Coffee Tastes like Plastic



Coffee Tastes Like PlasticIf your coffee tastes like plastic there are a couple of good reasons for this: One, your coffee maker is made from plastic. Two, you just bought a brand new coffee maker. It is unfortunate that even most expensive coffee makers are made from plastic. Plastic, particularly when it is new, contains chemicals which become significantly more active when hot water is added. There is nothing worse than tasting plastic in your favorite brand of coffee, especially when you just purchased a new brewer which is supposedly designed to extract the most flavorful cup of coffee possible. Unfortunately, there is no way to get around the materials manufacturers use to make their coffee brewers. There is, however, a fool-proof way to permanently get rid of the plastic odor and taste for good.

How to get rid of plastic taste in coffee maker

Getting rid of the plastic taste in your coffee maker is so simple, I wish I had thought of it. The only ingredients you will need are a bottle of 70-90% rubbing alcohol and a few minutes of your time. Don’t be fooled by the claims that vinegar works. I’ve tried it several times and it simply doesn’t do the job. Using vinegar will only make your coffee smell like both plastic and vinegar at the same time. The rubbing alcohol works and chemists have confirmed the scientific reasoning for this. The chemicals contained in plastic are soluble in the alcohol. More importantly, I’ve tried it on a brand new, Hamilton Beach Brew Station and the strong odor and taste of plastic have completely vanished. Here’s how I recommend doing it. Pour half of the bottle of rubbing alcohol in the bottom of your brew dispenser. Fill the dispenser with water, leaving room for the rest of the alcohol. Fill the top up with the remaining rubbing alcohol and brew. I recommend leaving the fully brewed hot water/rubbing alcohol mixture sit in the coffee maker for about 10 – 15 minutes before emptying it. Then, you will need to brew about 2-3 pots of additional water until you’re confident that the alcohol is completely diluted from your brewer.

Coffee No Longer Tastes Like Plastic

…and Never will Again

The plastic smell was so unbelievably strong in my new, Hamilton Beach Brew Station that I found it hard to believe this would work, especially after just 1 try, but it did!  I repeated the procedure the next day just for good measure, but it may have been unnecessary. A simple, inexpensive bottle of rubbing alcohol is the remedy for when your coffee tastes like plastic.

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24 thoughts on “Coffee Tastes like Plastic

  1. i’m stunned at how well and fast this worked. i just bought a Hamilton Beach FlexBrew k-pod/fresh ground unit. and the first three cups were so plastic smelling and tasting i couldn’t drink them. i used 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of alcohol and ran it through a used k-pod, then did one rinse, exchanged the k-pod for another spent one and rinsed twice more.

    tastes great now! although the machine still produces a bit of the smell when brewing.

    • I was just as stunned as you the first time I tried this. It continues to amaze me how many bloggers and coffee maker manufacturers continue to recommend vinegar for taking the plastic taste out of your coffee. Vinegar will only add a vinegar flavor to your plastic. Who wants that? This method works every time. It is especially useful for taking the plastic taste out of Keurig coffee makers.

      The smell will go away after a while.

      • Here might be the secret. I called Hamilton Beach about my Flex brew duo brew coffee pot. Just to let them know how angry I am with the plastic smell and taste. Yes they advised vinegar. But here’s the trick. They said put like 4 oz of vinegar in. Turn pot on to brew. Wait 10 seconds. Then unplug. It supposedly traps the vinegar in the tube. Let it sit 15 minutes. Then run it through. Do the same to both the k cup and the full pot sides. Do that. But both sides ran the vinegar through several times. Just to be sure it had the chance to penetrate the tubes real well. Then several or so times with water. To flush any inklings of vinegar out. I made a cup of water from the K Cup side to brew up a green tea. Brewed my tea. Added 1 tsp of sugar. It is very drinkable. Tastes like green tea. So I might of fixed the problem for now.

    • I was hesitant to purchase this coffee maker seeing many reviews about the plastic smell and tast. After seeing this post I decided to buy it and try the rubbing alcholol method. It worked instantly.

      Thanks.

