Last updated on February 20th, 2022
The SodaStream is a unique machine that utilizes the scientific process of carbonation to create fizzy beverages from the comfort of your own home.
Humans have been carbonating their drinks since the dawn of time, although they did so long before scientists understood what carbonation was.
What Is a SodaStream Carbonator?
The SodaStream functions using the basic process of carbonation. Carbonation is a chemical reaction caused by carbon dioxide, also called CO2.
During carbonation, the CO2 breaks down into several other components called carbonates, bicarbonates, and carbonate acid.
During the release process, the carbon dioxide creates energy that causes a reaction in nearby liquids. The result is the fizziness of carbonated beverages, which will always have a slightly acidic quality as part of the byproducts of the procedure.
The SodaStream gas bottle also called a cylinder or carbonator, is the pressurized aluminum canister in which CO2 is properly stored.
The CO2 is injected into the water placed in the SodaStream, creating a carbonated beverage.
The carbonators used by SodaStream are made with reinforced aluminum to prevent gas from leaking out.
They are easy to install and remove and are the central component of the device in your kitchen. Without them, you would be forced to drink unappealing flat water instead of delicious fizzy beverages.
Is CO2 Safe to Drink?
Home carbonation and, indeed, even carbonated beverages are relatively new.
The process was invented in the last 150 years and rapidly became one of the biggest fads on the market. Unlike other fads, though, this one stuck. Soda soon became a popular beverage, and even plain water that had been made fizzy was a delight for many.
Unfortunately, this leads many to question whether or not their beverage of choice is actually safe for them to be drinking.
People worry about calcium leeching or deteriorating bones, but these don’t happen. Indeed, no medical expert has been able to prove they do despite numerous online articles claiming carbonation is bad for you.
The only way a carbonated beverage might affect you is if you have irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.
In this case, the gas that creates the bubbles might agitate the digestive system too much, causing episodes of sporadic defecation.
If you do not already have IBS, then you will be safe drinking carbonated beverages on a regular basis.
Do the Gas Bottles Contain Sodium?
This is an unusual question that is asked a surprising amount. Because some manufacturers produce carbonated beverages that have sodium in them, some assume the process of carbonation itself is responsible for the salt content of their drinks.
This is not true.
The gas cylinders produced by SodaStream or any other company do not have sodium as an ingredient.
If you need to maintain a low sodium diet for your health, then be sure to check the ingredients of store-bought beverages. If you are using the gas bottles from SodaStream with plain water, then you should be fine.
Can You Recycle SodaStream Gas Bottles?
Naturally, one of the first questions you might have then, is whether or not the gas cylinders used by the machine are recyclable.
You will not be able to recycle these gas cylinders using traditional means.
Instead of going down these avenues, SodaStream recommends bringing used cylinders back to a local retailer in their area.
When you bring them back, you are entitled to a $1 abandonment fee, paid by the retailer in exchange for the bottle.
There is just one problem with the manufacturer’s response to this question: What kind of retailer are they talking about?
There is no short answer to this question. SodaStream claims all of its retailers are willing to exchange the gas cylinders for full ones, but your results may vary.
In general, you can bring the used cylinders to outlets like Kroger or Walmart, which are more likely to have access to the technology necessary to refill and reuse cylinders.
Can You Mail Them Back to the Company?
This is actually the best option if you are interested in disposing of your containers.
You can place any canisters that have been fully emptied into a box and mail it back.
Otherwise, you will need to utilize other methods for the best results.
Is It Safe to Dispose of CO2?
SodaStream releases CO2 in such a way that all of the gas is injected directly into the liquids that you intend to consume. When the company releases excess gas, it is done so in a way that does not place the CO2 into the environment.
This reduces how much is wasted, and also prevents carbon dioxide from seeping into the environment.
If you have a container with excess CO2 that you do not plan on using, then please do not release it into the environment. While the amount should have no tangible effect, it is better to send the bottle to a recycling facility than waste it.
