Carbonating: the Cheap and Easy Way

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Introduction: Carbonating: the Cheap and Easy Way

Have you ever wanted to make your own carbonated beverages such as soda and carbonated water? Well, I have. However, after doing a lot of research I realized that the carbonation machines you can buy cost hundreds of dollars. But then I found this way of doing it. It costs very little and can be made with stuff found around the house. It's great for making homemade sodas, seltzer water, and even re-carbonating flat beverages. I even tried carbonating chocolate milk... it was pretty interesting but not bad. :D

WARNING: BE CAREFUL! If you use too much vinegar and baking soda, it could blow up and make a huge mess in your kitchen, or worse... injure you. It happened to me (not the injury, but the explosion). I can assure you, it is not fun to clean up. This is high pressure stuff you are working with. So, please consider safety glasses and doing this outside on your first couple tries. Please don't hold me responsible for the mess in your kitchen if it does explode.

Sorry about the crappy video.

See The Video Here


Step 1: Collect Your Materials

You Will Need:

2 PLASTIC Bottles (preferably 20oz) With Caps
3 ft. (aprox.) of tubing, fish aquarium size
Drill
Drill Bit a little bit smaller than the tubing
Scissors
Funnel (forgot to put it in the pic)
Toilet Paper... Yes Toilet Paper
Vinegar
Baking Soda
Liquid You Want Carbonated

Note: Don't Use Glass Bottles, They Could Explode.

Step 2: Drill Hole in Caps

Take the caps off of the bottles. Grab the drill and drill a hole in the middle of each bottle cap.

Step 3: Cut the Ends of the Tubing

Grab the tube and cut each end at an angle so it is easy to stick through the holes in the caps.

Step 4: Stick Tube Through the Bottle Cap

Now stick each end of the tune into a bottle cap. Screw the caps on. One end of the tube should be in the bottle about an inch. The other end should reach all the way to the bottom of the bottle.

Step 5: Find Something to Carbonate

Find something you want to carbonate. You can carbonate basically any liquid. There are many great recipes for sodas on the internet. Make the beverage and then pour it into the bottle that has the tube going to the bottom. (I just used water for the Instructable). Leave about an Inch and a Half space at the top for air. Screw the cover back on.

Step 6: Fill the Other Bottle With Vinegar

Unscrew the cover on the other bottle. Grab a funnel and fill the bottle about 1/3 full with vinegar. Leave the cover off.

Step 7: Baking Soda

Grab one square of toilet paper. Put about a tablespoon of baking soda on it. Then fold the toilet paper up as indicated in the pictures.

Step 8: Adding the Baking Soda

First, make sure the cover on the to-be carbonated beverage is tight. Hold the Cover to the bottle with the vinegar in one hand and the toilet paper wrapped baking soda in the other hand. Drop the toilet paper baking soda roll into the vinegar. Screw the cap on as quickly as possible. Shake the bottle.

Step 9: Shake Your Drink

Grab the bottle with your drink and shake it vigorously. You will notice bubbles coming out of the tube. Thats the CO2 that will carbonate your drink. Keep shaking to disperse the CO2. Shake until there are no more bubbles coming out of the tube. Shake one more time and let sit for a minute or two.

Step 10: Opening the Beverage

It is time to open the drink! First pinch the tube above the bottle. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Pinching the tube will prevent a ton of CO2 form coming out of the other pressurized bottle. If you don't do it, your drink will spray everywhere and probably lose its fizz. While pinching the tube, slowly open the bottle with your drink. Now bring the other bottle with the tube still pinched to the sink and release it. You will notice a ton of CO2 escaping, sometimes the vinegar, baking soda, toilet paper mixture will come out too. Thats why you should do it over the sink.

Step 11: Enjoy

You can drink your now carbonated beverage. Enjoy!

Use the byproduct for making sodium acetate. Click Here

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263 Discussions

This is the easiest carbonating system I've seen put together! Everywhere else I search online the systems are complicated and expensive. But I have one quick question; where would I be able to find the tubing necessary for this? Is there a substitute if any?

1 reply

you can get the tubing at any hardware store and any pet store that carries items for fish. you could also get it online from a large variety of places. You could probably find it in a medical supply store as well. looks like it took 9 years for you to get a reply!

this was really good video work and excellent instruction detail; however; toilet tissue---I do not think I will ever drink soda's ever again unless you tell me one simply uses the tissue to shake the baking soda into the vinegar..... in that case why can't you just use a measuring spoon and a funnel....?

2 replies

You can use (unused ;-) ) toilet paper without any worries. It's excactly as clean as kitchen paper, uncollored paper napkins, coffee and tea filters etc. as long as it's a new roll fresh from the package or a roll kept elsewhere than the bath room.
Or simply use one of the alteratives mentioned above. gl

It is so that there is a delay between dropping it in and the reaction. This allows for capping the container.

Hah! Awesome xD but buying it is easier

I have done this a few times and I did two things different.

1st I put a simple valve at the bottle that holds the drink. when the pressure is equal and the max is reached I close off the valve locking in the gas. next the soda mixture is cold next to freezing..a few floating ice chunks is good. lastly with the valve shut I shake the bottle vigorously for a minute or so. the more surgace area exposed to the co2 the more will be absorbed. I let it rest in the fridge for a while before pouring a cold tall glass of bubbly lemon goodness!

Water tasted like vinegar.

You will get better results with carbonation if the brink being carbonated is well chilled. The colder the liquid, the more CO2 will go into solution. Consider inserting a valve in the hose, instead of pinching. This will increase the cost a few dollars, but make things easier when you clean up.

oh nevermind

Can you use dry ice chips and water instead of baking soda and an acid?

To avoid the vinegar taste, use vitamin C or lemon juice for your acid.

Hello! I just tried this carbonating process and successfully done it, but how do I eliminate the smell and taste of the vinegar? By the way i used purified drinking water.

1 reply

Usely if you use vinegar in a recipe for a smoother less bitter taste lemon juice will work just as good and it's an ingredient used in making 7up & sprite.

Can't watch video from my phone. that really sucks since I rarely turn on my netbook/laptop any more.

Looks like this is working for most of you, but we've tried everything we can figure out and none of the CO2 is staying in the drink. As soon as we begin to open the drink container (yes, with the tube pinched tightly), all of it violently bubbles immediately--not spewing out like when you shake a soda bottle, but big bubbles like it's boiling. There's nothing left by the time we can get it to our mouths. We live at 3000ft elevation, so I know that will have some effect, but it seems like SOME of it should stay in solution. We've tried the diffuser trick, we've tried adding more and less baking soda...any help out there?

best seltzer water ive ever tasted. we put around half a bottle of vinegar and 2 tbs of baking soda and it becomes hard for it not to fizz over when we open it thnx man!!

 nice work man . but the final product taste and smells of vinegar ..i hope that should be some alternative solution.. 

1 reply

you can use alka selzer tablets and water instead or the effervessant vitimin tablets and water