    • I am not sure if the alcohol worked or not. I put some in. Ran the k cup part of my Hamilton Beach Flex Brew. Ran like 3 or 4 rounds of water through it. It didn’t smell as bad. Brewed me up some tea from water after I cleaned the pot out. You can still taste hints of plastic. But not as bad.

    • The alcohol did not work for me……..I ran boiling water in Hamilton Beach Flex Brew, 3 times …the first time I let it sit for about 30minutes, the second time I ran it through right away (the light flashed a few times, I guess the water was to hot… after a minute it ran)….. the third time I dissolved a table spoon of sea salt in the boiling water and ran it through….my coffee tastes fabulous now.
      Hope this works for you

  2. I have the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew.

    I did this. In fact, I let the alcohol sit in the reservoir for 30 minutes because I got a phone call after I pored the stuff in.

    IT DID NOT WORK.

    I followed up with five water flushes and now the water smells like plastic AND alcohol.

    So now I’m back to trying vinegar.

    Quite simply, this is ridiculous. I think one of the better manufacturers could just spend a nickle more for better materials, charge a fin more when selling, and then advertise that all the other brands are ‘poisoning’ your cup of coffee – and then sit back and watch the sales climb and competitors complain.

  3. Are you people kidding me? Using rubbing alcohol?? Return the toxic piece of junk and buy something else! NO ONE should have to resort to using something like that to get rid of any plastic taste. Shouldn’t smell/taste like that to begin with!! Had the same experience w/ the flex brew last summer and hauled it to the dump!!!

    • I’d be inclined to agree with you, but the odds of finding a brewer out of the box that doesn’t smell and taste like plastic are slim to none, especially if you like Keurig. The rubbing alcohol is a very simple, safe and cheap fix if you enjoy Keurig, single-cup brew coffee. If you have a recommendation on a great coffee maker that doesn’t taste like plastic, please let us know. I will review it.

      • Thanks for your reply, Rob~~but I have to stick to my guns on this one, especially concerning the Flexbrew. No coffee maker–or any other small kitchen appliance– should have the extreme plastic smell that the HB Flexbrew has. I’m on my second Keurig and have not experienced this problem. A mild smell is one thing, but if you have to resort to using rubbing alcohol to get rid of it, that should send up red flags. HB has not addressed this issue and it’s been going on for years. They most likely never will if people continue buying it and jumping through hoops just to get the awful taste/smell out of it. Thanks again for your input on my comment.

        • I think my last coffee maker proves your point. The iCoffee Opus made a great tasting cup of coffee on it’s very first cup with no plastic taste whatsoever. It’s the best single-cup coffee maker I’ve ever had.

          Thanks for your comments.

          Rob

          • I just bought an icoffee express single serve, due to my Keurig K50 after about 2 months or so, tasting bitter and burnt.

            The exact same thing of not even having the icoffee brewer for two days, I’m left with the same taste and smell after brewing some coffee. I tried vinegar/ water in both the Keurig and the Icoffee and nothing changed, when using a K cup. The K cup. After going through a brew cycle, the K cup, holder and funnel end up having a burnt rubber like smell.

            I’d read where isopropyl rubbing alcohol does the trick, when mixed with water. I will try anything to get that awful taste and smell out of my K cup coffee!

    • Yea right return it…at your cost. Even of the thing is defective they still make you pay for the postage, whatta joke!! If they had to pay for the postage they would probably churn out better quality. I cant believe the better business bureau allows this to be a normal way of returning a defective item in this country. It should be common practise for it to be brought back to the store you purchased it from and they give you a refund or replacement and then THEY can send it back to them and get a credit. Why should the customer have to be the one to mess around with this, havent they gotten the money?

  4. I have the Hamilton Beach Brewstation – and then recently got the FlexBrew 2-way – – I can say that the Brewstation was wonderful – out of the box…and still is – I just thought I would update and combine into one machine – – and this piece of crap FlexBrew has stunk up my kitchen,- putting straight water through it MANY times – all I get is stench – there is no relief – Every 5 or 6 water trials, I try to brew coffee or tea and it has the same disgusting taste and smell.This model has gone terribly wrong

  5. I’ve returned two Hamilton Beach coffee machines because of the plastic taste and recently bought a KEURIG with the black carafe. The single cup is wonderful but the carafe makes coffee taste like plastic. I’ll try the alcohol trick and if that doesn’t work then I’ll return to using my glass and metal bodum.

