Brita Water Tastes Weird: 5 Possible Causes and Solutions

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Noticed that your water tastes weird after filtering it with a Brita filter?

In this guide, I’ve shared some of the most common reasons why your Brita water might taste strange, based on my own experience using Brita filters and my general knowledge of water treatment equipment.

📌 Key Takeaways:

  • You might notice a bad taste in your Brita water filter if the filter is old and needs replacing, it needs priming or repriming, you can taste plastic from the pitcher, or the filter can’t remove the contaminants that affect your drinking water taste.
  • It’s possible that your Brita water tastes strange because you usually drink water straight from the tap and you’re not used to the taste of chlorine-free water.
  • You can usually resolve the issue by repriming or replacing the filter, upgrading to a better filter or glass pitcher, or simply allowing your tastebuds to adapt to the filtered water taste.

🤔 Why Does My Brita Water Taste Bad? 5 Common Reasons and How to Resolve

There are five main reasons why water from your Brita filter might taste bad:

1) The Filter Needs Priming (Or Re-Priming)

First, if you’ve just started using your Brita filter and have noticed a poor water taste, the issue could be that the filter needs priming.

The filter cartridges in Brita water pitchers need to be primed to moisten the filter contents. Failing to prime the filter may mean that it still contains loose activated carbon dust and isn’t fully soaked, reducing its ability to remove contaminants. A combination of the carbon dust in your water and the filter’s inability to properly remove chlorine and other taste-causing contaminants could be the cause of a bad taste in your filtered water.

✅ How to Resolve:

To prime your Brita water filter, simply filter and discard three batches of pitcher water. This will soak the filter with water and remove any loose carbon dust that might have been disturbed during storage and transportation.

You might also need to re-prime or re-soak your Brita filter after a period of non-use. For instance, if you allowed your Brita water filter to dry out while you were away from home, I recommend re-priming it by following the same filter-and-discard process outlined above to moisten the filter media and prepare it for proper filtering.

Priming the Brita filter

2) You’re Not Used to Filtered Water

Another possible reason for bad-tasting filter water from a Brita filter is simply that you’re not used to the altered taste of filtered water.

Many of us have grown up drinking chlorinated tap water and our tastebuds are familiar with its slight chemical aftertaste.

When you drink filtered water for the first time – even if it’s only mildly filtered by a basic filter like Brita’s offering – you might need to get used to the distinct lack of chlorine.

✅ How to Resolve:

The best way to resolve this issue is simply to keep drinking your filtered water until your tastebuds adapt to the chlorine-free taste.

You should soon prefer the taste of filtered water – I know many people who use water filters and are now unable to a chlorinated municipal water supply at all because the chlorine taste is so noticeable to them.

3) You Can Taste Contaminants That the Filter Can’t Remove

On the other end, the unpleasant taste in your Brita filtered water might actually come from certain contaminants that Brita can’t remove.

A Brita water filter can only remove a handful of contaminants, including chlorine, some heavy metals, and a few chemicals.

If your water has a high concentration of dissolved solids, you might be tasting contaminants that your Brita filter isn’t designed to target – especially if you’re used to drinking filtered bottled water.

Some of the possible tastes in your water, which aren’t addressed by Brita systems, are:

  • Metallic or bitter taste – Usually caused by heavy metal impurities
  • Musty or stale taste – Typically caused by standing water in your pipes
  • Rotten eggs – Caused by the presence of hydrogen sulfide

You may also notice a mineral taste if your drinking water supply is naturally mineral-rich.

The higher your water’s dissolved solids content, the more likely you are to notice unusual tastes. Brita filters are simple granular activated carbon filters and simply aren’t up for the challenge of removing many of these taste- and odor-causing contaminants.

✅ How to Resolve:

If your water still tastes bad after installing a Brita water filter, the best solution is to upgrade to a more capable water filter system.

I recommend the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher if you want to stick within the water pitcher category. This pitcher can remove hundreds more contaminants than Brita, so it’s much more likely to eliminate all the contaminants that are giving your water a strange taste.

You can also consider a reverse osmosis filter if your goal is to remove as many contaminants as possible from your water. Reverse osmosis systems eliminate up to 99.99% of all dissolved solids, so they’re certain to tackle your poor water tastes.

