea or coffee.  You could also add things to the water to make it more palatable, like small fruits or cut up pieces of lemon, lime or cucumber.  Lemon and lime juice, as well as other fruit juices, can work too.  As can herb leaves or stems (mint leaves, for example).

If the addition to the water is cold, it can also play the role of ice and keep your newly flavored beverage cold.  Similarly, if you have fruit juice handy, you can freeze it to make flavored ice cubes to put in your water.

There are also plenty of syrups and powders on the market to give your water a more refreshing taste.  These simply mix directly with the water, and after some stirring, will noticeably change the flavor profile.

Boiling waterBoil or Oxygenate the Water

Boiling the water before drinking it, or leaving it out to ‘breathe’ in the open air, can often help improve taste.  This will often allow some of the chemical components in the water to evaporate or dissipate as vapour.

How long you will need to do this depends on the specific chemicals that you’re looking to get rid of.  For chlorine, you will need to boil the water in a pot for at least 20 minutes, or leave it out in the sun for about a day.

Run the Water

If you notice that the water that first comes out of the tap tastes a bit off, it may be that you are drinking stagnant water that has been sitting in your pipes for a while.  The exact time to run the water before drinking it  might vary depending on your specific context, but shouldn’t be more than 20 seconds or so.

Stagnant water may be in contact with the pipes in your home for a longer period of time, potentially changing the taste.  If so, let the water run for a few moments before filling your glass or container, and see if it tastes differently.

Chill the Water

Some claim that it is harder to taste water the colder it becomes.  If you agree and want to avoid tasting your tap water, consider adding ice to your next glass, or filling a jug/receptacle and placing it in the fridge to cool for a couple hours.  Then enjoy a chilled, better tasting water.

Better Tasting Tap Water

Of course, the option you chose to get your tap water to taste better will depend largely on the specifics of your situation.  However, know that whatever the case may be, there is almost certainly a solution here that will work for you, whether you’re trying to minimize the taste of chlorine, minerals, or anything else.