How to Make Tap Water Taste Better: The Ultimate Guide

Drinking water must be clean but it doesn’t have to be bland. In many parts of the world, people still prefer drinking tap water for a variety of reasons.

In some countries, the motivation for drinking tap water is cost efficiency and convenience, while in others it is simply better than bottled water in terms of taste and quality.

Even if you prefer drinking bottled water there may be times when you have no choice but to drink tap water, like on a camping trip or during an emergency. In these situations, knowing how to make tap water taste better will come in handy.

If you’re not used to drinking tap water or if the water in your area doesn’t taste so great, there are ways to improve its taste. In this post, we’ll discuss different methods on how to make tap water taste better.

Please note, the municipal water quality varies depending on factors like location, season, and water treatment methods. If you’re unsure whether the tap water in your area is safe to drink, please consult your local water department.

Why to Drink Tap Water?

Assuming there are no health concerns about drinking tap water in your area, there are many reasons why you may want to drink tap water.

Pouring Fresh Tap Water Into a Glass

Convenience

Tap water is a popular and convenient source of clean water. Whenever you’re thirsty, all you need to do is turn on the faucet. You don’t have to go out and buy a bottle of water or deal with carrying around a heavy container.

Cost-Efficiency

Tap water is always cheaper than bottled water. Because bottled water is processed, packaged, and distributed, these costs are passed on to consumers. On the other hand, tap water is usually provided by local governments at very low costs.

Regulated by the Government

Tap water is regulated by government agencies. That means it’s regularly tested to ensure its safety and quality.

In the US, all public drinking water systems are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To ensure that drinking water is clean and safe to drink, the EPA sets limits for contaminants in tap water.

Environmentally Friendly

Drinking tap water is an environmentally-friendly choice. It doesn’t require plastic bottles that end up in landfills and oceans.

These are just a few reasons that may persuade us to start drinking tap water. However, there is always the other side of the coin.

What is the problem with drinking tap water?

Tap water typically has a funky taste or odor because of the chemicals used to treat it. Here are some of the most common problems with tap water:

Variabilities in Source Parameters

Tap water comes from different sources such as rivers, lakes, underground aquifers, and reservoirs. And depending on the source, the chemical and biological content of the water may differ.

Additionally, these sources can be affected by things like weather, geography, and human activity. This means that the tap water may taste differently at different times and in different locations.

Chlorination

Tap water is often chlorinated to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. Chlorine is a strong disinfectant that can also give water a bad taste and odor.

chlorination at treatment plant
Chlorine cylinder valves of disinfection system for water treatment plant

In fact, drinking chlorine-treated tap water is not healthy if consumed regularly. In the US, EPA regulates the amount of chlorine allowed in public drinking water.

Because chlorine can interact with organic compounds during water treatment to produce disinfection byproducts (DBPs). DBPs can be harmful to your health if you are exposed to them for an extended period of time.

However, chlorine can be removed from tap water using a few different techniques including aeration, boiling, carbon filtration, and reverse osmosis.

Transferring Water

Another reason why tap water may not taste very good is that it has been delivered to us via miles of piping. During this process, the water is carried under the pressure of the municipal water supply.

Long water pipes

On its way, the water often picks up contaminants from the pipes and the valves that control its flow. The contaminants that may be picked up by tap water may increase its hardness, odor, or create an unpleasant taste for the consumer.

So, these are some of the reasons that tap water may not taste as good as we would like it to. But there are ways to improve its taste.

What Can We Do to Make Tap Water Taste Better?

There are quite a few things that you can do to make your tap water taste better.

Depending on the water quality in your area, you can choose one or more of the following methods to make your tap water taste better.

Filtering Water

The best way to improve the taste of your tap water is by filtering it. There are many different types of filters available on the market. Most of them remove chlorine and foreign particles that may be present in the water.

Water filters can be in the form of a pitcher or a faucet attachment, such as an aerator filter.

water filter pitcher

They can also be installed under your sink or even built into the whole house filtration system.

There are also carbon filters that you can install on your refrigerator’s water dispenser to improve the taste of your cold tap water. So there are no shortages of options when it comes to filtering tap water.

Letting Water Stand

A lot of times if you can leave the tap water out in a container for a few hours, it will taste much better. This is because the chlorine that was added during water treatment has gotten some time to dissipate into the air.

If you want to completely remove the chlorine from your water, allow it to stand for at least 24 hours. During the process, make sure to cover the container with a lid at least partially to keep dust and other contaminants out of your water.

