- How Does a Sodastream Work to Make Sparkling Water?
- We Save Money Making Homemade Sparkling Water
- We Avoid Toxins with the SodaStream
- Homemade Carbonated Water Saves the Earth, Too
- Disadvantages to the Sodastream Sparkling Water Maker
- Watch the Video: SodaStream Review for Real Foodies
- The Bottom Line: We Love Our Sodastream
My husband has been trying to be more hydrated the past few years and struggling to drink enough.
He realized that drinking “fizzy water,” as our kids call it, really made a difference (he’s a former daily soda drinker), so for a while we were buying flavored carbonated beverages in cans.
But oh, so many cans!
For Christmas 2018, I got him a Sodastream so he could make his own carbonated water, and we haven’t looked back!
(And yes, if you’re wondering, of course I didn’t waste all the wrapping paper on a huge box like that – I put a big re-used bow on top and put it in a nondescript bag!)
We’ve made over one thousand bottles of bubbly, so I think we have justifiably become experts who can speak truthfully about how well this soda maker works and the benefits (and disadvantages) we’ve found.
How Does a Sodastream Work to Make Sparkling Water?
We chose one of the more expensive Sodastream options (the AquaFizz Sodastream model) because I wanted the glass containers instead of plastic. If we were doing this as a health measure, why drink from plastic bottles when we try to avoid plastic in all areas?
Plus, from a longevity standpoint, I knew glass would last longer and be more easily washable in the dishwasher.
To make homemade sparkling (or carbonated) water:
- Fill the glass carafe to the line with water of your choice (we filter ours with a Berkey first; see how that gravity filter works here).
- Place the carafe in the Sodastream and close it (see video below for a quick demo).
- Press the button 3-5 times and enjoy the strange rocket-boosting sounds. More presses make more fizz so you can adjust your level of carbonation. The tradeoff is that you will need to exchange the cartridges more regularly if you go all 5 presses.
- Remove the bottle. If desired, add a few drops of flavor and gently tip the bottle upside down a few times to mix.
- Drink and enjoy!
SodaStream sells flavorings so that you can make your own sodas or sweetened drinks, but you don’t need to use any of that! You can simply make “sparkling water” with no sweetener. You could also DIY the add-ins and add a squeeze of lemon, a few drops of stevia, or some homemade herbal syrup for flavoring and sweetness.
This process is perhaps slightly more time-consuming than grabbing a can from the fridge, but when you factor in purchasing the cans, storing them, and recycling them on the other end, the time spent has to be about equal. Plus, my husband is more likely to hydrate better when he has this large bottle vs. 12-ounce cans.
We also have discovered quite a number of other benefits!
We Save Money Making Homemade Sparkling Water
Hubs even ran a test to see how many ounces came out of a full gas cylinder, and each 12-ounce can equivalent only costs about 12 cents, half as much as even the off-brand! We highly recommend improving your own hydration and saving the earth from all those cans!
The SodaStream is also really space-efficient on the counter, even if you’re traveling. It takes up less space than a 12-pack of carbonated water but will make much more than that.
We’ve packed it up anytime we travel by van, whether it’s for a week in the mountains, a few days at a hotel for a wedding, or our 6-week tour of 9 states back in 2019.
Even with all that moving around, every part still moves great and works well. It was nice to have my husband’s favorite hydrating drink always available without having to stop at a store or get an extremely expensive can or bottle from a vending machine.
When we make homemade sparkling alcoholic seltzers, they’re so much less expensive and FAR tastier. I will buy a pack of the seltzers from time to time, especially if we’re having people over, but I stay away from them most of the time because I know I’m saving a ton of money by asking my husband to make our favorite keto cocktail: Half a lime, a shot of gin, and homemade sparkling water (with or without lime flavoring). We never miss the sugar!
Plus when I do drink a store-bought seltzer, I can always taste something a little off in there. What chemicals are part of their flavorings?
That brings me to the next benefit:
We Avoid Toxins with the SodaStream
We love that we can make bubbly water with our filtered water from our Berkey filter because we’ve already avoided all sorts of toxins right from the beginning.
You can use whatever water you already use in your home, but compared to buying cans or bottles, at least you KNOW what you’re starting with.
Beyond those obvious water quality and materials benefits, a few years ago the media was plastered with a story about La Croix sparkling water including chemical ingredients. That was later found to be false, but the bottom line is that it’s so much nicer to KNOW what you’re drinking instead of trusting someone else or a big organization. And two years later, La Croix was in the news again, this time for elevated PFAS. Filtered water to the rescue!
To be fair, we sometimes use commercially produced flavoring, so it’s entirely possible that there are some undisclosed ingredients or processing imperfections with those. Right now, it’s a risk we’re taking, but I’d love to research even more natural ways of flavoring the water.
I will say that when we make our “adult drinks”, they are absolutely delicious with plain carbonated water and fresh limes or lemons, so it’s not like you NEED the flavorings. My husband enjoys them though, so I’m choosing to see it as an 80/20 issue.
