Keurig Brewer – How to Get Rid of Plastic Taste

Keurig Plastic TasteI recently bought a Keurig B70 Single Cup Coffee Brewer and was a bit disappointed by the strange rubbery taste that it was producing. I paid $180 for it so I was expecting much more. Granted, any coffee maker will have a plastic taste to it for the first few cups, but just going by the instructions from Keurig, it should be gone after just a few cups.

Anyways, I started researching and looking for other’s that have had the same experience and sure enough, many others in an Amazon discussion are tasting the same thing.

The problem seems to be in the reservoir and the particular plastic that it’s made out of. Some aren’t able to taste it at all, so this might suggest that Keurig is going through different manufacturers who use different materials.

Keurig seems to be aware of the issue and they are reportedly helpful in fixing the problem. They will send you a new reservoir if you are still experiencing problems after cycling the water through multiple times.

Apparently the new reservoir they send out is made of more optimal material. This begs the question – why are they still selling brewers with faulty materials? The problem is ongoing for over a year now, so you’d think they’d fix the problem already. For a $180 coffee maker, funky tasting coffee is not cool…

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of calling up Keurig and waiting for a new reservoir, here’s a good way to get rid of the smell manually:

  1. Remove the reservoir from the Keurig, and fill it with hot water & dish soap.
  2. Let it soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Take a sponge to it and scrub it out thoroughly.
  4. Rinse the reservoir.
  5. Fill it up again with just water and add a 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar.
  6. Hook it back up to the Keurig.
  7. Cycle through several cups of just water/vinegar until it’s empty (use the largest cup size to speed this up).
  8. Fill it up again with just water (no vinegar) and cycle through the reservoir again.
  9. Repeat step 8 again until the funky taste is gone. It should only take a couple cycles.
After doing this I can happily say that the bad taste is completely gone and my coffee is tasting pretty spectacular! Yea, it’s a pain in the butt, but you only have to do it once. It’s definitely worth it :)
If you still have a plastic or rubbery taste in your coffee after all that, you should contact Keurig and have them send you a new reservoir.
Please leave comments and let me know if this works for you, or if you have any better methods of cleaning it out!
*UPDATE*
I took George’s advice from the comments below and cleaned out my k-dcup holder after I started tasting the plastic again after a couple days. It wasn’t as strong, but it was definitely still there. After soaking the holder in vinegar and washing it thoroughly, the taste seems to be gone again. Hopefully for good this time. Sheesh…what a hassle for a premium coffee maker…

About Paul Newcomb

21 Responses to “Keurig Brewer – How to Get Rid of Plastic Taste”

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  1. George Passino says:

    If these steps work for you and you have the time that is all good. I found a quicker version that you may want to try first

    1. remove the k-cup holder from the keurig by lifting and pushing from the bottom.

    2. place k-cup in a deep enough glass that it can be covered in liquid.

    3. fill cup with white vinegar until the k-cup holder in covered

    4. let soak for 15 minutes

    5. remove and wash with dish soap and water.

    6. return to maching and run once or twice without a k-cup.
    good luck

    • Paul Newcomb says:

      Good suggestion, I didn’t even think about that part of it. I’ll do this in addition to what I already did. I suppose it’s best to wash every accessible plastic part that comes into contact with the water.

      • Erica Di Iorio says:

        Has not worked for us. In our case it’s not something that can be washed out.

        • Paul Newcomb says:

          Unfortunately, I’m right there with you still. I spoke too soon when I said that everything was tasting good. It was for a little bit, but then surely enough, the nasty plastic taste came back! I’ll most likely be returning it and looking for another coffee maker…other than keurig…

  2. Erica Di Iorio says:

    I have used a gallon of vinigar and a box of baking soda running it thru and soaking the K-cup holder ………no luck. It appears that the smell is coming from the outside of our unit (the lid). We are also thinking that it’s from the tube the water is going thru. It’s not our resevoir. The coffee is totally undrinkable. The taste is awful to put it mildly!!!

    • Paul Newcomb says:

      I’m pretty much giving up on Keurig. It’s not worth the hassle. Even the replacement they sent me had the same nasty taste…

    • R Howard says:

      I am having the exact same problem. I bought a mini one so I don’t even have a reservoir. Every cup of coffee I brew tastes and smells like burning plastic, even when I just run it through without a k-cup. I am so disappointed. I soaked the kcup holder and that seemed to help a tiny bit, but not much. The smell seems to be coming from the lid of mine as well, and inside, which I can’t wash. I have done so many vinegar cycles, and baking soda cycles, even bought this coffee maker cleaner. Still, the coffee is undrinkable.

