On a hot summer day, there’s regularly nothing better than ice-cold soda pop. But if friend forgot to throw your latest batch in the fridge and need to cool it down in a hurry, girlfriend might take into consideration putting a can of soda in her freezer.

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After all, her freezer is colder than your refrigerator, and cooling that this way method you don’t have to water the soda down through a chunk that ice.

So what wake up if you leaving soda in the freezer?

There are two possible outcomes if you leave her drink in the freeze: you can have a frozen container the soda if friend are really lucky. Yet in plenty of cases, you’ll have actually an exploded can of soda decorating her icebox.

A have the right to of soda that has just exploded will certainly sound a loud “pop” and also leave the internal of the icebox coated in snowy soda remnants, along with shards of the aluminum deserve to or plastic bottle.


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Image courtesy that Derek K Miller


This occurs due to the distinctive chemical nature of water mix explosively v the naturally expansive properties of carbon dioxide gas.

Other liquids have the right to be safely stored in your freezer to become chilled and frozen right into a heavy state, but not soda. Both water and also carbon dioxide have actually a propensity to push against their containers under the ideal circumstances.

Even if the can of soda hasn’t exploded, it’s no a very safe point to handle because putting press on the container could create the exact same chain reaction defined above.

Overall, putting soda in the freezer isn’t a clever idea also if you’re desperate for a cool drink.

While it’s tempting to usage your freezer come chill a can of soda top top a warm day, there room other techniques that can achieve the same goal there is no as much risk to your icebox or an individual safety.


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Expansion that Water In your Soda Can

To completely understand this process, you have to understand exactly how water broadens when the ambient temperature changes with her soda.

Generally, chemistry and also physics dictate that cooler temperatures cause the fluid to contract and also warmer temperatures reason the liquid to expand.

This is because greater temperatures reason liquids come become an ext gaseous together a an outcome of more energy in the setting surrounding the liquid.

The reverse is true for cooler temperatures; fluid molecules slow down and also thus become much more solid. In fact, as soon as liquids freeze it’s a result of the temperature gift so cold the their molecule don’t move around as much.

Water follows this general trend, however only up to a specific point. In ~ 4°C, water stops ending up being denser as it cools down and instead starts to expand as the temperature continues to decrease.

This quirk of physics is what provides ice take up an ext surface area once frozen 보다 the same amount of fluid water, together with some wait molecules being trapped in the latticework of a provided piece that ice.

As friend know, your freezer reaches below 4°C. The reaches at least 0°C in stimulate to accomplish the freezing suggest of water. This method that any kind of fluids consisted of inside your freezer will increase as they with the last stages that transitioning to a hard state of matter.

How This influence Soda Cans and also Bottles

So, just how does this affect soda cans or bottles and also why does it cause an explosion?

Despite every one of the tasty ingredient that make up a deserve to of Coca-Cola or Pepsi, both beverages and also all other species of soda are generally water and carbon dioxide. In fact, water is the single ingredient that renders up the bulk of the matter in a provided can of soda.

This way that every deserve to of soda is usually a ticking time bomb if friend stick it into your freezer. That’s 16 or so ounces the liquid will certainly chill till it will 4°C, then begin to expand.

However, water alone would certainly not cause an explosive effect. The existence of carbon dioxide is the secret ingredient.

You see, together the water expands, it likewise puts push on the carbon dioxide gas come escape that is confinement. Unlike continuous water, carbon dioxide is fairly explosive if friend unleash it easily through a little opening.

Imagine opening a have the right to of soda; the immediate hiss girlfriend hear is the carbon dioxide escaping v the top rapidly. When a deserve to of soda explodes, it’s due to the fact that the water and CO2 have actually put so lot pressure ~ above the deserve to that the framework can’t resist it any kind of longer.

The aluminum have the right to of a common soda is strong enough to stand up to normal push changes and also hold the carbonation push from the carbon dioxide gas.

But it’s not built to take care of the type of pressure the comes with an entire can of fluid trying come expand. Together you could imagine, the widening water has nowhere to go, raising the anxiety on the aluminum can, specifically its weaker points choose the tab i beg your pardon you usage for opened the soda to drink.


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Image Courtesy of Steve Clancy


These weak points just become an ext stressed as the water and also CO2 continue to expand and also reach 0°C. This is no a sudden process; that’s why part cans the soda will actually do it every the method to the freezing suggest and come to be frozen solid there is no exploding.

In those cases, the expansion result that wake up slowly enough in the aluminum can was solid enough to stand up to the change.

But in many cases, the slight press buildup will at some point reach a breaking allude and cause the optimal of the soda can to precise blast off.

In some circumstances, the middle of the have the right to may be the weakest point, therefore this is the point out that will explode outward, sending out shards of ice and also aluminum everywhere. It’s fairly a mess.

It’s straightforward physics; the water and gas within the deserve to expand and also the aluminum can isn’t solid enough to store it contained. Therefore, using a freezer come cool down a have the right to of soda is a risky venture.

Note that this entire process is no longer relevant if the can of soda is already opened. It’s perfectly fine to put a cup the uncovered soda right into the freezer because there will certainly be enough an are for the broadening liquid to accounting without placing a stress, overload on the container.

Can friend Still usage the Freezer come Cool Soda?

As stated above, girlfriend can always use the freezer come cool soda if it’s in one more container besides the original sealed can or bottle.

Of course, a cup filled to the brim through soda will overflow together the liquid expands, however it won’t explode and also cause as lot of a mess within the freezer.

You must pay an extremely close attention as soon as using the freezer to supply a rapid burst of cold prior to drinking to prevent dropping the temperature also much.

The idea is to take it the soda out prior to it will 4°C when the water within the can would begin to expand.

Taking the have the right to out before this allude will allow you to gain cooler soda without risking the explosive effect.

Ideally, you’d desire to store a near eye top top the soda and also check it after about 20 minutes. Anything after ~ 20 minute or so dangers the deserve to drop to a temperature listed below 4°C, which could put press on the can.

In this case, you should be careful when handling the can or party of soda as disturbing the container could reason a preemptive explosion.

Alternative techniques To Cool her Soda

Instead of risking an exploding can of soda, over there are better ways to show your soft drink, and also much an ext rapidly, come boot.

You could always place a can of soda in the refrigerator. The approximately cool temperature inside will slowly change the temperature of your soda, although waiting is a negative heat conductor and also will only accomplish this procedure slowly.

By far, the best way to cool under your deserve to of soda is to put it in a cooler or bath of ice cream water.

Another interesting property of water is its warmth retention. A warm deserve to of soda put into ice water will easily transfer that warm into the water itself, leaving the have the right to ice cold much an ext quickly than if you left the soda in your refrigerator.

Water suck away warm a lot more efficiently than constant air.

This is partly because of water’s own chemical properties and also the reality that water is a much denser collection of molecules than ambient air. Every one of that water have the right to run end the surface of your have the right to of soda, touching more of the can than waiting does in much less time.

The more surface area reached by the ice water, the much faster the cooling procedure takes place. Since water maintain heat an extremely well, over there won’t be much of a feedback loop, therefore your can will continue to be cold fairly than sucking up warm that the water takes on native the environment.

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Overall, utilizing an ice cream bath to cool under a can of soda have to only take a couple of minutes together opposed to the hours forced by a modern-day refrigerator, and also all without the hazard of an explosive mess that comes through using a freezer.