Why Does My SodaStream Bottle Smell?

SodaStream have revolutionised reusable drinking options, especially for those who like sparkling water compared to still. Though like any reusable bottle they can start to smell and hold onto unpleasant odours.

The main reasons for a SodaStream bottle to smell is the improper use and lack of cleaning. Cleaning your bottle between each refill even for plain water is the best option. Using non-abrassive cleaning equipment and odourless soaps are advised to avoid further smells and unpleasant tastes.

In this article I will be going through the different reasons that can cause your bottle to smell, how to avoid it and how to clean your bottle for long lasting results and fresh tasting drinks.

Why Does My SodaStream Bottle Smell?

Unfortunately, this is mainly due to the bottle being incorrectly cleaned or incorrectly used. SodaStream bottles have been designed for a very specific task; to withstand CO2 pressure and be a container for fizzy water.

If they are used and treated like other ordinary water bottles, they can be easily damaged. A lingering odour within the water bottle is often a sign that the bottle has had some wear and tear or has been damaged over time.

What Causes The Bottle To Smell?

It is possible that the smell is coming from bacteria and mould hiding in leftover residue within the bottle. SodaStream syrups and even your saliva (if you choose to directly drink from the bottle), if not properly cleaned away, can leave traces.

If these traces are left, even for a few days, can become breeding grounds for nasty smelling bacteria and mould. This bacteria growth can also occur in residual water if the bottles haven’t been allowed to completely dry before being stored away. 

A smell can also occur from a chemical reaction with the plastic of the bottle. SodaStream bottles are made with PET plastic which can be unstable in certain environments.

Putting the bottles in contact with hot water, bleach or even UV rays could weaken the plastic and cause a chemical reaction that leaves a weird ‘plasticy’ smell inside your SodaStream bottle. 

How To Wash My SodaStream Bottle

The key is to wash your SodaStream bottles regularly; ideally, after every time they are used. Try to get out of the habit of just constantly topping them up thinking that ‘it’s just water’ going into the bottles.

To avoid any chance of bacteria harbouring in your bottles, it is best to completely empty the bottle of your soda and then wash the bottle using the method below before you make a fresh batch of soda. 

The best method is to wash by hand with warm soapy water; importantly not boiling water. As previously mentioned, PET plastic within the bottle does melt when exposed to high heat so soaking the bottles in hot water will only damage the bottle further.

This may weaken the bottle meaning it could eventually shatter with CO2 pressure from the SodaStream machine. This is also the reason why the bottles are not dishwasher safe and should not be cleaned in the dishwasher. 

To clean a SodaStream bottle, fill ¼ full with warm water and a non-abrasive soap. Shake well and leave to soak for about 30 minutes. Abrasive soaps or cleaning products containing bleach will damage the PET plastic and weaken the integrity of the bottle so must not be used. 

After soaking use a long-handled bottle brush to remove any residue or distinct marks that need cleaning off inside the bottle.

Again, be careful not to use sponges or brushes that are too rough as you could scratch the plastic; this will just provide more spaces and creavasises for bacteria to hide in as well as weakening the bottle. Avoid metal scourers or sponges that are made with hard material that could potentially scratch the plastic. 

If you’re cleaning a SodaStream bottle that has already begun to smell, adding vinegar or lemon juice into the bottle while you let it soak may help to remove the smell. Using soaps that have a natural scent added to them may also help to mask the unpleasant plastic smell. 

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the bottle, and any marks of residue or sticky syrup have been cleaned off, make sure you rinse out any soap; you may have to do this a couple of times.

Then if possible leave it turned upside down on a drying rack to completely drain and dry. As mentioned before, storing a wet bottle in a warm storage cupboard is the perfect way to attract bacteria and mould. Only once it is completely dry can you then store it away ready for it to be used again. 

Finally, it is also really important to clean the caps, especially if you are drinking directly from your SodaAtream bottles, as they are often the places mold can be found.

When soaking the bottle, soak the cap in a bowl with the same cleaning solution and use something like a soft toothbrush to scrub off any residue. Again, make sure it is completely dry before screwing back onto the bottle.  

How To Prevent My SodaStream Bottle From Smelling

If you can, don’t use your SodaStream bottle as your portable drinking bottle. This will mean the bottle is more likely to be exposed to UV rays if you take it outside and also contaminates the bottle and cap with your saliva.

It also means you are less likely to clean it regularly. We suggest transferring your homemade soda into a metal or glass water bottle if you do want to take it with you to work or out of the home. 

Try not to have a batch of soda sitting in the bottle for more than a few days; especially if you use the flavouring syrups. If you can transfer your soda to another serving bottle or drink the soda straight away there will be less wear on the plastic and your bottles should last a lot longer. 

Clean your bottles regularly using the suggested method above. Also try not to leave them sitting unclean for a long time – try to get into the habit of cleaning them straight away.  Make sure you wash out all the soap and allow the bottle to fully dry before storing.   

Finally, SodaStream recommends that the bottles are replaced every three years as the integrity does weaken over time depending on how often they are used. If your bottles are smelling and they are close to being three years old, it is possible that it is just time for you to replace them with new ones.