There are four main ways to make Sparkling water at home;
- Using a Sparkling Water Maker
- Using a Soda Siphon
- Using a DIY Carbonation Set-Up which is where you kinda have to make your own appliance.
- Using Household ingredients
1- Sparkling Water Maker
A Sparkling Water Maker is a specialized appliance that is bought to make carbonated water
It is, in my opinion, the safest and currently the most common method of making sparkling water at home.
How Does a Sparkling Water Maker Work?
The first thing that you need to know is that most of these appliances work by using CO2 tanks.
The CO2 tanks are what contain the CO2 gas that is then added to the water to make it carbonated.
The tanks are usually screwed onto the back of the SodaStream.
I need to emphasize that with a SodaStream and with most other sparkling water makers, you will need to exchange CO2 Tanks when they are empty so as to get back a full one.
This is with the exception of the Bonne O Appliance which uses CO2 tablets and Soda Siphons which uses CO2 cartridges, I will talk more about these two later in this article.
These tanks can last months, maybe years if you don’t use them very often.
Now when the CO2 Tanks are empty, you only need to pay for the cost of the CO2 gas itself.
There are numerous Home Appliances available on the Market that makes Sparkling water but I highly recommend the SodaStream Jet.
Why I Recommend the SodaStream Jet;
- I have been using my SodaStream Jet for almost fours years now and it still works like if I bought it yesterday.
- This machine can use both 60-liter tanks and 130-liter tanks, the 130 liter is a much bigger tank and will last longer than the smaller 60-liter.
- The Jet is one of the best selling SodaStream or home carbonation appliance,
- So it is tried and tested by tens of thousands of homes.
- Very Easy to Use, with a simple design.
- Requires no electricity, so it won’t run up your utility bills and
- more importantly, it won’t pose an electrical hazard.
How to Set Up Your SodaStream Jet?
To use the SodaStream Jet you are gonna need two things;
- the Actual SodaStream Appliance and
- SodaStream CO2 Tank
Now setting up the SodaStream Jet is very simple, no need for any special skills or equipment, everything comes pre-prepared.
- Firstly you are gonna need to remove the plastic carbonating bottle from the front of the SodaStream
- this is done by pressing the tilt lever on the front of the SodaStream then unscrew the bottle.
- Ensure you wash out the carbonating bottle.
- Proceed to remove the back cover of the SodaStream.
- Now manually screw on the CO2 tank at the back of the SodaStream,
- Finally, put on the cover and you are basically good to go.
How to use the SodaStream?
- Firstly you need to add water to the carbonating bottle, only fill water up to the marked line on the bottle,
- Then you press the tilt lever so that you can screw the carbonating bottle on the SodaStream.
- Now after you have ensured the bottle is screwed safely on, press the button on top of the SodaStream until you hear a loud buzz.
- Repeatedly press the button until you have heard the buzz for at least three times
- Press additional times for extra fizzy water.
- Finally, press the tilt lever and then unscrew the bottle and, presto homemade sparkling water
Found this short and really good video on how to use and set up the SodaStream.
Advantages of Using a SodaStream
Very Safe to Use
When making sparkling water it is important to remember that you are dealing with high-pressure gasses which if used incorrectly can be very dangerous.
All SodaStream products and Sparkling Water Makers available on the market have to be tested and verified by the federal government to ensure that they are safe for home use.
You lose this safety check if you plan to use a DIY Home Carbonation Kit to make sparkling water.
I have heard of horror stories of people trying to make their own sparkling water maker and things going horribly wrong from an explosion to gas leakages.
So please if you are not accustomed to dealing with CO2 tanks or very DIY oriented just stick with a SodaStream or another brand of home appliance.
Easy to Set up and Use
SodaStreams are designed to be very people friendly, they require no tools or special skills to use.
And if you are struggling, and I doubt that you will, there is plenty of info available online.
SodaStream Appliances, in my opinion, are reasonably priced and more importantly they give you the performance that is promised.
An important note on this point is that a lot of people say that sparkling water from SodaStream is usually not carbonated enough, and I agree if you stick with the recommended three presses it won’t be, I usually add two more presses to make my water extra carbonated.
