Many homemade soda enthusiasts love carbonating their custom sodas to be as bubbly as possible.
If you’re one of them, you know nothing is better than the sharp tingle of an extra fizzy soft drink.
You can use your SodaStream to inject some extra CO2 into your beverage. But sometimes soda overflows, making a huge mess, even when you think you’ve done everything right.
So how do you prevent SodaStream overflow? It depends on what exactly is causing the overflow in the first place.
SodaStream drink makers are simple machines, but several things might be influencing CO2 diffusion and causing an overflow in your beverage bottle.
This is especially true when people first learn how to use this soda maker machine.
There are lots of things that have to go perfectly to get the ideal carbonated beverage.
You have to lock the soda bottle into place perfectly, make sure that the seal is broken, use only cold water and fill it to a predetermined line on the bottle side, and then make sure that you don’t over carbonate the water past its saturation point.
Naturally, this takes a little practice to get used to. But we can show you all the ways to prevent SodaStream overflow, no matter your issue. In most cases, the fix is a simple preparation adjustment or as easy as letting go of a button.
Follow the Fill Line Properly
One easy fix is ensuring you aren’t overfilling your carbonating bottle. SodaStream bottles, the only type designed to be used with any of their soda makers, have a special fill line on each bottle’s neck, regardless of its overall capacity.
This line isn’t just a suggestion. It’s a smart way to prevent overflow when you carbonate a water bottle.
Soda makers infuse water with CO2 gas by forcing the gas into a liquid until the water can’t hold anymore.
In fact, the bubbles of carbonated water are simply packs of excessive CO2 gas trying to escape the liquid confines.
Leaving a little room at the top of the bottle prevents that gas from building up and straining the carbonating bottle.
It also prevents the gas from displacing the water and causing it to foam at the top. Ever wonder why shaking a soda bottle causes overflow? It’s because the CO2 gas has been disturbed to such an extent that it demands escape.
As the gas tries to flee the bottle, it carries liquid out over the top.
Therefore, filling your soda bottle higher than the designated “fill” line is asking for trouble. It’s always better to stop at this line or even fill the bottle a little less if you want to super-carbonate your beverage.
Plus, leaving a little room at the top creates a reservoir of CO2 gas that will make a satisfying “hiss” sound each time you remove your bottle cap.
It’s a key part of enjoying every one of your home-crafted sodas!
Fit the Bottle Properly
Using SodaStream machines is relatively simple, but there’s no doubt that it takes a few times to learn how to set up the bottle properly in the carbonation dispenser.
No matter which model of soda maker you own, each will have a bottle rest tab right behind the carbonating tube.
If you’ve picked up the Fizzi One Touch then check out my 5 easy setup steps
This bottle rest tab is positioned so that you can rest the side of the bottle against it and push it back toward the soda maker.
Then, you can use the bottle rest tab to keep the bottle in place as you guide it towards the Snap-Lock teeth that keep the bottle in place as it is carbonated.
If you don’t fit the bottle correctly, the high-pressure CO2 gas and water might overflow since the outside is a lower pressure in the environment inside the bottle. The gas and water will seek to escape the confines of the container and spill all over your countertop or table.
Therefore, you must slide your carbonating bottle into place each time you use the soda maker.
The Snap-Lock mechanism or locking teeth can also break or lose their integrity over time. This can happen from usual wear and tear or from pulling your soda bottle out of the machine too quickly or roughly.
Remember, most of the parts of these machines are made of plastic or low-durability metal to prevent them from becoming heavy or dangerous.
Take your carbonating bottle out of the soda maker carefully to prevent ruining the locking mechanism.
Don’t Shake the Bottle
We touched on this above, but it bears repeating. When you remove your carbonated water bottle from the soda maker, you might accidentally jostle it too much and displace the CO2 gas in the liquid.
This is the same thing as accidentally dropping a can of soda.
The result is carbonated liquid overflowing as soon as you open the cap. While it’s not likely that your soda maker water will be quite as explosive as a well-shaken can of the traditional soda, it’ll still make quite a mess.
Keep your carbonated water bottle stable, and try not to jostle too much while you handle it. You’ll have to shake it a little to mix any flavouring you want to add after the carbonated water, but this shaking shouldn’t normally be enough to cause an overflow.
If you do end up accidentally shaking the bottle, either when removing it or after it’s already been capped and stored for a little while, you can carefully disperse the built-up pressure by opening the cap extremely slowly and letting the CO2 gas escape over a short period.
Listen to the hiss that sounds when you open the bottle cap and twist it to the left only in short increments until the bottle doesn’t make any more noise.
This should result in no overflow when you remove the cap entirely if done properly.
You can also play the waiting game and let the bottle rest in the refrigerator for a few minutes to an hour.
The CO2 gas released during the shaking will resettle back into the liquid if given enough time and placed in a cold environment.
Use Cold Water
Speaking of cold, you should only ever use cold water when carbonating beverages using your SodaStream.
Why cold water as opposed to warm? Cold water has a higher capacity for CO2 gas than warm water. Cold water can be fizzier than warm water since the same liquid at a lower temperature can store more gas without releasing it back into vapour. You can pack more CO2 gas molecules into cold water.
CO2 gas also diffuses much more quickly in cold water rather than warm water.
These aspects make cold water great for making soda of all flavours. But it’s also important not to flavour the water before carbonating it.
Adding any flavour to cold water beforehand changes the molecular density of the liquid and raises its temperature by a few degrees in most cases. This prevents the water from being able to hold as much CO2 gas as before, so the resulting beverage won’t be quite as fizzy as it would be otherwise.
Not to mention that flavoured water usually has sugar and other compounds mixed, which can stick to the carbonating tube of your soda maker. Cleaning your soda maker is much more difficult when scrubbing off dried sugar and other things besides regular water.
