Food Tastes Like Dish Soap: What to Do

Last Updated on November 16, 2022 by Claire

It’s unpleasant when you unintentionally ingest soap. And if the food tastes like dish soap, but you haven’t been near any soap, it can be just as unpleasant as a metallic taste on your tongue.

Well, the most common reason why your food tastes like dish soap is that you’ve consumed specific foods, such as carrots and coriander (commonly known as cilantro), which is a hereditary trait.

Professor Russell Keast, an expert in sensory and food science at Deakin University’s School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, explains, “Our smell receptors in the nose are responsible for recognizing volatile molecules in the environment, including volatile compounds emitted by possible meals.”

These receptors vary from one to individual and help determine how coriander and carrots taste and smell. For others, this means that carrots and coriander will taste like soap from birth, regardless of how appetizing it appears.

Food tastes like dish soap [fixed]

In this article, we’ll go through the reasons why food tastes like dish soap:

food tastes like dish soap

Contaminated food or beverage

Even a trace of soap’s flavor can change the flavor of meals and liquids.

A person’s lips could taste like soap if they:

  • Consume food from unclean plates
  • Wash fruit or vegetables in soapy water
  • Use drinking straws that have been cleaned but still have soap inside
  • Prepare food with soap residue on your hands.

In these circumstances, the soap flavor usually disappears rapidly.

Prescription medications

Some medications have a lasting aftertaste that may taste like soap or change the flavor of food or liquids by reacting with them to create a soapy or metallic flavor. If a new prescription causes the soapy taste, the medication is most likely to blame—MedicalNewsToday.

Telavancin, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial pneumonia, certain skin infections, and infections brought on by the Staphylococcus bacterium, can leave a soapy or metallic taste in the mouth.

While not harmful, this condition might be inconvenient. It typically persists for the duration of the patient’s drug regimen.

A catastrophic brain injury or a stroke

Each taste and flavor requires the taste buds to send signals to the brain. The way food tastes can change if the brain is unable to appropriately interpret or process these signals.

During or after a stroke or other brain trauma, some individuals experience alterations in their sense of taste. Others are utterly incapable of differentiating flavors

A person should see a doctor to find out the reason if their sense of taste changes. Therapy for swallowing, speech, or occupational issues may be helpful.


There are several ways that anxiety affects the brain and body. People who are concerned about the quality of their food, how it tastes, or the danger of food contamination can find that different flavors seem to taste different to them.

People who detect soap in their meals and worry about its potential health effects may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy in their minds. In other words, even if there isn’t any soapy flavor, the brain may pick it up if it expects more soapy flavors.

Coriander and other foods with genetic reactions

Due to a mutation in the OR6A2 gene, several foods, especially cilantro and coriander, can taste unpleasant and sometimes like soap. It’s a rare enough variety.

A person does not necessarily have a health issue just because a gene is present. Rather, it simply modifies the taste of certain dishes.

Dental issues

Gum and dental issues might result in a soapy or metallic aftertaste. If one does not maintain proper dental hygiene, old food may be retained in the teeth and gums, changing the flavor of food.

Gum disease may be the source of a soapy aftertaste. Some people can detect a unique metallic taste. Numerous oral and dental conditions may also result in strange tastes on the tongue.

If you experience food tastes like dish soap, pain in your teeth or jaw, swollen or red gums, or bad breath, then you should see a dentist.

Toxic poisoning

Many poisons can change the flavor of food or leave a soapy or metallic aftertaste. One example of this is arsenic, which can change the taste of food.

Children and babies are especially susceptible to poisoning, as is anyone with the following conditions:

  • Consumed potentially contaminated food
  • Consumed potentially contaminated water, was exposed to polluted air and was perhaps exposed to contaminated enclosed spaces.

A soapy taste may be the first sign of poisoning, but most individuals quickly experience additional symptoms including altered awareness, disorientation, and nausea.

Digestive acids

Lack of regular digestive acids in your mouth is another factor in a soapy mouth. Food particles are broken down into smaller molecules that go through the digestive tract by the body’s normal digestive acids.

When someone lacks these natural acids, the food or drink will taste like soap. Although it is not a major issue, it is something to be aware of. If you discover that your tongue is always feeling soapy, it’s crucial to get medical help.

Home Remedies and Therapies

Therapy is not always required if your food tastes like dish soap.

A person may normally wait for the symptoms to go away if there is no reason to assume a medical emergency, such as suspected poisoning.

The following are some strategies that might be useful:

  • Drinking water that has been filtered or bottled from a reputable source.
  • Eating bland meals helps the taste of other foods be eliminated.
  • Brushing and flossing to remove plaque and decaying food from the teeth.

Deep breathing and meditation may help to reduce anxiety.

Fluoride overdose

People who often work with or near sodium fluoride are more susceptible to fluoride poisoning. If a family member brings contaminated clothes or other items home, you might be at risk.

The following occupations might put workers at a greater risk of exposure:

  • Agriculture (pesticides)
  • Mining and rock treatment
  • Welding
  • Electroplating
  • Water treatment is all part of the steel manufacturing process.

Signs of fluoride overdose in kids/children

Most people can safely consume fluoride-containing water and dental products. Children under the age of two shouldn’t use fluoride toothpaste. Avoid using fluoride toothpaste and other dental products like mouthwash. Too much toothpaste in your mouth when brushing your teeth might cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Additionally, look for any white, brown, or black stains on your child’s teeth. These might be the outcome of excessive long-term fluoride exposure during tooth development. If you see spots on your child’s teeth, call your doctor or dentist.

How can fluoride overdose be prevented?

If you work with sodium fluoride or come into touch with it, simply take the following safety measures:

  • Keep fluoridated dental products out of your child’s reach.
  • Use a respirator to protect your lungs. To protect your skin, put on additional protective gear like gloves and face shields.
  • Before being worn again, any clothing that has come into contact with sodium fluoride should be cleaned.
  • You shouldn’t bring unwashed clothes into the house since they might contaminate your family.
  • Avoid consuming food, beverages, or tobacco in areas that can be contaminated.
  • Wash your hands before using the toilet, eating, drinking, or smoking.
  • Immediately wash any exposed skin to prevent burning.
  • Discuss your concerns with your boss if they relate to your job. Ask about improving ventilation or segregating the sites where chemicals are stored and used.

When should you consult a doctor?

Typically, a food taste like dish soap is not a serious issue. If somebody has any of the following symptoms, they should see a doctor within one to two days:

  • The taste does not go away on its own; instead, it worsens and coexists with digestive problems including vomiting.
  • If a person exhibits any of the following signs, they should visit the emergency room:
  • The tongue takes on a soapy flavor after a head injury.
  • A child who complains of having a soapy taste in their mouth likely swallowed a lot of soap and was exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals, contaminated food, or contaminated water.


An issue with your digestive tract might cause you to have a soapy mouth. You could detect that food tastes like dish soap if your saliva is toxic.

Additionally, after consuming food or liquids, you could feel that your mouth is unclean. An example of this is when you consume food at a restaurant or grocery store that has been exposed to chemical vapors. Bacterial overgrowth in your digestive tract may also cause a sour taste in your mouth.

A bacterial infection in your intestines may be the cause of your soapy mouth if you experience it. Food with a soapy smell may be caused by intestinal infections. Your septic tank has probably leaked if you can taste soap in your water. If you discover a bad odor in your water, you should seek medical help.