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My First Two Months with the SodaStream Genesis Home Seltzer Maker

Pete Brown - 20 September 2011


I drink a lot of seltzer water (club soda, sparkling water or, as my daughter calls it "fizzy water") - plain water filled with sparkling spheres of burp-o-licious carbon dioxide. I fill a paper shopping bag with empty cans a few times a week. As you can imagine, the cost of purchasing all that seltzer, plus lugging all the cans into the house, not to mention the waste of all those cans (yes, we recycle, but still) weighs heavily. I even had to get a second trash-can sized recycle bin to hold all the empties for weekly pickup. Oh, and yes, I had to keep all that stuff cool in the fridge as well.

For a while, I kicked around either purchasing a commercial seltzer water maker like you might find at a bar, or building one of my own out of a CO2 tank, a regulator and whatnot. In the end, the convenience of a boxed set at Bed Bath and Beyond for $99 won out.

I've now had the Sodastream Genesis since 7/18, so I thought I'd write about some of my impressions.


I love it. I now have on-demand seltzer water whenever I want, without lugging cases of cans around and filling our recycle bin with empties. It's relatively compact, requires no electricity, and carbonates my water as it should. It's simple to use and there's nothing involved or overly fancy about operation.

I put off getting one of these because I didn't like the idea of buying into a "system" that required proprietary bottles and carbonator canisters. Once I got past that, I was good.

Purchasing Tips

The "more! bigger!" corner of my brain tells me it may have been better to get the larger unit, the SodaStream Fizz, but those were not available locally. The Fizz can use the larger 130L CO2 tanks (carbonators), where the Genesis can only use the smaller 60L carbonators. Time will tell how often I have to swap tanks.

In any case, you can order the units online, but it will be more convenient to you if you can pick up the carbonators (CO2 tank) locally in a pinch. My local Bed, Bath and Beyond allows me to exchange my empties right there, in-store, for the same price you pay online (with the bonus of no shipping fees). You can even use coupons in the store.

BTW, every time I read "carbonator", this is what I picture (yeah, I know, carbonite vs. carbonate)

image image image

…although, wookie laments aside, the SodaStream does sound a bit like the carbonite freezing chamber when you use it. See the video below to hear it yourself.

Tips for working with your SodaStream

Use filtered water. Our fridge has a good filter in it which results in water that tastes good to begin with. If you start with nasty water, you'll end up with nasty water with bubbles.

Skip the flavors and develop a taste for plain seltzer (or maybe with just a squeeze of lime). Your brain will thank you in the case of diet soda, your gut and butt will thank you in the case of the sugar stuff. Oh, and see here for another reason not to drink so much sugar soda.

If you drink as much seltzer as I do, pick up a package of two extra water bottles, or maybe even two of those packs. The reason is the water has to be cold (the colder, the better) in order to carbonate. Seriously, if you can get it just about to freeze, or even with a little ice in it, it'll be better. If you drink a lot, you won't have enough time for the bottles to chill in between with just the stock two bottles. I have four bottles, and I'll typically fill some with a mix of ice and water when I put it in the fridge if I plan to use them within an hour or two. I go through between two and four bottles per day, typically three.

Remember. Do not put the bottles in the dishwasher or wash with hot water. For that reason, I recommend that you not drink directly from the bottles, but instead use them to pour the carbonated water into glasses when you want some. Unfortunately, I rarely follow this rule, so I have more hand-washing to do.

Expect to get a little spray from the bottle when carbonating. Not much, but enough that you won't want to keep the SodaStream next to your computer or your prized boxed set of G.R.R. Martin hardbacks. I've found that the warmer your water, the more spray you get.

Pay attention to the fill lines on the bottles: Fill them too high and you'll blow water out when carbonating, fill them too little, and the needle won't be submerged

Don't follow the instructions and use three pumps - two is almost always enough. The spurt you hear is CO2 going out the release valve and being wasted into the air.


Here's a YouTube video showing the process of exchanging the CO2 tank and filling up a bottle.

SodaStream Genesis in my home office

Does it Save Money?

