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Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Awful plastic...  
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Saxmoore
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Location: So. Cal.
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Aug 24, 2008, 11:53am
Subject: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

Hello all,
I've been reading this site for many months, and have learned so much.  Thank you!  

I have become quite frustrated in my search for a new drip machine since my old Mr. Coffee died a couple of months ago.  Friends have always loved my coffee, so I wanted to upgrade with a new machine to wow them.  I also wanted a thermal caraffe.

I first bought a Hamilton beach Stay n Go, since a good friend of mine uses that and he makes excellent coffee.  I ignored the negative reviews on Amazon, but boy was I wrong.  I returned it after a month.  There was a HORRIBLE plastic smell and taste to the coffee.  I tried cleaning it 4 or 5 times - White vinegar, etc.  The smell and taste never went away.  Called tech support and the woman was surprised to hear about the problems, saying she'd never heard about them before (yeah, right).

So, hours more spent on Coffee Geek, reading reviews on Amazon...I decided I'd try the Zojirushi.  Most of the reviews were spot on.  Yes, the water level float doesn't seem to move until you have at least 3 cups of water in it.  You need to be careful how you position the pot before hitting the brew button.  No small batch brewing.  Surely, though, I can ignore these small things and impress my friends!

But, again, this has a horrible plasticy-metallic smell and taste, with an aftertaste that stays with me all day!  I can smell the plasticy smell from the water tank and various parts, and the metallic smell from the carafe itself.  I've made about 10 pots, thus far, and cleaned it thoroughly last night with vinegar as directed and soap and water on the removable parts.  I can't say that there is much difference today.

So my questions...is this experience common?  Anyone else gone through this?  Will this go away with the Zojirushi?  Am I crazy?!?

I'm getting frustrated enough to return this machine and just go find another Mr. Coffee, but that doesn't satisfy my coffee snob side ;-)

I would greatly appreciate some feedback on this.  Thanks!

Jerry
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paslug
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2007
Posts: 132
Location: Kennett Sq, Pa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Aug 24, 2008, 2:03pm
Subject: Re: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

Hi Jerry,

It's great to hear i'm not alone. I've had the identical problem with my new Capresso ST600.

I had no, or very little, luck with vinegar. I finally dumped a scoop of Oxi-clean in the water tank & mixed it up good with the water, & then ran a brew cycle to run the Oxi-clean through the brewing section of the coffee maker.  Then ran several rinse cycles to clear out the Oxi-clean.

That almost got rid of the smell. I think I need to run another cleaning cycle to get the balance of it.

I did not have the problem with my Newco OCS-8. If I had known when I bought the Capresso of the problems I would have getting decent coffee from it, I would have bought another Newco, but was trying to get by on the cheap for our vacation home.

I'm sure eventually we can get the smell cleaned up, but in the meantime, it is frustrating.

Welcome to the site,

Ray
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bdbayer
Senior Member
bdbayer
Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 87
Location: Wyandotte Michigan USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Super...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Baratza Maestro
Drip: Chemex. Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Aug 24, 2008, 2:25pm
Subject: Re: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

I am not an expert in plastics but I do work with plastic molders fequently.  So take what I say more as a logical conclusion than expert opinion.

Anything plastic will outgas for a while.  That "new car smell" that people love is plastic outgassing.  The dirty film that forms on a new car's winshield where the air comes out... plastic outgassing.

Your machine is probably a recent manufacture date and the plastic is still...outgassing.  

You might try getting some old whole coffee beans and keep the filter basket and general area filled with them when the machine is off.  Dump them and put fresh ground in to make coffee, then put whole beans back in when you're done.  The beans should absorb the gasses, or at least the smell from the plastic, and the oils will get on the surface of the filter basket.  This just might take that bad taste away.  Otherwise the smell just probably needs time.

