Why Does My Electric Kettle Smell So Bad? (Explained)

Hot tea is a great way to get toasty on a cold day. 

If you’ve ever made tea in an electric kettle, you might notice a strange smell after boiling. This isn’t just your imagination. The smell is real and could be caused by several things. 

Read on if you’re wondering why this happens and what to do about it:

Here’s Why Your Electric Kettle Smells:

The heating element can become clogged with mineral deposits or become dirty. This causes an accumulation of odor and impurities on the heating element, which emits a foul odor while in use. Your kettle may also have sediment at the bottom. It may also need cleaning or new water to be added.

Why Does My Kettle Start Smelling Like Rotten Eggs or Fish?

Here are a few reasons your kettle could start to smell like rotten eggs or fish.

First, the odor issue could be related to the anode rod. This is the piece of metal at the bottom of your kettle that prevents corrosion. 

If this rod has corroded and started to rust, it can give off an unpleasant odor when you boil water in your kettle. You should replace this part immediately if you suspect it’s damaged.

The second cause of this odorous problem could be faulty electrical parts. These include wires and fuses that can wear out over time and cause short circuits in your appliance, leading to a fire risk. 

If you notice any unusual or unpleasant smells coming from your kettle after it’s been on for a while, disconnect it from its power source immediately and contact a professional electrician for help.

Here are some other reasons why your kettle might smell:

Plastic Housing is Cracked or Damaged:

This can cause leakage from the inside of your kettle into its outer shell, eventually accumulating and emitting an unpleasant odor as it cools after being used for hot water preparation.

Anything that might be cracked or damaged can overheat and even melt. That can give off a chemical, bad smell.

A Lack of Cleaning:

You did not thoroughly clean your kettle after the last use. When using an electric kettle, cleaning it after each use is critical. 

If you don’t, it can cause an internal film to form, worsening over time. When you use your kettle again in the future, this film will emit an odor.

Water Left in the Kettle for Too Long:

You’ve had water in it for far too long. 

If you use your kettle frequently and leave water in it overnight or longer than necessary, it may cause a funky smell. 

However, the longer water sits inside your kettle without being used immediately afterward, the more likely it will begin to smell funny.

Why Does My Electric Kettle Smell Like Plastic?

Although there may be no need for an alarm if your electric kettle has a plastic-like odor, there are other scenarios where this could signify a problem.

For example, it’s normal for a new electric kettle to have a slight plastic smell, but that shouldn’t last long.

However, there are times when the plastic components of your electric kettle have started to degrade, which is why your kettle may have a plastic-like odor. Long-term exposure to hard or boiling water with high mineral content can lead to this problem.

Also, if your electric kettle smells like plastic, it may be because the interior of your kettle is made of plastic. Many kettles have a plastic interior, which high temperatures can damage. The smell can occur when the plastic has been damaged and releases fumes.

For an electric kettle to function properly, it must be able to withstand very high temperatures. If you use your electric kettle frequently and notice a smell, you should consider replacing it with one that does not have a plastic interior.

How Do You Get Rid of That “New Kettle” Taste and Smell?

If your kettle is brand new, it may emit some unpleasant odors. The good news is that it is simple to get rid of.

Remove the filter from your kettle, fill it halfway, and bring it to a boil. After it has boiled, add two tablespoons of baking soda and leave it to sit overnight.

Give the water another good boil the next morning. It should be much less smelly than before!

How Do You Get Rid of Bad Odor in a Kettle?

If you’ve ever noticed an unpleasant odor coming from your kettle, don’t worry.

If you want to clean your kettle, use vinegar or lemon juice. Once you’ve cleaned out all the residue, fill the kettle with water and let it sit overnight.

The next day, pour the water and repeat until the smell is gone.

If you have an electric kettle that doesn’t have removable parts, fill the water reservoir with white vinegar and let it sit overnight or for at least 8 hours. Then empty the reservoir’s contents and repeat until there is no more odor from your kettle.

Finally, if none of those work, you can substitute baking soda for acidic liquids.

In the kettle, bring water to a boil, then add two tablespoons of baking soda and stir to dissolve. Let the solution sit overnight, then give it another boil before throwing it out in the morning.

How Do You Best Clean an Electric Kettle?

You’ll want to use a soft cloth and warm water to clean your electric kettle.

If there’s any buildup that won’t come off with just water, you can add vinegar or lemon juice to the cloth and wipe away the residue.

If you need to descale your kettle, you can fill it with a mixture of one-third white vinegar, one-third water, and one-third baking soda. Let this sit in the kettle for a few hours before rinsing it with warm water.

When cleaning an electric kettle, let it dry before using it again. Otherwise, you risk damaging the heating element.

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Clean a Kettle?

Observing sediment buildup is the best way to know when it’s time to clean a kettle. Over time, kettles get dirty and develop a crust inside them.

This crust will eventually clog up the spout, making it hard for water to flow through.

If you notice that the water in your kettle is taking longer than usual to boil or that there are large chunks of sediment in your cup, it’s probably time for a cleaning.

In addition, if you start noticing any foul odors emanating from the kettle, it’s probably time to clean it.

Can You Do Something to Prevent a Bad Smell?

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about the bad smell coming from your kettle.

In some scenarios, there will be no way to prevent it. For example, the brand-new plastic smell from the kettle is unavoidable as it needs to be used and deodorized several times before it goes away.

In addition, to prevent any foul odors from your kettle, you should clean and maintain your kettle regularly. This means washing it with hot water and soap every time.

You can also try using vinegar or lemon juice once a week to keep the interior of your kettle clean and free from bacteria that might cause mold.

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