Good Customer Service
This will vary with the brand of the sparkling water maker.
What I can say is that The SodaStream Company has provided me with really good service throughout the years.
I remember how simple it was to use their website and find somewhere close by to get my CO2 tanks exchanged, all I had to do was type in my zip code.
You won’t be alone with your SodaStream with Millions of appliances being sold every year, you are almost certain to find one in a colleague or a close friends home.
The fact that it is so widespread means that tons of recipes, hacks, and info are available online.
Other methods of making sparkling water such as using a DIY Carbonation kit isn’t of the highest health standards.
Most DIY kits use CO2 tanks that were made for paintball not for making beverages.
All of SodaStream products are vetted by the federal government to be safe for individuals, I can’t say the same for a DIY Carbonation kit.
I have had my SodaStream Jet for almost four years now and I have never had to repair or service it during that period.
Just ensure that SodaStream is kept clean and dry after using.
Doesn’t take up too much space
SodaStreams are usually very small and compact, they don’t take up much space and they fit comfortably on your kitchen counter and will blend perfectly with other appliances.
The fact that they are so small means you can carry them around very easily.
Most SodaStream Don’t use any electricity or batteries,
They are completely powered by their CO2 tanks.
So they won’t affect your electricity bill at the end of the month.
Disadvantages of a SodaStream
Finding somewhere close by to you to exchange CO2 tanks can be a hassle This totally depends on your location.
My advice here is that you can check The SodaStream website click here and type in your address and find a nearby location to exchange.
If you use your SodaStream very often the cost of refills will add up.
This at least for me is the biggest problem that comes with the SodaStream appliances.
SodaStream’s main income comes not from the actual sale of their SodaStream Machines but more from the sale of their CO2 tanks.
So it is important to note that if you and your family plan to make a lot of sparkling water, that the cost of exchanging CO2 tanks will add up over time.
SodaStream limits their machines to only Carbonate water and not any other liquids.
You can use it to carbonate other liquids such as juices and ice tea you will just lose your warranty on it.
(Iced tea, by the way, tastes really good when it’s carbonated).
Carbonating other liquids is a tricky business so be careful, if you do want to try it, avoid any pulp or solid substances in the liquid. You can read my article on how to Carbonate almost any beverage using a SodaStream.
The warranty on my SodaStream is long voided so I have been using it to carbonate just about anything, another great carbonated beverage to try is Carbonated Kool-Aid, my two boys love it.
SodaStreams are kinda Noisy
This is completely normal, the sound is caused by gasses being released from the CO2 tank to the water
Where can You Get a SodaStream Machine
SodaStream machines are available at Walmart, Costco, and other major retailers.
What I have found is that Amazon usually gives you are really good price.
Its where I originally bought mine, You can click here to see the current price on Amazon for the SodaStream Jet.
Once you are buying a SodaStream you should consider buying a Dual Pack of CO2 tanks this means you get two tanks in a package. I found a great deal on Amazon click to see the current price.
Getting two CO2 tanks is just much more convenient than just buying one tank since that means you have a much longer time before you need to go and exchange tanks.
Tips When Using SodaStream and other Sparkling Water Maker
- Ensure that the water is chilled before carbonating.
- Chilled water carbonates better than room temperature water. The colder the better.
- If you think you will drink a lot of sparkling water and end up constantly changing CO2 tanks, consider buying the much larger 130 liter CO2 tank, click to see the current price on Amazon.
- Water with a high chlorine content will not make good sparkling water, I always filter my water before carbonating it.
Common Questions You Would Have about SodaStream Appliances.
Down below are some links to articles that will help you better understand SodaStream Machines.
Other Sparkling Water Maker than SodaStream.
If for some reason you don’t want to buy a SodaStream branded product, the Drinkmate is a great alternative.
I have only used it a couple of times when I visited a friend of mine, I can report that the design and how it works is very similar to a SodaStream Product.
It has a big advantage over the SodaStream in that it is designed and marketed as being able to carbonate almost any liquid.
From Kool-Aid to orange juice, the sky’s the limit.
You can check out my article on The 8 Best Alternatives to a SodaStream to Learn more about the Drinkmate.