Homemade Carbonated Water Saves the Earth, Too
Did you know aluminum is a non-renewable resource? It’s incredibly efficient to recycle, 100% or near that, but if you don’t get your cans to a proper recycling center every time, you’re wasting precious resources when you buy soda water in cans.
Plastic, on the other hand, is only about 20% recyclable, so even if you’re diligent about recycling, you’re still contributing to million-year landfill waste with every bottle.
Besides that, the carbon footprint of shipping all that heavy liquid around the country (and the factories to produce the products) can’t be overlooked.
Our Sodastream glass bottles are easy to setup, use, and clean, and eliminate hundreds of cans each year. I love that the kids can have a little bit for a fun fizzy drink treat and not worry about throwing out the rest of the can when they don’t finish.
Tip: If you’re not using sweetener, there’s not a lot of reason to wash the water bottles regularly. My husband rinses them here and there and only washes them if he takes an entire bottle with him on a trip and drinks out of it. Then it’s a flip into the dishwasher for the bottle and a quick hand wash of the lid.
To be fair, there are some shipping costs to sending the canisters of “gas” back in the mail to get replacements, but it’s minimal in comparison to a dozen or more 12-packs of cans. Plus I’m assuming that since the canisters are on a trade-in system, they do get reused, which makes my heart happy.
With easily printable pre-paid labels, exchanging the gas canisters is very simple and takes far less time than returning cans or bottles for the 10-cent return fee here in Michigan.
There are also some retailers that have an exchange system available. I’ve heard Bed, Bath and Beyond stores offer gas canister exchange in some areas.
Disadvantages to the Sodastream Sparkling Water Maker
We’re always very honest here at Kitchen Stewardship®, and it wouldn’t be a proper review if I didn’t discuss the few bumps in the road we’ve found (and no, that doesn’t count the trips we’ve taken our SodaStream on). 😉
If you open up the little slot where you put the bottles in, it collects water sometimes, and that water gets moldy. It’s just one little to-do list on the task list…which might get done more often if I was the soda water creator and not the man of the house. Not a gender comment, just a personality thing.
Another disadvantage is that the water doesn’t always hold the bubbles quite as well as commercially produced bottles. If we make a full liter bottle and put it in the fridge for just a day, it loses its bubbles quite quickly (and you’re not supposed to “re-gas” the same water OR add bubbles after you’ve already flavored the water). But if you just make it and drink it right away, it’ll be fine. Bubbly on demand!
From a health standpoint, when we were researching whether carbonated water was a valid hydration substitute for still water or just another way to dehydrate like coffee, we found a few sources that claimed health consequences from carbonation. They didn’t seem authentic enough, and we chose to move forward anyway.
This year, my husband’s doctor mentioned that carbonated beverages can increase a body’s acidity and potentially have a negative effect on blood pressure, but we haven’t been able to corroborate that.
The Internet is split between sources like Healthline.com saying, “No evidence suggests that carbonated or sparkling water is bad for you,” and Eat This, Not That claiming the exact opposite on nearly every point, reading like an urban legend collection. More research is needed, but if you’re already drinking a lot of carbonated beverages, that point is kind of moot when you’re deciding whether to go homemade or not.
Watch the Video: SodaStream Review for Real Foodies
My son Paul is our video editor here at Kitchen Stewardship®, and he said he might be interested in helping me tackle some of the “to do” videos on my list. I told him he should interview his dad for this one since my husband has all the experience with the product.
His dad, an introvert, promptly declined the offer.
I incentivized Paul with an extra $10 on his paycheck if he could convince his dad to come on camera, and he improvised. Here are the results:
If you can’t see the video above, you can go directly to YouTube for our SodaStream review for healthy living.
What do you think? Did Paul earn his ten bucks? 😉
The Bottom Line: We Love Our Sodastream
As a health-conscious, Earth-loving family who appreciates anything that saves our budget, our SodaStream AquaFizz checks all the boxes. To recap:
- We save money, about 50% compared to commercially produced sparkling water.
- We avoid toxins, particularly anything that may be in the water, the cans or bottles leaching into the beverage, or unknowns in the flavors.
- We get better hydration, especially for a former soda drinker who gets bored with plain water.
- The Earth is farrrrr better off when we’re not buying disposable and shipping heavy liquid all over the country.
- Random bonuses: We love to travel with our SodaStream, and it makes great adult drinks too. 🙂
- The biggest disadvantage is that the bottles don’t seem to hold the fizz as well as commercially produced carbonated water. I’d love to hear from someone who has the plastic bottles to hear whether they do any better!
If our SodaStream ever gives up the ghost, we’ll definitely buy another one. It comes with a 3-year warranty, so we’re just about to get outside of that, but I’d gladly pay again to keep this hydration habit up in the Kimball house.
Plus, we can claim “handmade craft cocktails” if we want to feel hoity-toity, or just enjoy the fact that we’ve saved a few hundred dollars on beverages and spend that on wholesome food from local producers!
(We have the Aquafizz)
Hot tip from a reader: If you enter my name, “Kathryn Kimball,” in the “who referred you” line, it sounds like you’ll get an extra percentage off, wow! Thanks, Sara!