Total initial cost: $100 for Sodastream, $20 for two water bottles. Spare CO2 bottle = $30 Total = $150. My well water is free.

I'm not sure on that yet. If you figure I was going through around 12 cans of seltzer per day, for $3-$4 per 12 pack, the SodaStream will pay for itself after about a month. After that, the carbonators cost only $15 (if you exchange your old one), so it'll be in the black after just a few days of use. In theory, the carbonators last for 50-60 liters, which is around 15 to 25 days for me.

As it turns out, the first carbonator was on its last legs on 8/4, so 16 days following the "3 burps per bottle" approach recommended in the manual. The second, with which I used just two burps per bottle, lasted until September 19, but we had a vacation and and I had a Redmond trip during that month. So, figure around 4-6 weeks depending on how many pumps of CO2 you do per bottle and how much you drink. That's a decent deal.

Also, I used to waste a bit of the canned seltzer because it would go flat so quickly. The SodaStream drink bottles do a really good job of keeping the fizz in long enough to finish drinking.

So yes, it saves money, even when you pick up the second (or even a third, if you want) pack of drink bottles.

posted by Pete Brown on Tuesday, September 20, 2011
filed under:  

11 comments for “My First Two Months with the SodaStream Genesis Home Seltzer Maker”

  1. Leisays:
    I bought the same model using a BBBY 20% coupon. My favorite part of this thing is that I can pick whatever flavor I like to make Coca, Juice or Dr. Pepper. Enjoyed it a lot.

    What makes me feel even better is that the solution is very earth friendly, meaning no more cans to throw away.
  2. Wessays:
    Alright, I am looking to get one of these and the question for me is;

    How many uses is in each 60L Co2 Can.

    I want to do the math now before buying one, I go through about 1L-1.5L of Fizzy a day (I got used to while I traveled)
  3. Petesays:

    I've never counted liters, just days. See the gray callout towards the end.

    I haven't kept track since then, but I still go through a fair bit of seltzer, and consider this to still be a bargain.

  4. Andysays:
    There are "cheaper" ways if you drink A LOT. There's a product called the SodaMod that I bought. It's really just a nicely machined $60 connector that allows the SodaStream machine to connect to standard issue tanks.

    That makes it much cheaper in the long haul, since a standard tank is about $20 one time and can be refilled for $3.

    Don't listen to those that say this tank is food grade vs a regular tank. Regular CO2 tank is 99.999% CO2, food grade is 99.9999%. The most you could say is the tip gets touched when they connect it to fill, but then just waste the first liter and water and you're done...

    I'm very happy.

  5. Jensays:
    We got a Soda Stream Pure model for Christmas and love it. After going through our first 60L CO2 canister faster than expected, we decided to track exactly how many 1L bottles we were able to fill from a single canister. We landed at 34L using the "3 burps" method recommended by Soda Stream. We'll try 2 burps as recommended and see if that makes a difference... certainly seems a little misleading when you sit down to do the math on how much money you'll save vs. buying soda.
  6. Petesays:

    I haven't kept good track of mine, but keep in mind that the colder the water, the less CO2 you waste. If the water isn't ice cold, much of the CO2 escapes and you end up needing to use more.

    For me, it has turned out the convenience is worth it.

    But let's do the math anyway.

    For canned soda, don't forget to factor in:
    1. Trips to the store
    2. Hauling that stuff to the house
    3. The waste of all that aluminum

    Let's ignore the up-front cost for this, as that is eventually paid off (I still use the same Sodastream I bought in 2011).

    Also, let's assume your water is free or cheap enough not to matter.

    A CO2 refill is $15. That comes to roughly $0.44 per liter by your usage pattern. A liter is a bit less than 3 twelve ounce cans. The equivalent of a 12 pack of 12oz cans of seltzer (144oz total) comes out to $1.87. I assume the cans in your local store are probably more expensive than that.

    Not sure if that jives with your calculations or expectations.

  7. Irenesays:
    Thanks Pete for mentioning valuable tip how many pumps and about how important the coldness of the water is as I googled for answers to find out what I was doing wrong when my non-bubbles taste like day flat carbonated water.

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