When you first get your SodaStream machine, you may not know how to properly use it. It can seem intimidating even with your manual. This guide will show you how to use any SodaStream.Your instructions for usage, loading, and cleaning may be different based on the model of the SodaStream machine that you currently own.
Some of these differences are highlighted within this guide, but always be sure to double-check with your manual. If you’re still uncertain after reading your user’s manual and this guide, feel free to contact the SodaStream Sparkle Support Team with any questions.
But, by following the instructions in your user’s manual along with those found in this guide, you should be able to be making delicious, carbonated drinks before you know it.
We’ve broken the process down to seven easy-to-follow steps. These steps are in-depth and will help you on your carbonation journey. Additionally, we’ve included the cleaning process for your machine and carbonation bottles, and have answered some of the frequently asked questions the SodaStream community has put forth.This guide is meant to teach you to use your soda making machine properly and inform you of other crucial information to ensure you craft the best-flavored sodas or sparkling waters.
The Step-by-Step Guide
When you first get your SodaStream, it may be your first time using such a device. You might be excited or nervous, though there’s no reason to be nervous. Using your SodaStream is incredibly simple.
1. Machine and Water Preparation
The key to using any product, especially for the first time, is preparation.
For starters, you’ll want to begin chilling your water ahead of time. The colder your water, without ice, the better your drink will carbonate. This is because CO2 reacts best when combined with colder water temperatures.
While your water chills in the refrigerator, set up your soda machine. It should be placed on a sturdy, flat, level surface. You want your machine sitting perfectly upright, or else you may run into complications with using it.
2. Prepare Your Carbonator
The next step of your preparation will be to load the carbonator into the SodaStream machine. Your carbonator is the metal canister that says “SodaStream CO2” on it. While you want to always refer to your user manual for your specific machine before setting it up, they are pretty straightforward.
Remove the plastic seal from the top of your carbonator and throw it away.
Once your canister is prepped, remove the back cover of your SodaStream machine. If you’re using a compact, smaller model of the machine, such as the SodaStream Genesis, you will instead remove the top of your soda machine. Place the cover or top to the side.
3. Insert Your Carbonator Canister
With the top or back cover of your machine out of the way, brace the machine with one hand to keep it steady. Insert the carbonator canister into the holding area where the cover was on your machine.
Now you’ll need to screw the carbonator’s top into the machine. Fully turn the carbonator in a clockwise position until it is screwed all the way into place, about three times. Make sure that it is firmly in place, it should not wiggle or move at all.
Regardless of what model machine you’re using, you will need to put the back cover or top back on once the canister is in place. The cover should click into place, indicating that it has been securely returned to position.
If your machine has a CO2 indicator, make sure that you reset the meter when you refill or replace the CO2 canister. You can do this by holding the reset button down for 5 seconds.
4. Loading Your Water Into the Machine
By now, your water should be perfectly chilled. Double-check that it is only full up to the fill line, as overfilling your water bottle can lead to incomplete seals, leaks, and more. The best water to use is either spring or filtered water, but tap water works fine as well.
Again, the insertion method will depend on your model of SodaStream machine. On larger models, you will need to screw your water bottle into place with about three clockwise turns. Smaller models will allow you to simply snape the water bottle into the bottle lock by pushing the top of the bottle into place.
Once the bottle is locked in, you need to make sure that it is upright in the same position the machine itself is in. Do this by gently pushing the bottle into a vertical position. There should be a gap between the bottle’s bottom and the base of your machine.
Once your machine, carbonator canister, and the water bottle are in place, you’re ready to begin carbonation.
Depending on your SodaStream model, you will press down on the carbonating block or carbonator button. Press down in short succession to achieve your optimal level of carbonization.
The resting period between each press is important because it allows the CO2 to activate in the water fully. This will give you the best indication of how carbonated you like your drink to be and will help prevent over-carbonation, leaking, and other problems.
Doing one press at a time will help you determine, in the future, how many presses you need to make to achieve your preferred fizz level.
The LED lights on your machine will indicate how carbonated your drink is. There are three levels to the lights: light fizz, moderate fizz, and strong fizz. The more you carbonate your drink, the more the LED lights will indicate.
6. Resting and Removing the Water
Once your drink has been carbonated, let the water bottle rest in the machine unbothered for 45 seconds. This allows a final resting period so that the CO2 can become fully infused with your water, optimizing carbonation. Otherwise, you may be opening your bottle too soon and allowing a large amount of CO2, which hasn’t mixed with the water, escape.
Once the water has had time to rest, you can remove the bottle from the lock mechanism of your SodaStream machine. Again, depending on your model, you will either gently pull the bottle toward you to unlock it, or you will twist it counterclockwise to unlock it.
7. Adding Flavor to Your Carbonated Water
The final step, should you choose to do it, is to add flavor to your carbonated water. You can add any flavor or syrup that you’d like, and can even add honey, sugar, or another sweetener if you don’t think the flavor is sweet enough.
