4 Simple Ways to Make Sparkling Water Flat

Hand pouring sparkling water into a glass

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Not a fan of carbonated drinks but love the taste of sparkling water? No matter your reason — if you’re looking to get the bubbles out of sparkling water, there are a few easy ways to get the job done.

The best way to make sparkling water flat is to simply wait several hours for the carbonation to dissipate. If you’re short on time, other easy methods include agitating the beverage, increasing its surface area, and boiling it.

Other common suggestions for making sparkling water flat include adding sugar, salt, or other flavor-changing additives. However, if you plan on drinking it, adding additional ingredients to the beverage is probably a bad idea. The flavor will likely be ruined by the additions, and any health benefits of drinking sparkling water could be diminished.

Flat Sparkling Water Does Not Taste Like Regular Water

Note that even when you remove the carbonation from sparkling water, it will still not taste the same as flat water.

This is because your formerly carbonated water will still contain some carbonic acid that was absorbed from the CO2. As a result, you may taste a mild bitter flavor in the water, even after decarbonation.

Try using any of the following decarbonation methods to turn your sparkling water into regular water – more or less. For faster results, try combining multiple techniques.

Bubbles of sparkling water

1.    Wait for it to Go Flat

The waiting game may be obvious, but it’s foolproof and requires little effort.

Open a can or bottle of sparkling water and simply wait for the carbonation to disappear. Unrefrigerated, your sparkling water should take about a day to lose its carbonation. Refrigerated, it may take a couple of days for your sparkling water to go completely flat.

If you plan ahead, you can maintain a steady supply of flat sparkling water by opening cans or bottles daily. If you decide to store it in a water bottle, a wide mouth opening may be ideal for allowing carbonation to escape.

Alternatively, you can purchase water flavoring drops that can make flat water taste just like your favorite flavored sparkling water. These flavorings are intended for use with at-home sparkling water makers, but you can use them however you please. Add a few drops to your glass, stir, and enjoy.

2.    Agitate it

In the words of Taylor Swift, to make a carbonated beverage flat, “Shake it Off.”

If you’ve ever shaken a carbonated beverage, you know that it can produce explosive results. But gently agitating your sparkling water can help it to expel carbon dioxide gas more rapidly than just waiting.

Stirring your sparkling water is an agitation method with less potential for mess. Use a straw or spoon to stir your sparkling water continually until it no longer bubbles.

Alternatively, a common suggestion is to stir the beverage with a paper towel, which may quickly alleviate carbonation. However, this may introduce tiny paper particles into your drink. It also requires wringing out a paper towel back into your glass. It’s a novel idea, but probably a bit messy.

Finally, the most effective agitation method may be pouring. Repeatedly pour your sparkling water back and forth from one cup to another. Over the course of several pours, most of the carbonation will be freed from the water, leaving you with a delightfully flat beverage.

bowl of water

3.    Increase Surface Area

If you look closely at a glass of sparkling water, you’ll notice its tiny bubbles bursting and spattering at the surface. In a narrow glass, this bubbling is amplified. In fact, the reason champagne glasses are tall and narrow is because they are designed to retain carbonation.

Pouring your sparkling water into a vessel with a much wider opening will allow its carbonation to escape more quickly. With greater surface area, the effervescence has more places to escape the water from.

A large bowl may be an ideal choice for this method, but be sure to keep any contaminants from falling or flying into it. Dust, insects or other pesky airborne items are a surefire way to ruin a tasty beverage. If you use this method, cover your bowl with a cloth or place it in your refrigerator.

4.    Boil it

Boiling it is a highly effective method for removing carbonation. However, you’ll probably want to cool the water before drinking it (note that sparkling water can be used to make hot coffee or tea in a pinch).

After boiling your sparkling water, pour it into a heat-safe container and allow it to cool in your refrigerator. The cooling process may take several hours, so only use this method if you’re able to wait patiently.

Keep in mind that any flavoring, sweeteners or minerals in the water may be impacted by the boiling process. Natural or artificial flavors may be transformed entirely into less appetizing flavors. Sweeteners and minerals in the water may become more concentrated, which can also impact taste of your flattened sparkling water.

Is Flat Sparkling Water Safe to Drink?

You might be wondering if it’s okay to drink flat sparkling water. Sparkling water that has gone flat is completely safe and healthy to drink. It will hydrate you just the same as regular water would.

You should know that flat sparkling water is slightly more acidic than regular water. That’s because it contains traces of carbonic acid that is absorbed into the water from the CO2 gas. This acid is found in all carbonated beverages. It is harmless, but it may contribute to flavor differences.

If you’re concerned with the acidity of sparkling water damaging your teeth, there is no reason to fret. The acidity of flat sparkling water is unlikely to cause any damage.

However, citrus flavored sparkling water may be even more acidic, meaning it poses a slightly higher risk to your teeth’s enamel. But with an adequate oral hygiene routine, you shouldn’t worry too much about sparkling water damaging your teeth.

Flavor Differences: Flat Sparkling Water vs Regular Water

Flat sparkling water will not taste exactly the same as the stuff that comes from your tap. As a result of absorbed carbonic acid, you may notice it has a distinctive flavor that can be described as sour or bitter.

Flattened sparkling water may also contain minerals, sweeteners, sodium or flavoring – depending on the brand of sparkling water. When the drink is flat, you may notice that the flavors of these additions become more pronounced.

If you find that you enjoy the taste of flat sparkling water, any of the methods listed above are a great way to keep a steady supply handy.