Can You Recycle the Metals?
SodaStream gas cylinders are made of a combination of aluminum and brass. The central chamber itself is reinforced aluminum designed to contain cool CO2.
Meanwhile, the knobs are brass.
In general, you won’t be able to turn the canister in to recycle the metals.
If you do find a recycling center near you willing to take the carbonator, then you can give it to them.
This takes the bottle out of circulation and you will not receive the $1 for repurposing the container by giving it back to SodaStream or one of its affiliated retailers
(check our my Sodastream Models ultimate guide here).
Do CO2 Containers Have a Time Limit?
Many people wonder if they need to use their SodaStream gas bottles before a specific date. In general, carbon dioxide will survive for five years before it should be replaced.
If you have any containers that are this old and have not been used, you should try to dispose of or recycle them when possible.
You can still get a refill if you exchange them through the proper channels.
If you are unsure when your canister expires, check the date written under the cap.
This will tell you the exact date that the pressurized CO2 should be released or recycled.
Do You Get a Deposit Returning Soda Bottles?
This is a legitimate question. In many of the individual states in the United States, it is possible to receive $0.05 or $0.10 in exchange for each returned aluminum can or plastic bottle.
Unfortunately, you will not receive a deposit for returning a carbonator.
According to the company’s website, “the user license is not a deposit and is non-refundable.”
This might grind your gears, but it is not the end. If you do not intend to exchange your cylinder for a full one, you are entitled to receive $1 as a carbonator return fee.
This is paid out by the retailer – for example, Kroger. Retailers pay the fee because they intend to clean the bottles, refill them, and sell them again as used and refurbished models.
While this $1 does not sound like a lot of money, it is an incentive to bring the bottles back so they can be cleaned and recirculated. This reduces the number of materials wasted and is more environmentally friendly than trying to throw the bottles away.
Why Are the Gas Bottles So Expensive?
Many people want to recycle their SodaStream gas bottles, but also find it irritating that the gas cylinders can be quite expensive, especially when compared to regular soda bottles and cans.
In general, SodaStream is more expensive because of the use of the metals used to make the cylinders, the CO2 involved, and because the company does its best to avoid using cheap, non-recyclable materials such as plastic.
Each 60L canister is supposed to be able to make 60 gallons of carbonated liquid. Since each container costs about $15, the total price comes down to about $0.25 per single one-liter serving.
In the long run, you actually don’t end up paying much at all.
When you recycle your gas bottles, you also get the $1 for choosing the more environmentally friendly option instead of getting rid of them in the trash.
Can You Return a Full Carbonator?
Maybe you decided to give up soda and carbonated beverages.
Maybe your machine broke and you have no intention of getting another one. Maybe you just don’t like the hassle.
Whatever the case may be, it is possible to return a full carbonator, although you most likely will not receive any compensation for such an act.
Once you follow this process, SodaStream will issue $1 for every full carbonator. Unfortunately, you do not receive a full refund for this process because the company will still need to empty and clean the bottle. They have no guarantees that the carbon dioxide was not contaminated before being returned to them.
How Do You Know There Are No Bacteria in the Canisters?
Luckily, you have nothing to worry about when you dispose of your SodaStream gas bottles and get new ones.
When it comes to bacteria, there should not be any from other people on the gas cylinder except what comes from handling it.
However, the process of blowing out any remaining CO2 and filling the container with new gas actually kills any bacteria that could be living on the canister anyways.
Before any container is filled, the staff of SodaStream will circulate a small amount of cold CO2 throughout the canister.
The temperature of this material, combined with the pressure, works as a form of cold sterilization, completing disinfecting the bottle.
Avoid exposing the container to too much heat or cold, as this can affect the level of internal pressure inside the bottle.
How Often Should You Refill a Gas Canister?
This means you don’t need to refill them too often, depending on how much you consume.