Hold your carbonated water bottle at an angle of approximately 15 degrees and pour in your choice of flavoring or syrup. You can purchase flavoring and syrups online or any store where you can buy other SodaStream and soda maker products.
Screw the cap of the bottle on and gently shake it for 10 seconds. Shake the bottle side to side, or slowly turn the bottle upside down and back again to fully mix in your chosen flavor. Keep in mind not to shake the bottle too quickly or too vigorously, as this could cause your drink to overflow with liquid and carbonation when you go to open it afterward.If you want the rundown on the best flavors for your soda maker then check out my post here.
Your soft drink is now ready for you to enjoy! Since the water was chilled before being carbonated, you may not have to refrigerate it before drinking.
You can pour it over ice if you’d like to or drink it right from the bottle, or however else you might choose to enjoy a freshly-made soda.
Make sure that once the soda had been opened, that it is stored in the fridge with the cap on. You can store it like this for up to two weeks without losing any carbonation if the bottle has been sealed correctly.
Regular SodaStream Machine Maintenance
PET is easily broken down when exposed to heat or high temperatures. Most dishwashers use hot water to wash dishes and heat or steam for drying, even when indicated otherwise by any external controls. This intense heat, especially in such an enclosed space, will damage your plastic SodaStream bottles.
If you would prefer a dishwasher-safe option, there are SodaStream bottles made of glass that can be cleaned using a dishwasher.
Steps to Cleaning Your SodaStream Bottle
When it’s time to clean out your SodaStream bottle, you’ll want to be sure you know what temperature water you’re going to use. You will need to use lukewarm water – do not use hot or high-temperature water on your SodaStream bottle. Rinse out your bottle with lukewarm water and add some dish soap to the bottle once the water has been removed.
Once the detergent is in your bottle, you will add some more lukewarm water. Then, shake the bottle vigorously and rapidly. Doing this will help to agitate the soap and cause soap suds. Once the bottle has been shaken thoroughly and is full of suds, let it sit for approximately 15 minutes.
Make sure that during this time, the bottle is kept out of any source of heat or direct, intense light.
When the 15 minutes have passed, you will need to thoroughly rinse the bottle out three or four times, or until all traces of soap have been removed.
With all of the soap having been rinsed out of the bottle, you should leave it to dry in a warm, not hot, area. Additionally, this area should not have intense lighting.
You should be cleaning your SodaStream bottle after every use. This will help to keep any bacterial growth to a minimum and will ensure your drink tastes as perfect as possible.
How to Properly Clean Your SodaStream Machine
Properly maintaining your machine is key in keeping your SodaStream running properly and avoiding clogging issues.
If your SodaStream machine is an electric model, you’ll want to start the cleaning process by unplugging the unit from its power source and waiting for about two minutes. Battery-operated units should be fine to clean without removal, so long as the housing near the battery does not get wet.
Wipe your SodaStream machine down with a soft cloth that is covered with some mild detergent or soap. Liquid dish detergent works well and is safe to use. Make sure that you wipe between each crevice and mechanism. This will ensure that you get all of the dirt and dust that may have built-up within your machine.
Once it is thoroughly wiped down, use a different cloth to wipe it down again. This cloth should be damp with warm or lukewarm water but should have no trace of detergent or soap on it. Make sure that the cloth is damp, not dripping or overly-saturated.
With all of the soap cleaned from your machine, allow it to dry in a warm, dark area. Confirm that your machine is completely free of soap and is dry before using it next. You should clean your SodaStream machine once every five days or so.
Lemons and Lemon Juice Help Inhibit Bacterial Growth and Musty Odors
Musty odors or tastes may turn up when using your bottle if you do not clean it after each use. This taste and odor indicate that you may have to clean the bottle differently. The musty smell and taste come from bacterial build-ups within the bottle. Thankfully, this is an easy problem to clear up.
First, you should fill the bottle with lukewarm water. Only fill it to the fill line, no higher. Squeeze an entire lemon’s juices into the bottle with the water still inside. Alternatively, you can use concentrated lemon juice found in most grocery stores.
After the 15 minutes have passed, rinse the bottle about three times. Then, allow the bottle to dry in a dark, warm area. The lemon juice will remove the musty smell or taste from your bottle. Additionally, if your bottle was stained, the lemon juice will help to remove the stains.
You may have noticed that lemon juice is used instead of detergent for this method. This is because lemon juice kills bacteria without damaging your bottle. Allowing the bottle to dry in a warm, dark area after cleaning removes the moisture from the bottle. These two factors combined will help to inhibit future bacterial growth as well as getting rid of any current growth.
Additional Cleaning Tips
- Bleach or other harsh chemicals should not be used to clean your bottles, as bleach and other chemicals will react to the plastic. This will cause bad odors and will also weaken the bottle’s overall integrity.
- Do not ever use hot water to wash your plastic bottles, or heat them to dry. The heat you may try to use while cleaning will compromise the structural integrity of your bottle. This will eventually weaken it to the point of being unable to handle the pressure of the CO2 gas.
