How to get rid of bad odor in electric kettles

Bad odor or smell can be a real problem when it comes to electric cordless kettles and are sometimes difficult to get rid of. The odor can be so strong that it gives the water in the kettle a bad taste and therefore makes the kettle useless. Nobody likes their tea or coffee with a faint taste and smell of plastic or mold. The good thing is that the odor can be removed, but it might take some time and effort. A few simple techniques can be used to speed up the process.

Where does the odor come from?

The bad odor can come from many different things in the electric cordless water kettle, but we can divide them up in two categories.

Old smell

We would like to call the first category for “old smell”. The category name more or less explain itself, old thing tend to smell for different reasons. One of the reasons that an odor-free kettle would start to smell could be that water has been kept in the kettle for a longer period of time. Mold can start to form in water that are not completely clean. Another reason for bad odor in your kettle could be that the kettle have been used to boil other things than water. I recommend not to use your electric kettle to boil other things than just clean water.

New smell

The second category and the worse to get rid of is the “new smell”. In most cases we don’t want the “new smell” to disappear, like in a new car. Nothing is better than the fresh smell of a new car, but when it comes to electric cordless water kettles we don’t want any odor or smell at all. The “new smell” often originate from the plastic or manufacturers residue, which can be oil, glue, silicone or other materials used to manufacture the product.


Removing the odor

There are different things you can try to get rid of the bad odor from your electric cordless water kettle. We will now look at a few ways to get rid of bad smell and odor that have worked for us on most cases.


Try to use a mild soap to clean your electric cordless kettle if you have problems with “old smell” or it is just dirty. Soap alone will in most cases not remove what we call “new smell“, but it can be smart to clean the interior of the kettle with soap after some of the other treatments.

Use a brush or cloth and some mild dishwasher soap to clean the interior of the electric kettle and remember to rinse thoroughly afterwards. Just to make sure you have got all the soap out of the kettle. Boil a kettle full and discard it before using the kettle as normal. If you have got stains or other burnt residue in your kettle you might try something stronger to remove it.

 Citric acid

If you have problems with scale and bad odor, you could try to add a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice (or any citric acid) and salt in the kettle together with some water. The salt and citric acid will agitate the scale build up. When the mixture comes to a boil swish it around the kettle before you discard the mixture. After a quick rinse your kettle should hopefully be clean and only have a fresh lemon smell.


You can use any type of vinegar, but white vinegar will work best. Mix water and vinegar 50/50 and boil the mixture and then let is rest before doing the cycle again. You might have to do more cycles or have a stronger mixture (more vinegar). Afterwards you need to clean the kettle thoroughly to remove the vinegar smell which can be very strong. To rinse your kettle boil water and discard it and/or use either soap or citric acid.

Activated charcoal

Charcoal to remove bad smellActivated charcoal is charcoal treated with oxygen, the oxygen open up millions of pores between the carbon atoms. This increases the surface area of the charcoal, but makes it very porous. It is the huge surface area that makes the activated charcoal so good to absorb odors and coloured substances. The impurities get “trapped” and bonded by chemical attraction, but only carbon-based substances (organic) will react with the charcoal.

When you use Activated Charcoal Powder to clean and remove bad odor from your electric cordless water kettle, add three to four tablespoons of activated charcoal to the water. When the water comes to a boil let it rest before discarding it. You might need to do two or three cycles before all of the odor is gone. Remember to give your kettle a good rinse afterwards, since the charcoal will stick to everything.

Bicarbonate of soda

If you have tried the above tips without any results, you could try bicarbonate of soda. Add two teaspoons of bicarbonate to a full kettle and then bring the water to a boil before discarding and rinsing. You can do this cycle several times to improve the result. We have usually got good results with bicarbonate of soda.

Always remember to unplug the electrical cord before cleaning your kettle. Safety first!