      • Paul Newcomb says:

        Ditch the Keurig…it’s not worth the hassle.

        I just picked up an Aeropress for $36 and it’s a FAR superior taste compared to the Keurig (and much more portable). It may take a little extra work, but to me it’s completely worth it.

    • Tony says:

      Erica – Same here – I have a Mr. Coffee (made by Kerig. It has a smaller reservoir that sits on top in the back. The smell is NOT from the reservoir; NOT from the k-cup unit (I can tell by smelling). The plastic taste is coming from wherever the water goes on its way from the reservoir to the K-cup unit. I’m going to try the vinegar route, and run several cups, then wash everything out, then run several cups of clean and see if that works.

  3. Dr_jinG says:

    I bought one of these for my wife, and can’t stand the coffee that comes out of it due to the plastic smell. I’ve tried coffee from three other Keurigs, and my only complaint with them is the quality of the cup of coffee they brew. I’m struggling with Keurig’s solution, as well as the solutions you give, Paul, primarily due to the fact that neither our reservoir nor K-cup holder smell. It’s the plastic in between that smells like what I’m getting in my cup. Maybe running vinegar through the system will help, but I suspect that the root cause is a bad lot of plastic that was used to create the internal bits, and the only solution to that is to replace those bits or the whole unit. I’ll have a go at vinegar and cleaning the reservoir (already put the K-cup holder through the dish washer), but my hopes are not high…

  4. bobk says:

    I have two Keurig B70’s. There is a solution – not a great one, but it absolutely works. 1) Empty and rinse the water reservoir. 2) run two empty cups of water thru. 3) then put your KCup in and drink. this minimizes the cheap Chinese plastic. I suspect this is carcinogenic. I have noticed this same aroma in other Chinese coffee makers… most are made in China… most are made in the same factory and the bottom line is cost with no respect for consumer health… and Keurig and their distributors just looking out for maximum margin. Health effects will probably show up years later is my guess with no association back to the original source.

    I suspect the standing water in the reservoir is leaching plastic into the water… if you smell the reservoir it is the same smell that gets in the coffee. So fresh water in the reservoir, purge the lines, and you’ll get coffee that doesn’t smell as badly as plastic.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Unfortunately, I’m on on third Keurig (B70) within the last month… and I believe I’m throwing in the towel on this one, returning it once and for all. You know it’s time when you’d rather drink from the cheap, old faithful coffee pot that is back on the counter sitting next to the fancy $200 brewer because it tastes 100% better. Sadly, its entirely for looks because I would never serve this to guests. I’ve tried everything – vinegar, replaced the reservior, returned 2 entire brewers. At this point, I just want coffee. I have never wasted so much time in my life on coffee.

    Now the question is… what to get.

  6. Tony says:

    We recently experienced the same issue. I bought the Keurig over QVC for my wife. It seemed like a great deal to get the high-end Keurig for $149. However, every cup had the burnt plastic taste. It was so obvious that we thought maybe we had scalded some packing material inside the unit. We sent it back to QVC and received another one. It had the same problem.

    Even after cycling vinegar through 30+ times, we have the plastic taste (and vinegar). Saw on other sites that even if the plastic taste is masked that it will return.

    Besides the foul taste, we have concerns that this could be carcinogenic. Returned it to QVC and bought a Breville, which immediately met our expectations. We will never buy a Keurig product again.

  7. angela soup says:

    Paul, I know this is a bit outdated but dude you need to start reading instructions. I have a tassimo and the first thing it says is to clean everything before using it.

  8. Holly says:

    I just bought a single cup Keurig and I can’t stand the plastic aftertaste. I thought it was just ‘the new wearing off’ but it’s not. I’m wondering if the taste comes from the K-cup plastic as well. I just like regular coffee with a little half and half. I don’t like flavored coffees. Very disappointed and returning it.

  9. Susan says:

    I bought the Mini Keurig several months ago & from day one, never enjoyed a good cup of coffee. The coffee has an aftertaste & no matter how many times I’ve cleaned it and/or changed filters it hasn’t improved. Now that I read these comments I realize it’s not me & will be returning my Keurig shortly, Just not sure what to buy. Thanks for the comments.

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  11. Rich T says:

    I tried the vinegar, the soap soak, the wash, more vinegar and no luck. Costco gave me full refund. Heads up to all – don’t buy Keurig. Big waste of time and money.

  12. Bate says:

    Plastic taste never went away . Tried all the cleaning things still not had a cup that does not taste like plastic. When you return it do you send it to Keurig or where you purchased it from???

    • Paul Newcomb says:

      Return from where you purchased it so long as it’s within the return period. Otherwise, call Keurig and complain till they give you a refund :)

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