I have never used this product, this description is purely based on my research online.
Why I included it in this article is because I think the product and technology seemed really good so I wanted to share it with you.
The Bonne O Appliance is made by a Canadian Company that is trying to innovate a new way to carbonate water without using pressurized CO2 tanks.
Instead, it uses carbonation tablets, and don’t worry the tablets are not added directly to the water.
This is to take out all the hassle that comes with having to deal with shipping filled CO2 tanks which are costly to buy and get exchanged.
You can read more about the Bonne O in my article on How to Make Carbonated Water Without a CO2 tank.
Soda Siphons are another type of carbonation appliances that are a great way to make sparkling water, without using bulky CO2 tanks.
They are smaller than carbonation appliances and they use CO2 cartridges to carbonated Water.
You learn more about them in my article on How to Carbonate Water without CO2 tanks
Other ways to Make Sparkling Water
These methods are basically homemade setups.
I should warn you that these methods aren’t regulated by the government and come with an inherent risk.
Adding Dry Ice:
You can carbonate water by adding dry ice to it, this is because dry ice is basically frozen CO2 gas.
Making Your own Carbonation Appliance:
This requires using a CO2 tank and requires a large upfront investment, but will work out cheaper in the long term.
Using Vinegar and Baking Soda Method:
This is more akin to a science project but it will get the job of carbonating water done.
If you are interested in learning more about these methods you can check out my article on How To Make Carbonated Water Without a Machine.
What is Sparkling Water
Sparkling Water is normal water that has Carbon Dioxide (CO2) dissolved in it.
The very same CO2 in the air that you are hopefully alive and currently breathing in and out.
The CO2 gas is also what causes sparkling water to have bubbles and that foaming effect.
Other Names for Sparkling Water
Sparkling Water can also refer to as Seltzer Water, Soda Water or as it is more technically known as Carbonated Water.
Sparkling water at least in this article does not refer to Soda, Club Soda, Mineral water or Tonic.
These are different in that they contain additives such as minerals and other ingredients.
Sparkling Water at least in this article refers to only water with CO2 dissolved in it.
The good thing is that once you make sparkling water you can then add any ingredient to your heart’s desire.
Why You Would Want to Make Carbonated Water at home.
I wanted to give you some reason why you would want to make sparkling water at home.
1- To Get Healthier
Making sparkling water at home can help break the addiction on sugary store-bought soda.
My two sons are perfect examples of this ever since we got our own SodaStream Sparkling Water Maker, they now drink a lot more water and a lot less Soda.
Getting That Eight Glasses a Day
On average individuals who make their own sparkling water at home drink 43% more water. More Water=Healthier and happier you.
I can tell you that my wife and I have been drinking a lot more water since we have our SodaStream.
2- Save Money
If you already love store-bought Sparkling Bottled Water, making your own sparkling water tends to work out cheaper and more convenient.
If you use a SodaStream it can cost you 0.25 cents per liter of Sparkling water much lower than most sparkling water sold in stores.
How Carbonated Water Is Made on a Commercial Scale
Now if you are interested in how a bottle of sparkling water is made.
The main principle of dissolving CO2 into the water to make it carbonated remains the same. just on a much larger scale.
Stages for Carbonation of Water
- The First stage is that the water is treated and purified to be safe for consumption.
- The Purification process usually entails
- Coagulation, which are chemicals added to the water so that all the particles can clump together
- Filtration This is done using a Sand filter to remove the now clumped together sediments.
- Sterilization this is to get rid of all bacteria, this is mostly done using chlorine.
- The last step in the purification process is to dechlorinate the water by running it through activated carbon filters.
- Now Once the water has been purified, CO2 can then be added to carbonate the water.
- But before CO2 is added the water must be cooled down, since CO2 dissolves much better in cold water.
- After the Water has been cooled, CO2 gas is transferred from industrial CO2 tanks to the water and thus carbonating it.
- The final stage is that sparkling water is bottled and sealed.
The process of making Sparkling Mineral Water which is Sparkling water with minerals is a bit different.
Due to the fact that compounds such as sodium either needs to be added to or preserved inside the water.