Why Does Reverse Osmosis Water Taste Funny?

Reverse osmosis is a process where water is forced through a membrane to return to its original state, often called “reverse water drinking”. Reverse osmosis water tastes funny because of the way the chemicals in the water interact with one another.

Why Does Reverse Osmosis Water Taste Bad?

Reverse osmosis water tastes funny because of the way the chemicals in the water interact with one another. When you reverse osmosis the water, it actually takes everything out of it. The water is a lot more pure and a lot more crisp because there are no chemicals in there, but it also lacks a certain flavor.

In general, most people don’t like drinking reverse osmosis water for this reason. However, some people will drink it if they know what to expect from drinking it. Reverse osmosis water usually has a funny taste because of all the minerals that were taken out in the process of making it more pure.

Should Reverse Osmosis Water Have a Taste?

Many people drink bottled water because it tastes better than tap water. The traditional way to soften water is by using a carbon filter, but this process can take up to six hours and the end result is not always great tasting.

Reverse osmosis water has gained popularity in recent years because it is soft, inexpensive, and tastes good. It doesn’t taste like anything; it’s just water.

Although reverse osmosis is easy to use and does not require any expensive equipment, many people don’t like the taste of the water because of how the chemicals interact with one another. Even if you get the best reverse osmosis system money can buy, you will still end up with water that tastes bad.

What Are Some of the Strange Tastes of Reverse Osmosis Water?

There are a number of strange tastes and smells that come from reverse osmosis water. The most notable is “wet dog,” which is caused by the interaction of chlorine and sodium in the water.

The other strange taste you might find is “rotten egg,” which can be attributed to hydrogen sulfide, or H₂S, which is found in some groundwater sources.

The most common flavor in reverse osmosis water is simply salty. This flavor comes from the process itself and involves adding a mineral solution to reduce the level of solids in the water.

With reverse osmosis, you’re essentially taking out all of the minerals and nutrients that most people lack in their diets already. This leaves your body with nothing to nurture it, so it’s important to add these minerals back into your diet with foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

How Do You Remove Bitterness From Reverse Osmosis Water?

Reverse osmosis water is not for everyone. It can be too clear and doesn’t have the same flavor as other types of water because the reverse osmosis process removes the particles and minerals that give it its natural taste.

One way to make reverse osmosis water more palatable is by adding a citrus filter. A citrus filter does just what it sounds like: it filters out some of the bitterness in the water by using citric acid. Citric acid has a sour, tangy taste, so if you are looking for something sweeter try adding fruit flavors or sweeteners before you add your citrus filter.

A second way to make reverse osmosis water more enjoyable is by flavoring with a fruit or vegetable juice concentrate. Fruit juice concentrates are usually created with natural flavors that will give your reverse osmosis water more flavor without removing too many minerals from it. Some examples of natural flavors are apple, raspberry, strawberry, peach, pineapple, mango, pear, papaya, grapefruit and cranberry.

Why Does Reverse Osmosis Water Taste Funny?

Reverse osmosis is a process that removes harmful substances from water, which can interfere with drinkability. It’s a popular option for people who live in areas where the tap water isn’t safe to drink.

However, reverse osmosis water tastes funny because of the way the chemicals in the water react with one another. The process strips minerals from the water, causing it to taste bland and smell funny.

In order to make the water more palatable, you can add minerals back into it by adding a carbon filter or a reverse osmosis system that includes a mineralizer. Simply fill up your fridge with filtered or reverse osmosis-filtered drinking water and enjoy!

Why Does RO Water Taste Metallic?

Reverse osmosis water tastes so bad because of the way chemical reactions happen. When two or more chemicals are mixed together, they form entirely different compounds. But, when the mix is filtered out, the compounds stay mixed and react with one another to produce a different compound.

When tap water and RO water mix, the minerals in the tap water bind to the membrane and leave behind impurities. The minerals that do not bind to the membrane then react with other minerals in the RO water and form a compound called bicarbonate.

Bicarbonate binds with chloride ions to create carbonate and hydrogen ions are produced as a byproduct. This process causes RO water to have an awful taste because bicarbonate has a metallic taste.(1)

Why Does RO Water Smell Bad?

The reverse osmosis process is designed to purify water and remove its pollutants. The membrane that water goes through in the process is made of plastic and only allows clean, pure water to pass through it.

The activated carbon filter in RO removes most of the bad smell. However, this is not enough sometimes. One reason is that when it comes out of the filtration system, it has a high level of hydrogen sulfide gas in it. Hydrogen sulfide gas smells like rotten eggs.

Another reason may be because when there’s a chlorine smell coming from the water, it’s because the membrane has been exposed to chlorine-based solutions or other chemicals that contain chlorine.

An air gap in the pipe would help reduce this problem. The air gap will cause any chemical-based odors to stay with the air and not go into the line and come out again as a bad smell.

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Conclusion

Reverse osmosis water is a high-quality water purification method that is often used in hot climates to cool the water and rid it of impurities. The process of reverse osmosis creates a water that is crisp and refreshing, but some people find that the taste is not to their liking. If you find that your RO water tastes funny, you might need to use a filter or find a new water provider.

Reverse osmosis water has a very neutral taste, so if your water tastes bad, it likely means there are impurities in your water. If you have a metallic taste, it might be a result of a low pH or high alkalinity levels. If your water smells bad, it might be from sulfur or hydrogen sulfide.

Meet the author: Paul White

Paul is water engineer by trade and is very passionate about innovative solutions for water filtration. His goal is to make drinking water accessible and affordable to all. An avid runner, he is currently training for a marathon. “Running is my sanity. Writing is how I organize my thoughts. I’m a poet and writer who is passionate about change. I aspire to be the best version of myself, and to help others do the same.” Learn more about Paul and the rest of the team.