In general, you only need 1-2 full presses of the carbonation button to create a fully carbonated beverage.
If your bottle is not releasing any carbon dioxide, then it is most likely empty.
Is It Safe to Throw Away Gas Bottles?
Regular pressurized gas cylinders are used for a broad range of activities, primarily engineering and calibration.
The carbonators used by the SodaStream are very similar because they also keep gas under pressure to serve a specific function.
The proper disposal of a cylinder depends on what it contained. Because SodaStream only uses basic carbon dioxide, they are technically not toxic waste and can be safe to dispose of when empty.
Instead of throwing away your carbonators when you are done with them, it is best to bring the bottles back to be refilled or recycled.
This way, the management of SodaStream can make sure they are properly disposed of.
This also cuts down on your personal waste, since you are not contributing to the mounting piles of garbage currently overflowing on the planet.
Is It Safe to Throw Away the Plastic Bottles?
When you use the SodaStream, you need to use special plastic bottles designed to withstand the pressure of the CO2. While people are great at recycling and refilling their carbonators, many people throw away their SodaStream drinking bottles when they do not need to.
In general, it is a bad idea to simply dispose of any plastic bottle instead of recycling it.
SodaStream utilizes PET, a type of synthetic plastic that can withstand the pressure of carbonation but will start to disintegrate when exposed to heat. This is why they are not machine washable and need to be scrubbed by hand.
If you toss your bottles in the trash, you run the risk of having the plastic break down.
The ingredients will leech into the ground, contaminating it. It sounds like only a small amount will be released, but remember there are many people like you who no doubt have done the same thing.
Millions of people tossing out perfectly good bottles can have a major effect on the environment.
To avoid this problem, just clean and reuse the regular plastic bottles that come with SodaStream for holding carbonated beverages. These can be hand washed in a sink and are compatible with dish soap.
Can You Clean the Gas Cylinders?
If you tried to open it, you would destroy that environment and also contaminate it with outside bacteria.
If you are worried about the cleanliness of your canister once it is empty, bring it to be repurposed and recycled.
During the cleaning process, the retailers are able to inject a small amount of ice-cold carbon dioxide into the canister.
This process kills any bacteria or spores that could be lurking inside by freezing them. The cylinder is then ready to be refilled and used by someone else.
Should You Dispose of a Leaking Cylinder?
The pressurized environment is compromised, and the container could expand or implode from the sudden changes in the atmosphere.
Move the canister to a separate location away from people.
You can contact SodaStream for further assistance. Their team will be able to walk you throw proper disposal and might be able to take the canister from you for repairs.
In general, the leaking cylinder should not be dangerous when left alone. Over time, the CO2 will completely dissipate.
Please do not try to bring the canister back to a retailer without explaining the leak.
Can I Refill the Cylinder on My Own?
The carbonation utilized by SodaStream actually needs to meet regulations by the Food and Drug Administration.
It must be kept in a sterile environment and stored under the right amount of pressure to be safe to use in beverages.
You could also accidentally introduce toxins into your water.
Can You Use a Different Type of Cylinder in the SodaStream?
Again, this is another bad idea. Different cylinders will be under varying levels of pressure, which could damage your machine when you try to use a model from another company.
Using other gas bottles or carbonators will also void your warranty from SodaStream. If any damage occurs, you will not be able to seek reparations or payment.
Instead of throwing the bottles out, bring them to a local retailer to have them refilled and recycled.
The process is easier on the environment, allows you to reuse materials, and even nets you an extra $1 for the trouble.Reuse bottles as much as possible, and look into recycling companies in your area to get the most bang for your buck.
I’m the owner and blogger here at SodaPopCraft.Com. I’m a soft drinks enthusiast and I’m bringing you all I know and research from the world of Soda Pop & Kombucha soft drinks.
I hope it inspires you to make your own healthier fizzy drinks at home.
Read more About Me here