I bought my Sodastream because I love sparkling water. But I don’t love paying for the Sodastream CO2 refills.
It has been a long time since I’ve had any interest in flavoured soda of any type. I stopped drinking it for a few years when I was super health conscious and now it just tastes overly sweet to me.
But I still love those bubbles.
Which is why I invested in my SodaStream. For those unfamiliar with this wonderful machine it is an appliance that can carbonate tap water in 5 seconds.
The standard 14.5 oz gas bottle carbonates 60L of water approximately. They cost $30 for a new bottle but once you own one you can exchange the empty bottles at Walmart for only $10.50.
However, being the frugal gal that I am, I found myself wondering if there were even cheaper ways to get it done. And that is when I found the below video about refilling your cylinder with dry ice!
Less than a dollar a refill? Sounds like music to my frugal ears
However, my enthusiasm quickly waned because… how the hell do I get dry ice?
How the heck do I get dry ice to fill my Sodastream?
Dry ice is cooled and condensed carbon dioxide.
So while buying dry ice can be a tricky prospect (because you need special boxes to store it), to make it yourself all you need it a You can make your own dry ice by getting a big CO2 bottle and a dry ice maker.
The CO2 bottle shouldn’t be a problem. After you buy the bottle, common places you can fill up include:
- Welder supply stores
- Locations where you can refill fire extinguishers
- Local home brew shops
- Sporting stores that sell paint guns
The cost should vary between $30-$50 to fill.
The dry ice maker is a once off cost.
But even then my enthusiasm for the above video was starting to drop off for other reasons – like how dangerous it can be. Sure you can wear the big heavy duty gloves but when you have little ones running around it isn’t the sort of thing you want out in the wild.
That’s when I stumbled across my second video:
Because all we’re really doing with the dry ice method is taking the CO2 from a big bottle and putting it into a smaller bottle. Its the same budget logic as buying bulk detergents in tubs and transferring them into smaller containers for everyday use, except a lot more complicated. And Sodastream are making a mint on the fact that it is too difficult for most people to do it themselves.
It is exactly how printer companies can get away with marking up their refill so enormously.
After a bit of digging around I found this adapter.
Now I started feeling much safer. And as a bonus the adapter is cheaper than the dry ice maker!
So now, as always we need to crunch the numbers:
- CO2 cannister – $140
- Adapter – $47
- Refill – $50 (worst case)
That gives me a total cost of $237
Now, how many Sodastream bottles will I get out of my 20lb bottle?
22 standard 14.5 oz Sodastream bottles would fit into one 20lb bottle (let’s round it down to 20 for wastage sake).
That means by the first 20lb cannister of finished you would have spent $210 on Sodastream refills from Wallmart, comfortably covering the cost of the cannister and adapter and well on our way to covering the first lot of gas.
The second fill will cover the rest and from that stage we are saving $160 per fill, or to put it another way paying $2.50 a refill. And that’s worse case scenario! If you can fill a tank for $30 it is as low as $1.50.
It isn’t quite the $1 promised in the original video but I’d put that down as a win.
NOTE: If you explore this option you are dealing with a compressed gas so there is still things you have to be careful with. Take the time to learn how to handle your cannister on your first fill to ensure you do everything as safely as possible!