  6. The plastic smell in my Flex Brew was very bad; it put a strong plastic smell into the coffee and water that made it undrinkable! I was going to return it for sure!

    I decided to use a little natural and ingestible concentrated lemon oil in water to clean all removable parts and to run through the reservoir. Of course I rinsed the lemon smell away by rinsing the reservoir numerous times. It worked immediately!

  7. All plastics are not created equal.
    This didn’t help for my small Bodum French Press. I carefully simmered all metal and plastic parts in alcohol for 20 minutes. Result was a less obnoxious scent and flavour, but it was still a problem. I fashioned a workaround for the Bodum by which no plastic touched the water at any time,

  8. I purchased my HB Flex Brew today not knowing about the plastic taste (guess I did not do my homework). I wanted the flexibility of the single cup or 12-cup. I did my first brew and it tasted awful. I tried the 12-cup and same thing. I decided to search for help on this issue before returning it to the store and I am glad I did. I tried the alcohol and water procedure described above and it worked like a charm. I hope everyone else has the same result. Thank you!!!

  9. I had a 2004 Cuisinart Grind and Brew… it never tasted like plastic when it was brand new out of the box.. Unfortunately it bit the dust the other day after nearly 12 years of great coffee every morning.. So, of course I just bought another Cuisinart G&B… AWFUL coffee… strongly plasticized taste… I spit it out… I have owned 3 coffee makers over the years… NONE OF THEM EVER produced a PLASTIC liquid flavor.. So, looking at the culprit.. I am certain that a cheaper process has been derived and it leaves us with TOXIC PLASTIC from China…

  10. Bought a HB Flex Brew one-cup yesterday, everything tasted horrible coming out of it, I was blaming the coffee. Then I put just hot water through and drank it (or rather tried to) and the water tasted like I was drinking asphalt. I just can’t see how this can be healthy.

    Tried the rubbing alcohol and water remedy as posted above, then flushed about 5 cups of water through it. Ran a cup of plain hot water and tasted it – tasted like plain hot water. So it works.

    However I’m wondering if this was just some kind of surface contaminant (it must be, as the alcohol is just running through it’s not really penetrating hard plastic) and whether it’s going to continue to leech through in the future. I wish these machines were made from stainless steel and not plastic.

  11. I tell you what else is totally lame about this product, I have the flex brew single cup. It has 2 settings, normal brew or strong. It works okay all the time with the normal, but if you want a stronger cup and use the strong option, the coffee grounds all seem to get sucked up into the spike and clog it all up everytime! Not only that, it doesnt release all of the water you poured into it and you end up with a 2/3 cup. But wait there’s more! Then the next cup you brew if its a normal will release a whole bunch of extra water at the end of the cycle and you’ll end up with an overflowing, watery, weak, barely warm cup that tastes as if it was filtered through grounds from last week you took out of the trash. It is a completely defective product, and they have you over a barrel because if you would like to return it or replace it, YOU get stuck with the cost of postage! Is postage cheap in Canada? I THINK NOT. As a result of this “warranty” I will not buy from this company again. Maybe this country or province should look into these very one sided warranty laws…but then BC is a very one sided place, its all take take take take..

  12. Or, you could just buy a coffee maker that isn’t made out of plastic in the first place, such as a percolator. Just because Mr. Coffee and Joe DiMaggio duped everyone in the 1970s into thinking that cheap plastic auto-drip machines were the right way to make coffee, doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon.

  13. I had a Keurig for just over a month. The K cup coffee tasted just fine. Then about five days ago, I brew a cup and the taste is burnt and bitter.
    Even the K cup holder reeks of this scent. I then try the water/vinegar mix, which didn’t fix my problem.

    I figure it’s something to do with the Keurig K50 itself and purchase an icoffee express single serve brewer. I’ve had it for just over a day, and the K cups I’d tested, the coffee and the K cup holder end up smelling and tasting just like the Keurig did!

    Even using bottled natural spring water doesn’t eliminate the bitter/burned taste. After brewing, and taking the K cup out, the scent is like what the coffee tastes like.

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