Club Sodas, Seltzers and Sparkling Waters are delicious.

Club sodas, seltzers and sparkling waters are the rage right now. Here are their differences, their strengths and their relative popularity.

Seltzer is carbonated water. It is clean tasting, easy to flavor with citrus and can be used interchangeably with club soda.

Club soda is carbonated water with added mineral-like ingredients like table salt, sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate or potassium bicarbonate to add a slightly salty taste. It is relatively clean tasting and can be used for everyday drinking or as a mixer with cocktails.

Sparkling Water is usually mineral water with naturally occurring carbonation. Some have carbon dioxide added. The flavor depends on where the water originated. It is the most expensive of the carbonated waters. Examples are Perrier and San Pellegrino.

Did you know that seltzer and club soda have household uses beyond being cocktail mixers?

  • Club soda or seltzer can be used to clean porcelain and stainless steel. Clean with a soft cloth and wipe dry to prevent water stains.
  • Clean your cast iron pans by pouring some club soda/seltzer on the still-warm cast iron and let it sit. The bubbles lift off food particles.
  • If your bottle has gone flat, use it to water your houseplants instead of throwing it away.
  • Club soda can calm an upset stomach because it contains sodium bicarbonate.
  • Wipe your countertops and any other surfaces with club soda/seltzer to clean them.
  • The same goes for your car’s windshield. Put club soda/seltzer in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the windshield.
  • Do you like fluffy pancakes? Leave out the salt in the batter and substitute club soda for half the milk. The carbonation gives the batter a lift.
  • Club soda/seltzer will clean the precious stones in your jewelry. Let them soak in a glass of club soda/seltzer overnight.
  • Pour club soda/seltzer onto clothing stains and scrub gently.
  • If your pet has an accident, club soda/seltzer can remove urine stains and odor. Blot up as much urine as possible with paper towels, pour club soda/seltzer on the stain, blot again with paper towels.

In my research, most studies showed that carbonation is the reason seltzer or club soda is helpful for household cleaning and stain removal. Following that logic, it seems that sparkling water would also have the same benefits. It’s worth a try.

What are the best seltzers and sparkling waters? There have been many studies done and here are the results.

Best Sparkling Mineral Waters:

LaCroix natural pure sparkling water earns huge praise. It is smooth, thirst-quenching, with a perfect carbonation level. Available at supermarkets or Amazon.

Glaceau Smartwater Sparkling has tiny bubbles that make this water crisp. Available at supermarkets and Amazon.

Gerolsteiner is popular. It has naturally occurring magnesium and calcium which give it a subtle mineral taste that is clean and goes well with food. It is sold in grocery stores or Amazon.

Mountain Valley Sparkling Spring Water also wins praise. It can quench thirst as the bubbles are easy to swallow. It comes in a glass bottle that keeps the flavor of the water crisp. The water comes from the Quachita Mountain Valley (Arkansas). It is sold in grocery stores and Amazon.

Best Club Sodas & Seltzers:

Schweppes Club Soda is smooth with tiny bubbles and no salty flavor. Easy to drink alone or mixed with other liquids. Available in supermarkets or Amazon.

Canada Dry Club Soda is slightly salty, slightly sweet, very clean and refreshing.  Available in supermarkets and Amazon.

Syfo Original Seltzer makes a good mixer or a great beverage on its own. It is pure water with lots of bubbles. Available in supermarkets or at Publix.

Make your own bubbly water with a Soda Stream. Buy a Soda Stream machine with a Co2 cylinder and turn your tap water into sparkling water/seltzer. You can adjust the fizziness and add flavors. We love ours, and I particularly appreciate not carrying seltzer/club soda bottles home from the store. A starter kit is $74.81.