SodaStream bottles were recalled in 2017 when the company found a manufacturing defect that might cause a pressurized explosion. Thousands of these blue-tinted bottles were sold before the terrifying discovery. Luckily, there were no reported injuries at the time.
But what was the defect that led to the recall of SodaStream bottles in the first place? This article will discuss how a SodaStream bottle can explode and the theories behind the product recall.
How Can a SodaStream Bottle Explode?
“Explosion” is definitely an extreme word and could lead anyone’s imagination to run wild, but how else can you explain soda bursting from a bottle. Here, we’ll explain the science on why SodaStream bottles are designed the way they are and how soda can erupt.
Before plastic was invented around 1907, people stored soft drinks in glass bottles in the 1800s.
Plastic soda bottles are thicker than regular water bottles. Sparkling water also comes from either a can or a thicker bottle. This is because the sugar levels and carbonation in most sodas affect their containers.
Modern soda bottles are built to withstand high pressure and density. Density is directly proportional to pressure, and sugar makes the liquid denser. If you add carbonation to the mixture, the pressure goes even higher as dissolved carbon dioxide is injected.
Remember those pranks when you shake a soda bottle or can and then give it to your friend? Well, what you did was increase the pressure of that container. You see, what creates the fizz in any soda is the dissolved carbon dioxide gas.
When you open a bottle of soda, the gas is released into the air through the bottle’s opening. But if you shake an unopened bottle of soda, the gas is released without any means of escape. So, the container increases in pressure because gas molecules are now trying to leave the bottle.
An explosion can happen when using a SodaStream bottle. If you overfill the container, the liquid can overflow and cause a small burst — not as catastrophic as one may imagine. Another reason is over carbonation; most SodaStream soda makers only recommend injecting fizz once or twice. If you add too much, the drink could erupt when you release the bottle from the machine.
Here's an exciting video on how much pressure can a SodaStream bottle take before bursting.
SodaStream Bottle Recall Theories
The “defect” in question might not be the reason for the pressurized explosion of SodaStream bottles. Here are some theories as to why the product was recalled.
SodaStream has specific instructions only to use it for carbonated water and not for alcoholic beverages or fruit juices. This tells us that the SodaStream bottle can only handle a certain amount of pressure before giving in. The label in the recalled blue-tinted bottle indicated, “Add flavor only after carbonation.”
Ideally, it is recommended never to add the flavor syrups in the plastic SodaStream bottle because it causes chemical reactions that might cause an explosion. Pour your carbonated drink first into a glass before adding any sugar.
Recycle Number 7
The recycling number for the recalled bottle is 7. Recycle number 7 is not ideal for reuse as it contains plastics that have a potential for chemical leaching. Number 7 plastics are used for food containers but are disposed of after use. This is because of the possible dangers like BPA (a xenoestrogen or endocrine disruptor).
Nowadays, companies are making bio-based polymers to make the recycle number 7s compostable. The compostable bottles have the letters PLA below the symbol to indicate that you can compost them. But in this case, the infamous blue SodaStream bottle did not have the letters in its symbol.
This may be the actual reason why it was recalled, but we’ll never know for sure at this point.
SodaStream bottles can explode, so always read the product label and instructions before use. If you don’t, your carbonated drink can overfill and burst, which could potentially create a mess or destroy your precious soda maker machine.
Your number one priority in your kitchen is not just to make great food or drinks but also to ensure everyone's safety and well-being in your home. Always check your SodaStream bottles and take advantage of its warranty.
If you want to know which soda maker to get, here is the list of the best soda makers on the market. Did you have any SodaStream bottle mishaps? Let us know in the comments below.