- Do your best to avoid scratching the inside of your bottle while cleaning it. This is because bacteria will lodge in the scratches and begin to populate, causing an unpleasant musty smell and taste. The bacterial growth will also increase your potential for illness.
- If you do have to scrub your bottle due to staining or other reasons, use a specialized bottle scrubber. Using the special scrubber will minimize the risk of scratches or other damage to your bottle.
- Clean your SodaStream bottle after each use. It will minimize the risks of bacterial growth. For regular maintenance and to eliminate the risks of bacteria, use the lemon juice method every 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you keep the soda from going flat?
Your carbonated drink should not go flat if it is sealed properly and wholly. This is because of the hermetic seal on the cap of your water bottle. This seal will keep your carbonated drink from going flat as quickly as ordinary store-bought beverages tend to.
Additionally, the colder your water when it’s first carbonated, the better the CO2 will react to it. When allowed to rest after carbonation, the CO2 will have a chance to fully become infused with the water, which will also increase the carbonation factor of your drink.
As a result, starting with the coldest possible water is important to the carbonation process and the shelf life of your beverage. Allowing your drink to properly rest between CO2 infusions and after carbonation is also important to know how long the carbonation will last. The most pressing factor is, again, making sure that the bottle is always properly sealed and stored in the refrigerator.
Can you re-carbonate a drink that’s gone flat?
If your drink was plain sparkling water, you can absolutely re-carbonate the drink as long as the water reaches the fill line on your carbonating bottle. If the water does not reach this line, you can add additional cold water until it reaches the line.
You cannot, however, re-carbonate a drink that has had flavors added to it. The sugars and syrup could cause build-up in the carbonation nozzle and cause clogging or may react negatively to the CO2 as it is added to the bottle. This can result in an overflow. I’ve done another post on re carbonating flat sodas here which is worth a read.
What do you do when your CO2 cylinder is empty?
Several indicators will alert you when your CO2 canister is empty. If you press the carbonator block or button and no CO2 enters your water bottle, that’s usually a strong indicator that your canister is empty and needs to be either refilled or replaced.
This way, you don’t have to run to the store or wait for the package to arrive to continue enjoying carbonated beverages.
When your canister is empty, it’s important not to panic and think the worst has happened to your machine. Contact SodaStream. They will deliver your exchange CO2 cylinders and remove the empty ones for refilling or recycling.
You can, of course, exchange your empty canisters in-store, as well. Just be sure that your store has the proper SodaStream replacements for your model ahead of time so that you don’t waste a trip.
Why is there an expiration date on my water bottle?
Because plastic will degrade over time, and because the SodaStream bottle has to endure repeated use and recurring pressure from carbonization, your bottle cannot be used forever.
The expiration date printed on your SodaStream bottle must be checked and adhered to. New bottles should be purchased as the expiration date on your current bottle approaches.
Additionally, if you mistakenly put the bottle in the dishwasher or wash it with hot water, you should immediately get new bottles.
Most of the SodaStream products are completely recyclable once they have outlived their intended purpose and usefulness. In the bottles, the only component that is not recyclable is the inner cap seal. The water bottles are reusable for up to three years as long as they are well-maintained and taken care of. The glass carafes can be used indefinitely, so long as they do not become cracked, broken, or suffer other damages.
Each raw material of the SodaStream bottles has a recycling code, to make it easier for you to separate and accurately recycle. Always check with your municipality’s recycling authority to find the best and safest way to recycle your SodaStream products. For more info on SodaStream bottles have a look at this post.
Are the SodaStream plastic carbonating bottles BPA-free?
All of the SodaStream plastic carbonating water bottles are BPA-free. SodaStream has high, demanding standards for its material providers. The suppliers and subcontractors have to adhere to international standards for beverage and container quality.
Specific concerns that these suppliers have to consider are phthalates and PCBs. No materials used in the production process of the SodaStream bottles produce PCBs or phthalates. They also do not use any polycarbonate materials, which is where BPA can be produced and introduced to the bottle. Therefore, all of their plastic bottles avoid exposing you to any of these harmful chemicals.
Are SodaStream products and flavors vegan or kosher, and are they allergen-free?
SodaStream does offer vegan options for customers with a vegan lifestyle. The Fruit Drops are all-natural, unsweetened flavors that are great for sparkling water. They taste great and are 100 percent vegan!
All of the sparkling water makers besides the One-Touch model can be used on the Sabbath. SodaStream sparkling water is kosher for Passover, and they have an OUP certification to prove as much. Additionally, the SodaStream products and flavors are kosher certified, and you can view their OU and OUP certifications right on their website.
SodaStream defines allergens that include gluten cereals, seafood, shellfish, eggs, fish, peanuts, soy, milk, tree nuts, celery, mustard, and sesame seeds. With this in mind, the SodaStream products are completely allergen-free and safe for most people to use!
If you have a specific allergen that you’d like to ask about that isn’t on their list of allergens, feel free to contact the Sparkle Support Team with your questions. They will be more than happy to answer your questions and even give you suggestions on what flavors you can use safely.