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Inspired by this revision of this answer:

There are various minhag implications with regards to drinking water. Seltzer is essentially carbonated water. So how do those minhagim apply to seltzer?

For example:

Would we say that seltzer has the same status as water in such cases?

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Also, one could add the halacha of being able to drink water before davening in the morning. –  Tzvi Jul 3 '11 at 2:53
    
Also, Can you wash your hands using seltzer? –  avi Jul 13 '11 at 14:09
    
The issue that arises with using it to wash your hands is bal tashchit. But acc to R. Eliezer the only thing you can't wash with is drinkable-wine because it's chashuv, (fruit juice is allowed) and if you don't have anything else to wash with, even wine is allowed because you need to wash before eating bread. (brachos 50b) - So seltezer would be ok to wash with, in fact it would probably be the 2nd best thing to use. –  zaq Jul 14 '11 at 20:23
    
@zaq, you are presupposing a distinction between water and seltzer, of which is the issue in question. Water is also treated and filtered to get rid of bacteria and make it taste better. At least some of the process would not need to be done if it was used exclusively for non-potable purposes. Does that bump it up to the 2nd best category? –  YDK Jul 14 '11 at 21:04
    
I guess filtered water could be more chashuv than tap-water, and if you have a choice of washing with tap-water or a more-expensive-filtered water made specifically for drinking, you should use the tap. in any case, seltzer is ok to wash with because it's not wine. –  zaq Jul 14 '11 at 21:22
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1 Answer

I would think seltzer has the same status as plain water.

Carbon dioxide (or any gas) is not food and doesn't require a brucha if you "drank" the gas alone, so carbonating water would not change the fact that water is the only food you're drinking. The same could apply to any non-food-sediment like sand.


The only support I can find is this:

"Mineral Water and Spring Water taste the same as water, and therefore they have the same halachos as water."

Refer to Tzitz Eliezer 8:15:15:7, Darchei Chaim V'Sholom 298:page 91, Vezos Ha'beracha page 114:5 quoting the opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita. (http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/weekly_torah.php?id=257)

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I would just like to comment, that I love water and can not stand seltzer. I don't know if that affects the halacha or not. –  avi Jul 13 '11 at 14:09
    
Sugar is in solution in water just like C02. I don't understand what distinction you draw between "bonded" and "mixed". Most drinks involve some solute in solution in water, whether the solute is CO2 or sugar or flavorings, etc. And CO2 changes the flavor of the water on account of the generation of carbonic acid (which changes the pH of the solution) –  Curiouser Jul 14 '11 at 19:18
    
Curioser, you're right, seltzer is a solution, I thought it was just a mixture since the co2 escapes. I updated my answer to remove that part. –  zaq Jul 14 '11 at 19:58
    
It is not so simple, according to recent research, that carbonated water tastes the same as non-carbonated. See the abstract here for example of a source that carbonation activates "bitter" receptors and is therefore perceived as having a different taste. –  WAF Jul 14 '11 at 20:08
    
I don't think the actual taste in your mouth matters. When Moshe changed the bitter waters to sweet, it remained water. Since water is the only edible part of it that we can say a brucha on it's the only "flavor". Maybe anything edible added in like sugar would change the flavor, but co2 isn't edible and therefore it isn't a flavor. –  zaq Jul 14 '11 at 20:48
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