Don’t Carbonate Things Other Than Water
This ties into the general advice to avoid carbonating beverages other than water. Many people love carbonating drinks like tea and milk or re-carbonate mixed soda.
But the truth is that regular water is the best liquid for promptly diffusing high amounts of CO2 gas. Regular water can hold more CO2 gas than any other type of liquid, and most soda makers come with preprogrammed carbonation buttons that dispense set amounts of the gas with each push.
This means it’s hard to carbonate any other liquid besides water properly. You’d have to fine-tune a level of carbonation specific to that beverage type over lots of experimentation and trial and error.
While it’s totally possible to do this given enough time and dedication, you’ll definitely experience some overflow problems when you try to make your other beverage as bubbly as regular carbonated water.
Other liquids don’t have the same surface tension, meaning it’s easier for CO2 gas to escape or cause the liquid to rise. Others don’t accept a lot of CO2 gas for diffusion at all, meaning that most of the gas is rejected and spat back into the air as vapour.
If your SodaStream is overflowing because you keep trying to carbonate your juice, the solution is simple: stop! A better suggestion would be to highly carbonate a small amount of water and mix it with the same amount of un-carbonated juice. In this way, you can still get the general flavour of a sparkling juice beverage without making a huge mess over your countertop.
Despite our suggested advice above, it’s generally a bad idea to over-carbonate your drinks. Not only is it eventually a waste of good CO2 gas, but it has the potential to cause an overflow in your water bottle.
Although cold water has the highest CO2 capacity, it has a breaking point like any other liquid medium. When water or any other beverage can’t allow any more CO2 gas to be diffused, it’s called “saturated”. At this point, any additional CO2 gas you try to inject will bubble up immediately and escape back into the air as vapour.
If you continue to hold down your SodaStream’s carbonation button, you’ll simply be spitting CO2 gas into the bottle for it to fly back out immediately.
Even worse, much of the escaping gas will carry molecules of liquid with it, forming a thin foam that rises out of the bottle and spills everywhere.
However, you can still carbonate your sparkling beverage higher than the market standard without reaching saturation. Most soda makers have buttons allowing you to request a high fizziness. This makes your beverages bubblier and sharper than most sodas you’ll be able to find at a restaurant or store, but they won’t automatically overflow.
Other soda makers will require you to hold down the carbonating button until you’re satisfied with the bubbliness of your beverage. With these models, watch your sparkling drink as you carbonate it and pay attention to when it starts to foam up towards the neck of the bottle.
This is a sign that the liquid is totally saturated with CO2 and won’t accept any more.
For best results, we recommend chilling your water as cool as possible before it reaches a freezing point. This prepares the water to accept the highest amount of CO2 possible before saturation. For most refrigerators, the ideal temperature for soda beverages is between 39 and 46°F or 4 to 8°C.
Don’t Hold the Carbonation Button
This is related to over-carbonated, but you may be doing it accidentally rather than on purpose. It takes CO2 a little time to diffuse throughout a water bottle.
Many soda makers have buttons you are supposed to hold to determine exactly how fizzy a given beverage will be.
This is distinct from models like the SodaStream One Touch, which has single buttons you press and predetermined amounts of carbonation.
With soda makers that have you holding the carbonating button, it’s a good idea to only hold the button down for 1 to 2 seconds and carbonate your beverage in short, controlled bursts of activity.
Injecting your water bottle with CO2 gives the gas enough time to work its way down to the bottom of the bottle and diffuse it equally.
If too much CO2 is contained at the top of the liquid, it may still overflow simply because the top half of the water bottle is oversaturated, even though the bottom half is not.
You can force too much CO2 at the top of the water by injecting too much gas into short a time.
Pump CO2 into your beverage by pushing the buttons a few times and never holding it down for longer than three seconds. This ensures that the gas has enough time to be spread around equally and will also give you a better idea of the total fizziness of your bottle.
Once you hit around four pumps of gas, start watching the bottle to see if it is overflowing, no matter how much time you add between pumps. Remember, any water container will eventually be saturated with CO2 and won’t accept anymore.
At this point, the bottle is as fizzy as it will ever get and should be capped immediately to preserve carbonation.
Finally, although most soda makers are made to certain standards to prevent factory defects, nothing is perfect. Your SodaStream might be damaged from frequent use or out of the box.
You can check a few different ways to see if the problem is with your SodaStream machine rather than how you’re using it.
Try making some drinks in a few different sizes of containers and try using different levels of carbonation to see if the overflow problem persists for all your variations.
If your soda maker continues to overflow your bottle no matter which settings you use, it’s probably a mechanical error.
There are lots of things that could be going wrong. For example, the carbonating tube may lead to much CO2 gas in your water bottle regardless of which button you press.
Or it may be an issue with the carbonation cylinder valve at the back of the soda maker.
Check your carbonation cylinder whenever you’re having trouble with persistent overflowing.
It might be that the valve is too loose and is injecting too much CO2 each time you press one of the carbonation buttons.
The buttons themselves may also be damaged in one way or another. Some buttons become jammed into place if they are pressed too vigorously.
This can lock them into injecting carbonation far beyond what their normal levels would allow. I’ve had this myself on an older model I had picked up second-hand.
Whatever the error, you should contact your manufacturer to see if your warranty is still in effect or if they can assist you with any mechanical problems. At the very least, SodaStream can usually identify the likely source of the overflow problem, even if they can’t immediately fix it.
You can check out some more of their FAQs here
Featured Image By Ted Eytan @ Flickr
I’m the owner and blogger here at SodaPopCraft.Com. I’m a soft drinks enthusiast and I’m bringing you all I know and research from the world of Soda Pop & Kombucha soft drinks.
I hope it inspires you to make your own healthier fizzy drinks at home.
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