I’ve personally found that reverse osmosis systems are the most reliable solution for addressing bad-tasting water, but my advice is to choose a system with a remineralization post-filter to reintroduce healthy, taste-enhancing minerals back into your water, which are removed by the RO process.

If you want to soften your water, you’ll need a water softener. Not even the most capable water filter can remove hardness minerals effectively.

Brian pouring filtered water from Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher

4) The Filter Needs Replacing

An obvious reason why you might notice an unusual Brita filtered water taste is if your filter needs to be replaced.

Brita filters last 2-6 months on average (depending on factors including the filter type, your daily water usage, and your water’s TDS concentration). If you don’t change your filter on time, three things could happen, which may possibly affect your water’s taste:

  • The filter will lose its ability to reduce contaminants in your water, and chlorine and other taste-affecting impurities will remain.
  • The filter may degrade and form holes, allowing previously trapped contaminants to reenter your drinking water.
  • The filter may accumulate mold and bacteria, giving your water a musty taste.

✅ How to Resolve:

Make sure to always replace your Brita water filter on time to prevent taste issues associated with an old filter cartridge.

Some Brita pitchers have a filter change reminder that takes the guesswork out of replacing your filters. If you use a Brita water filter without this feature, my advice is to make a note in your calendar or diary every time you replace your filter, reminding your future self to replace the filter on the next suitable date.

It’s a good idea to keep a stock of at least one spare filter in your cupboard, so you can replace the cartridge at short notice if needed.

5) You’re Tasting the Pitcher Materials

Brita’s pitcher range uses BPA-free plastic materials. If your Brita water tastes like plastic, it’s likely that you’re tasting the materials from the pitcher itself.

Water absorbs flavors from porous storage materials (such as the plastics used to make Brita pitchers). The unfortunate reality is, if you’re drinking from any pitcher that’s made of plastic – even a BPA-free plastic – you’ll likely notice a mild plastic taste.

You’re especially likely to notice a plastic taste in your Brita filtered water if the water has sat in the pitcher all day or if the pitcher is in direct sunlight (not recommended).

✅ How to Resolve:

If your taste buds are super sensitive (which certainly isn’t a bad thing) and you can easily detect the plastic taste of your Brita pitcher, my recommendation is to upgrade to a glass pitcher.

Brita used to sell glass pitchers, but from my recent checks of the website (at the time of writing), these aren’t currently available. Check out our guide to the best glass water filter pitchers if you’re looking for recommendations in this category.

Getting filtered water from lifestraw home water filter pitcher

📑 Final Word

I wrote this article because I wanted to provide a clear, actionable list of possible reasons why your Brita water tastes bad, and what to do about it. I thought that other sources had failed to share genuinely helpful information based on their own firsthand experience using Brita filters, and I’m hoping that this resource is more useful to you because of my knowledge as a Brita customer and water filtration expert.

Hopefully, all your questions were addressed in the guide above. But I’ve answered a few more in the FAQ below, so keep reading if you want to expand your knowledge further.

❔ FAQ

Why does the water in my Brita taste funny?

The water in your Brita might taste funny if the filter is old and needs replacing, the filter isn’t able to remove the contaminants that affect your tap water taste, or the filter needs priming or repriming. It’s possible that the “funny” taste in your Brita is actually just the taste of filtered tap water, which can take some getting used to. However, filtered water shouldn’t taste bad – just different.

Does Brita change the taste of tap water?

Yes, Brita does slightly change the taste of tap water because it can remove chlorine. That means your filtered drinking water should be free from the chlorine aftertaste of unfiltered water. However, don’t expect a Brita filter to make a massive difference to your water quality. There may be some contaminants responsible for bad taste that a Brita water filter can’t remove.

Why does my new Brita water taste bad?

If the water in your Brita tastes bad and you have a new filter, the problem is most likely that the filter needs to be primed. Make sure you follow Brita’s filter preparation instructions – you usually need to hold the filter under running water for 15 seconds, then filter and discard the first three pitchers of water before you can use the filter for drinking water. Rarely, you might have received a bad filter. This is possible if priming the filter doesn’t improve your water taste.

How can you tell if Brita filter is bad?

You can tell if your Brita filter is bad because you’ll notice a decrease in your water quality (including bad taste and chlorine odor). The water filtration speed will decrease, and you may notice visible signs of damage or degradation on the filter cartridge.

  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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