Why Certain Water Bottles Leave a Metallic Aftertaste

If you’ve ditched your plastic water bottle to do your part for the environment, bravo! But, if it’s literally leaving a bad taste in your mouth, you may be wondering where you went wrong.

Reusable water bottles can be so handy (and great for the environment) because all you have to do is wash and reuse them, so when certain ones end up leaving a metallic aftertaste, it’s a huge downer.

But, don’t worry, understanding why this happens and what you can do to stop it, will leave you loving your water bottle once again!

Why does my water bottle taste like metal?

Here’s a little checklist that could lead you to the metal-tasting culprit. If your bottle tastes strange it most likely has to do with 1 of 4 things:

New Bottle

clean out new water bottles

First things first. Is your water bottle new and is it made of stainless steel? If you answered yes to both questions, this may be just a cause of cleaning it the right way.

A quick soap rinse may do the trick, but if you still feel like you’re drinking metal water, it’s time to up your cleaning game. Use some baking soda with water and let it soak for a few hours. That should do the trick.


If your bottle isn’t new, there could be some other things going on inside your favorite water bottle like the water itself. If you drink tap water and notice a metallic taste, it may be due to either lower pH levels or too many trace minerals in your water supply.

This could be because of rusty city or residential pipes. Your water is likely still safe to drink, but you may want to get it tested to make sure there’s no lead that’s leading to the metallic taste.

Other beverages

use fresh water in your bottle to prevent mold


Think about what you’re putting in your water bottle too. If you’re using it for something else besides straight-up water, there could be some corrosion going on inside a stainless steel bottle.

Drinks like lemon water and soda could spell trouble for your water bottle and lead to rust and corrosion.


Mold is gross any way you slice it. When you’re talking about mold and your water bottle, it’s especially nasty. Even if you’re only drinking water in your water bottle, bacteria and mold can build up over time.

Sometimes, these little guys can release acids that can lead to corrosion in the stainless steel bottle, causing that metallic taste.

What can I do to prevent this from happening?

how to prevent a bad flavor in your bottleIf you want to stay on the reusable water bottle train minus the metallic aftertaste, there are a couple of things you can do. 

- Switch to a BPA-free plastic sports cap if the cap is made from stainless steel. This can help to reduce that metallic taste. 
- Soak the bottle overnight with white vinegar. This can help to break up any mold and kill bacteria that may be causing the problem.
- Fill the bottle with boiling water and let it soak for a few hours. You may even want to soak it overnight to see if the boiling water helps to get rid of the bad aftertaste. You may have to do this a few times if it doesn’t work the first time.
- Consider a ceramic-lined insulated bottle. While it’s still made from stainless steel, it has a ceramic liner over the top so your water or whatever else you have inside never comes in contact with the metal.
- And for a step-by-step guide on how to thoroughly clean your reusable water bottle, click here.

    The bottom line

    If your water bottle is leaving a metallic aftertaste there’s no reason to ditch it. Cleaning it thoroughly if it’s new as well as keeping up with regular cleaning can keep that nasty taste away. 

    Also, you may have to do some special cleaning like soaking it with baking soda or vinegar. If all else fails and you’re still tasting metal, you may want to consider switching to a ceramic-lined insulated bottle. This way you’re still getting a reusable water bottle minus the metallic taste.

    Remember, going the reusable route is a win-win so don’t get discouraged. You just have to give your water bottle some TLC so that you can enjoy your water while still helping the environment.


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