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How to Make Tap Water Taste Better (Very Tasty)

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
Last Updated on

Tap water often tastes bad when it’s unfiltered but even filtered water can also have an earthy or metallic taste.

Bad tasting tap water can be due to reasons such as contamination or hard water minerals, but excess chlorine in water is the most primary reason we found to be the cause of this problem. This is because municipal water management authorities use chlorine to kill bacteria in large scale water treatment. The water is then filtered and distributed to homes, but the chlorine may not have been properly filtered, which then causes the water to taste bad.

So, how can you make tap water taste better? The taste of unfiltered tap water can be improved by filtering the water. If the water has already been filtered, then consider improving the taste by adding flavor with substances such as sugar, maple syrup, mint leaves or lemon juice.

Let the Water Run For a While

Run the Water
Running Water from a Faucet

Before seeking solutions, open the faucet and let the water run for a while. Our tap water sometimes tastes bad because we’re drinking stale water that has built up in the water pipes.

Running the faucet for about 20 seconds – 3 minutes should successfully flush the stagnant water in your pipes.

Filter the Water to Improve Taste

Filtering the water with a water filter system is one of the long-term solutions to improving tap water quality.

Water filters such as reverse osmosis systems are designed to improve water taste and quality by filtering out contaminants and chemicals such as chlorine from water. We recommend installing the Aquasana OptimH20 to filter kitchen tap water or get a portable countertop reverse osmosis system like the AquaTru water filter.

If your water still tastes bad after filtration, then check that your water filter is functioning properly. A bad or poorly maintained water filter system can contaminate and make the water taste bad. If this is the case, consider replacing the filters (you should do this every 6 months) or sanitizing & purging the system to eliminate the bad taste.

Boil the Water

If you can’t afford a water filter system then consider other water purifications methods like boiling. Boiling tap water will improve its taste by removing chemicals and bacteria in the water.

Boiling water

If you want to get rid of the chlorine, for instance, then you should boil the water for about twenty minutes. However, boiled water tends to taste flat, and you might find that it tastes even worse than it did before.

Add Flavor to the Water

Adding flavor is one of the quickest ways to make tap water taste better. Ingredients such as sugar, salt, mint leaves, lemon juice and baking soda can add flavor and make the water more refreshing. What’s more? They’re readily available and you probably already have some of them in your kitchen!

Add a Flavor
Add a Flavor

Add Salt to Improve Taste

Adding a pinch of salt to your drinking water is one of the easiest and most convenient ways of make it taste differently. Ordinary salt is inexpensive and readily available everywhere. You will have to find your sweet spot since everyone has a different salt tolerance threshold and preference.

Add Sugar to Improve Taste

You can go in the opposite direction of salt by adding a bit of sugar to your water. Much like salt, sugar is an inexpensive substance that will immediately improve the taste of your tap water.

It’s worth noting though, that sugar won’t alter the taste of water as much as salt, but it should do the job if you’re partial to sweeter-tasting drinks. It’s recommended to add 8 g of sugar per 100 ml of drinking water if you opt for this solution.

Improve Taste with Maple Syrup

Maple syrup may not be the first thing that you would think of when considering flavors to add to your water, but it’s another great option. Yet again, much like salt and sugar, it’s relatively inexpensive.

A single tablespoon of maple syrup in water should be enough to improve the taste. Just make sure that you stir well until the syrup is completely dissolved. Otherwise, it won’t distribute evenly and your water will be patchy. 

Improve Taste with Lemon Juice

If you want to keep things on the healthy side while also improving the taste of drinking water, adding lemon juice is a no-brainer. Adding lemon juice to your water will not only improve its taste, but it will also make it less acidic. While the benefits of alkaline water are not set in stone, there evidently are some.

Add Baking Soda

Adding soda to your tap water will carbonize and make the water taste more natural. Just make sure that the soda particles are completely dissolved before you drink the water. Otherwise, they might irritate your throat.

Add Mint Leaves to the Water

Adding mint leaves to your tap water will refresh the water and change its taste. The problem with adding mint leaves to water is that most people just don’t have the patience to wait for an hour for the leaves to marinate in the water.

But if you are not in a hurry and can get in a daily habit of dropping a few mint leaves into your water pot, you will be surprised by the richness and nuance that your water will have once the mint leaves have run their course.

Add Ice or Cool the Water

You can also consider cooling the water to improve its taste. Cold water tastes better than warm water because ice (cold) makes our taste bud less sensitive such that we don’t notice the bad taste.

Ice in a Glass of Cold Water
Ice in a Glass of Cold Water

You can cool the water by putting it in the fridge or break a ice into a glass of tap water.


There are a number of ways to improve the taste of your tap water. You should first let the water run for a couple of minutes to be sure the bad taste isn’t as a result of stagnant water buildup in the water pipes. Next, install a water filter system to remove impurities. Water filters are one of the best ways to improve tap water quality.

Lastly, if your filtered water still tastes bad then consider improving the taste by adding flavors like sugar, maple syrup, mint leaves or lemon juice to the water.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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