For those who drink enough seltzer to justify the cost (and counter space), soda makers (like SodaStream, and those that followed) are a convenient way of getting your fix of fizzy water without having to schlep cases of it from the store. And while it’s definitely a low-maintenance appliance, you do have to clean your machine to keep it running and not-gross. Here’s what to know.
How to clean the bottles
It’s now possible to get dishwasher-safe plastic and glass bottles to use with soda makers, but if you’re using the one that came in the box, chances are it’s hand-wash only. If that’s the case with yours (or you don’t have a dishwasher), cleaning the bottles is pretty straightforward. Oh, and technically you’re supposed to wash the bottle after each use. (We’ll just leave that there.)
Start by checking any washing instructions from the manufacturer of the bottle. Once you realise you threw them out immediately, rinse the bottle using warm water, then fill it up about two-thirds of the way. Add a small drop of dishwashing liquid, put the lid on, and shake the bottle so it gets nice and sudsy. Let it sit like that for 15-20 minutes, then rinse again…and again, and again, or until the soap is gone.
If there’s still some residue in the bottle (either from the soap or hard water), use a soft bottle brush to gently clean out the inside — just be sure not to use bristles that are too hard or too much force, because you don’t want to scratch the bottle and give bacteria additional places to live. Finally, dry the bottle upside down on a dish-drying rack or something similar, making sure that the opening isn’t flat against a surface (to allow air to come in).
To get rid of an odor
Notice a musty smell coming from your bottle? Perhaps the grooves where the top screws in? That’s caused by bacterial growth, and it may take a little more work for it to start smelling fresh again. Also: If you notice this smell after you washed it, there’s a good chance you didn’t dry it properly.
To get rid of the bad smell, fill your bottle up with warm water, and then add the juice of one lemon (roughly two or three tablespoons), shake it up, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse it out a few times, and let it dry.
How to clean the soda maker
This is pretty straightforward. If your machine is electric, unplug it. Otherwise, you can get down to business — which in this case is wiping down the outside of the soda maker (including the nozzle) with warm water and dish soap. But if you do nothing else, clean the nozzle — after all, that’s the part that’s going directly into the water you drink.