Aerating Water

Aeration of tap water is another great way to improve its taste and odor. Aerators mix air with the water as it comes out of your faucet.

This process improves the quality and taste of tap water by removing chlorine while increasing the dissolved oxygen content of your tap water.

Installing Clean Aerator on the Tap

You will likely find a lot of different types of aerators available on the market for your faucet. And it is typically an inexpensive improvement that can make a big difference in water quality.

Some residential faucets even come with built-in aerators, so make sure to check out before you go out and buy one.

Boiling Water

Boiling your water is another way to improve its taste. Because it is an effective way to remove chlorine from your tap water as well as any volatile organic compounds that may be dissolved in it.

Boiling water

However, you should boil your water in a stainless steel or glass pot, because boiling your water in a thermoplastic kettle can leach contaminants from the plastic into your tap water. This will not only deteriorate the taste of your water but also make it unhealthy to drink.

Optimize Water Temperature

The temperature of your tap water can make a difference in its taste. If your water is too warm, it may not taste very good.

A pair of glasses of chilled water

This is because the cold water is denser than the warm water creating better consistency to satisfy your taste buds and thirst.

According to experts, the optimal temperature for drinking water is room temperature (20°C / 68°F) for maximum flavor or chilling cold (6°C / 43°F) for maximum refreshment.

Add Lemon or Lime Juice

Adding a few drops of lemon or lime juice to your glass of water can make it taste better. Because the flavor of the lemon or lime juice will mask any unpleasant taste and smell from the chlorine in your tap water.

lime in glass of water

If you don’t want to drop fresh lemon or lime in your water, you can just add a slice of lemon or lime to your glass. This will also help to improve the taste of your tap water. This practice will also help to increase your vitamin intake since lemons and limes are high in Vitamin C.

Add Mint Leaves

Mint leaves aren’t just for your tea or mojito. You can also add them to the tap water to improve its taste.

mint leaves in glass of water

Just add a few mint leaves to your water bottle or glass and let it sit for a few minutes. This will release the mint’s flavor and aromas into your water refreshing the taste of your water.

Add trace mineral drops

Another way to improve the taste of your tap water is by adding trace mineral drops. These drops are made up of various minerals that are essential for good health. And they may help to improve the taste of your tap water depending on the individual’s preferences.

There are many different types of mineral drops that you can buy at your local grocery store or health food store. Some even come with different flavors that can enrich the taste of your water. Just add a few drops of these mineral drops to your glass of tap water and enjoy the improved taste.

This can also be done by using a mineral filter or pitcher, which adds magnesium, calcium, and other essential minerals back into the water.

Use a water bottle that filters and ionizes water

Some water bottles come with a built-in filter that can also remove chlorine and other contaminants from your tap water.

water bottle with filter

This can be particularly useful if you are carrying water with you to the gym where there is no water fountain.

Just fill up your water bottle before you leave for the gym and drink fresh, filtered water throughout your workout. Not only will this help to improve the taste of your tap water, but it will also be better for your health.

Add a greens blend to your water

If you don’t mind the change of color in your water, you can add a greens blend to it. A greens blend is usually made with spinach, kale, and other leafy greens.

add green blend to water

And it can be a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals while improving your water’s taste.

These blends come in a variety of flavors like fruit punch, raspberry lemonade, and even chocolate. So, if you are looking for a way to improve the taste of your tap water and get more nutrients, adding a greens blend might be the perfect solution

Add ice cubes

Not everyone likes to drink ice-cold water. But if you are one of those people who do, adding ice cubes to your glass of tap water can make it taste much better.

ice cubes in water

You can even freeze natural flavor enhancers like lemon and mint in your ice trays. This will give your water a nice flavor boost over just regular ice cubes.

Carbonation

Some people love carbonated water while others find it too bubbly. But if you are in the market for a way to improve the taste of your tap water, carbonation might be the way to go.

The carbonation will add bubbles and make your water more refreshing. You can buy a carbonated water maker or use a soda stream machine to carbonate your own tap water.

You can also add natural sweeteners like stevia to your carbonated water with a slice of lemon or lime to give it a more subtle sweetness.

Conclusion

Tap water can be better than bottled water considering it’s more environmentally friendly, cheaper, and doesn’t leach plastic into the water. But sometimes it doesn’t taste as good, especially if you are not used to drinking tap water.

However, you can improve the taste of your tap water by filtering, adding flavor enhancers, drinking it at the right temperature, or using other tips we have covered in this post. The right solution will vary depending on the individual, so try out a few of these tips and find what works best for you.

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