When Coffee From Your New Keurig Tastes Like Plastic

That New Coffeemaker Smell! When Coffee From Your Keurig Tastes Like Plastic 

When your new Keurig tastes or smells like plastic…it can be enough to make the novice owner think this was a really bad idea and succumb to buyer’s remorse, right? Put another way, there’s a “new car smell” which to most people, is awesome, but if we’re talking about pod brewers, sometimes (not always – mine didn’t!) upon opening the bag, they smell too high heaven.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this post, we’re going to look at some possible solutions. Choose one from the list, for whatever your situation is, and try it out. This is going to be what I call a “brain dump” of the most helpful products for getting that odor under control once and for all.

plastic taste in keurig

What Causes That Plastic Smell, Anyway?

It’s not always easy to determine which – some models have very few odor complaints and some, like the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew, seem to have all kinds of mentions about this problem. But we know this can be a problem….so what causes it, before we go any further?

Vocab Time: “Outgassing”
In a word, outgassing…When something is brand new off the assembly line and wrapped in packaging material, all the aroma remains trapped until you, the new owner has it in your hands and as a result of removing said packaging, you’re probably hit with it right away. This seems to happen with a lot of stuff that is brand new…I know I’ve had items that I would let air out for a while which seemed to help. The smell just dissipated with time.

But you, you’re probably an eager beaver when you first get your package and you probably are dying to take it for its maiden brew right after you do the preliminary priming step.

Exposing it To Air, or the Light

I’ve read through what seemed like dozens and dozens of posts on this topic, and it always seems to go back to “try white vinegar” Should you go that route? Perhaps, more on that in a minute, but first I wanted to mention that a few people just went ahead and let their new coffee makers sit out for a day or two. One guy said he sat outside in the sun and let the UV rays take care of the smell.

So that might be something to think about, just let it sit out in the sun for a while. It’s not like forever, and if you already have an older model you saved as a backup you should be in good hands.

How Well Does Vinegar Work?

OK, back to the white vinegar…Yeppers, the exact same substance used in descaling. How well does it work? It seems like for every 5 people that get some resolution from it there are 5 who don’t. Why is that? Well, what I’ve discovered is that the people it worked for had to use a lot of vinegar, like 48 oz, and that means that they had to rinse it out for equally that amount of water.

I wasn’t sure vinegar was the best approach as it is made to remove mineral scale, not remove odors, so much, but vinegar has so many excellent household benefits I can see why people would go to it. Also, the people it worked for, sometimes had to be sure and rinse it out very well, and in a few cases, repeat the procedure.

burnt plastic smell in keurig

Have You Tried Vodka?

I’ve heard some people got some relief from the smell by doing a vodka rinse. Get some cheap vodka and use a ratio of water equal to it. or you could pour it in full strength and, on a paper towel or similar and run up and down the sides of the reservoir inside.

Rubbing Alcohol

This kind comes from the drugstore, I have heard good things about it too. Pour half a bottle and dilute with an equal ration of water and do the flush until you notice no traces of odor -alcohol OR plastic.

In this case, alcohol CAN be a solution to life’s problems –  if it’s a smelly coffee maker!

Activated Charcoal Powder - Food Grade 1.5 ozActivated Charcoal Powder – Food Grade 1.5 ozActivated Charcoal Powder - Food Grade 1.5 oz

Activated Charcoal

The one product I think people should try is this- food-grade activated charcoal. This is a product that so many people are raving about in their personal care repertoires, but did you know that charcoal is one of the best deodorizers out there? After all, it is the “thing” that is found in the little sachets that go into your reservoir water filters – because charcoal water filters are already easy to acquire and commonplace, I think that’s why I don’t hear a lot of people talk about using it for getting the smell out of their new Keurig. I did hear a few story-based comments from people who used it to rinse out their reservoirs and it was the best thing ever.

I knew about charcoal as a deodorizer from way back when I had some old briquettes lying around I didn’t want to toss and ended up putting them into little bitty storage containers with holes punched on top, in place of air fresheners. I change them out every 6 months. But for this, you need to look for food-grade activated charcoal. If your new Keurig didn’t come with a water filter assembly (most of the new ones do, but not always.) best bet is to put a three-quarter teaspoon of activated charcoal into the reservoir and add enough water to fill to the line and run a cleansing rinse.

The person who mentioned this is also named Jennifer, I found her comments on Youtube, and I would like to give her credit for this tip- including the part about three-fourths of a teaspoon.

Lemon juice

Is anyone up for this one? Lemon juice is highly acidic so it is best diluted. In my experience, it does get rid of foul odors in your kitchen. I sometimes use it in the sink drain. The only thing is the foul odor per your new Keurig is not one of the same variety, it’s a plastic one, which is a different ball game.

Baking soda

It’s one of the best household deodorizers out there, so I am not surprised when I hear someone mention they had success with baking soda. A teaspoon mixed in some warm water so it will dissolve, and run a cleansing rinse.
So…every substance I know of…..have you tried any of these and how well did they work for you?

4 thoughts on “When Coffee From Your New Keurig Tastes Like Plastic”

  1. Thanks for the tips. You should have seen my daughters face when she tasted that first cup of foul smelling coffee. 😂🥲 It made me sad but it was hilarious at the same time because it was so unexpected. We were expecting something awesome – not!

  2. I bought a Keurig cappuccino maker almost 8 months ago, over $200 maybe, it has a plastic smell until now. I told my mom and she said I have to stop use it because she is worring the plastic maybe cause cancer later. So the problem if it is safe, it is only smell or it will cause health issue. I want to return it but it has been many months since I bought it.

  3. All of my kitchen appliances are “empire red”. When Keurig came out with “empire red” as a choice, I jumped on it. I ordered the coffee maker right away. When it was delivered, I couldn’t wait to make a cup or more, of coffee. I followed the instructions and brewed the cup. Now, this is the 5th Keurig I had. So, I am very aware of what to do. Well, you can imagine my horror when it started brewing and the smell of burnt plastic mingled with coffee, filled the air. I thought, OMG, and it tasted awful. I thought I was going to have to return the Keurig, to make matters worse, I had bought it online. I was crushed. I didn’t know what to do. So, to make a very long comment short, in desperation, I went online. That’s where I found your site. So, I used the baking soda tip. It worked. Thank you. You are a savior. What a delicious cup of coffee I had this morning. Keep up your fantastic tips.

    1. Aw, your story made my day!! I’m so glad the baking soda helped…Charcoal is next on my list for best deodorizer without chemicals…baking soda is definitely the “awesome sauce” when it comes to deodorizing…no wonder so many uses are always listed on the outside label 🙂
      Here’s to many happy brews…☕️☕️☕️😄😄😄

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