Barry B
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paslug
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2007
Posts: 132
Location: Kennett Sq, Pa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Aug 24, 2008, 3:41pm
Subject: Re: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

bdbayer Said:

Your machine is probably a recent manufacture date and the plastic is still...outgassing.  
Barry B

Posted August 24, 2008 link

Good tip Barry,

Do you think a small fan blowing on it would help speed it up, or is it time dependent?
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bdbayer
Senior Member
bdbayer
Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 87
Location: Wyandotte Michigan USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Super...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Baratza Maestro
Drip: Chemex. Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Aug 24, 2008, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

That sounds like a question a plastics enginneer should answer, I really don't know.  My guess is it couldn't hurt?
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Saxmoore
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Location: So. Cal.
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Aug 26, 2008, 9:57am
Subject: Re: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

Thank you both for the replies!  

Ray, I'm going to try the oxiclean this week after we pick some up.  Have you tried a second dose?

Barry, what you say does make sense.  Since you posted, I've been leaving the machine open in hopes that the outgassing will have a chance to escape.  I've also washed all the removable parts a couple of times and left them sitting separate.

It may just be wishful thinking but I think it may be getting a little better.  It seems as thought the aftertaste isn't with me all day.  I'm trying not to think about all the chemicals I'm ingesting ;-)

I will definitely follow up with some progress reports.  Has anyone else dealt with this matter?

Thanks again!  Jerry
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paslug
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2007
Posts: 132
Location: Kennett Sq, Pa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Aug 26, 2008, 1:21pm
Subject: Re: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

Saxmoore Said:

Thank you both for the replies!  

Ray, I'm going to try the oxiclean this week after we pick some up.  Have you tried a second dose?

Posted August 26, 2008 link

I'm going to try a second dose later this week, & I'll also leave a fan run on it for the weekend.

I'll report back Sunday with results (or lack of)

Ray
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svyerkgeniiy
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 380
Location: New York City, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (-ish) Bialetti moka pot
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Yama (large 8-cup)
Drip: Technivorm KBT; Clever...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Aug 26, 2008, 1:40pm
Subject: Re: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

I have had a similar issue, not with a coffee appliance purchase but with a water kettle (Krups FLF2).  The heating element is stainless steel but the carafe body is a hard black plastic.  The very first time I opened it I was hit with a chemical solvent smell, not unpleasant but definitely NOT something I would want in my brew.

The smell strength increases over time since the water was last run through it; so if I rinse out several times and fill with fresh water, I barely smell it.  However, if I leave the water in there, I can't reuse it as it picks up more smell and becomes stronger.

Over time (2 months or so) the smell has decreased significantly.  I imagine that after a while, it will be gone completely, but in the meantime I have to wait and rinse frequently.  So if it is a similar plastic smell, I would recommend a similar process of 1) always rinse first (maybe blank brew if the smell is from the tank), 2) drink quickly, especially if the smell is from the carafe, and 3) use OxiClean if that works for you.  I would agree that this should not be the requirement of any coffee appliance purchase.  The OxiClean might work better if you let it sit in there for a while as it may take some time for the O2 to bleach the smell out.

As a side note, I have never had any problems with my AeroPress or Technivorm, even though they have significant plastic parts.  The plastic picks up coffee smells, but not the other way around.

 
Donald Varona
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paslug
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2007
Posts: 132
Location: Kennett Sq, Pa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 22, 2009, 6:21am
Subject: Re: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

A five month follow up if anyone is interested.

In the past 5 months, I've tried Vinegar, Dawn dish detergent, Oxyclean, Brew-rite, and rinse rinse rinse.

I've tried storing it with water in it, and without water in it.

The nasty taste is still there. maybe not as strong as it originally was, but still undrinkable coffee.

If anyone has had any success, (or failures) I would be interested in your ideas.  svyerkgeniiy, did yours ever clear up?

Ray
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JVBorella
Senior Member
JVBorella
Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,166
Location: northeastern CT.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Speedster, Strega, Cremina
Grinder: K10 WBC, Bunnzilla
Vac Pot: Hario NCA 3 & 5, Mitzudash
Drip: Hario Wooden Neck/Buono
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828P/B
Posted Thu Jan 22, 2009, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Awful plastic smell and taste - Ham. Beach AND Zojirushi!
 

Buy a glass press pot?? Better coffee & no plastic odor.

 
John
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