On a warm summer day, there’s regularly nothing much better than ice-cold soda pop. But if you forgot to litter your latest batch in the fridge and also need come cool it under in a hurry, friend might consider putting a can of soda in her freezer.

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

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

There room two feasible outcomes if girlfriend leave her drink in the freeze: you might have a frozen container that soda if friend are very lucky. Yet in countless cases, you’ll have actually an exploded can of soda decorating her icebox.

A can of soda that has actually just exploded will certainly sound a according to “pop” and leave the inner of the icebox coated in snowy soda remnants, in addition to shards of the aluminum can or plastic bottle.


Image courtesy that Derek K Miller

This occurs because of the distinct chemical nature of water mixing explosively v the naturally expansive nature of carbon dioxide gas.

Other liquids have the right to be safely stored in her freezer to come to be chilled and also frozen right into a hard state, but not soda. Both water and carbon dioxide have a tendency to push against their containers under the right circumstances.

Even if the deserve to of soda hasn’t exploded, it’s not a very safe point to handle due to the fact that putting press on the container could trigger the very same chain reaction defined above.

Overall, putting soda in the freezer isn’t a smart idea even if you’re desperate because that a cool drink.

While it’s tempting to usage your freezer to chill a have the right to of soda on a warm day, there space other approaches that can attain the very same goal without as much risk to your icebox or personal safety.

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Expansion the Water In her Soda Can

To totally understand this process, you have to understand exactly how water broadens when the approximately temperature alters with her soda.

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

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

The reverse is true for colder temperatures; liquid molecules slow down and thus become much more solid. In fact, as soon as liquids frozen it’s a result of the temperature gift so cold that their molecule don’t move about as much.

Water complies with this general trend, however only approximately a details point. At 4°C, water stops coming to be denser together it cools down and instead starts to increase as the temperature continues to decrease.

This quirk that physics is what renders ice take it up much more surface area as soon as frozen 보다 the same amount of liquid water, together with some waiting molecules gift trapped in the latticework that a provided piece the ice.

As you know, your freezer reaches listed below 4°C. The reaches at least 0°C in order to achieve the freezing allude of water. This method that any type of fluids contained inside her freezer will expand as they reach the last stages of transitioning come a hard state of matter.

How This affects Soda Cans and also Bottles

So, just how does this influence soda can be ~ or bottles and also why does it cause an explosion?

Despite all of the tasty ingredients that consist of a have the right to of Coca-Cola or Pepsi, both beverages and also all other types of soda are generally water and also carbon dioxide. In fact, water is the solitary ingredient that makes up the majority of the issue in a given can that soda.

This method that every deserve to of soda is basically a ticking time bomb if friend stick it into your freezer. That’s 16 or therefore ounces the liquid will chill until it get 4°C, then start to expand.

However, water alone would not reason an explosive effect. The visibility of carbon dioxide is the secret ingredient.

You see, together the water expands, it additionally puts push on the carbon dioxide gas come escape that is confinement. Unlike constant water, carbon dioxide is fairly explosive if girlfriend unleash it quickly through a little opening.

Imagine opening a deserve to of soda; the instant hiss girlfriend hear is the carbon dioxide escaping with the peak rapidly. Once a have the right to of soda explodes, it’s due to the fact that the water and CO2 have actually put so much pressure ~ above the can that the framework can’t resist it any longer.

The aluminum deserve to of a regular soda is solid enough to withstand normal press changes and also hold the carbonation push from the carbon dioxide gas.

But it’s not constructed to manage the kind of pressure that comes with whole can of liquid trying come expand. Together you could imagine, the broadening water has nowhere to go, raising the stress on the aluminum can, an especially its weaker points favor the tab i m sorry you use for opening the soda to drink.


Image Courtesy that Steve Clancy

These weak points only become an ext stressed as the water and CO2 proceed to expand and reach 0°C. This is not a suddenly process; that’s why some cans of soda will actually make it all the way to the freezing point and become frozen solid without exploding.

In those cases, the expansion result that wake up slowly sufficient in the aluminum have the right to was solid enough to resist the change.

But in many cases, the slight push buildup will ultimately reach a breaking suggest and cause the top of the soda have the right to to precise blast off.

In part circumstances, the center of the can may be the weakest point, for this reason this is the clues that will certainly explode outward, sending shards that ice and aluminum everywhere. It’s rather a mess.

It’s an easy physics; the water and also gas inside the have the right to expand and also the aluminum can isn’t strong enough to keep it contained. Therefore, using a freezer to cool down a can of soda is a risky venture.

Note that this entire process is no much longer relevant if the can of soda is currently opened. It’s perfectly fine to placed a cup that uncovered soda into the freezer because there will certainly be enough room for the widening liquid to accounting without placing a stress, overload on the container.

Can girlfriend Still usage the Freezer come Cool Soda?

As stated above, friend can constantly use the freezer to cool soda if it’s in an additional container besides the original sealed deserve to or bottle.

Of course, a cup filled come the brim v soda will overflow as the fluid expands, but it won’t explode and cause as lot of a mess inside the freezer.

You must pay very close attention as soon as using the freezer to provide a rapid burst that cold before drinking to stop dropping the temperature too much.

The idea is to take the soda out before it reaches 4°C once the water inside the have the right to would start to expand.

Taking the deserve to out before this point will permit you to gain cooler soda without risking the explosive effect.

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

In this case, you need to be mindful when handling the have the right to or party of soda together disturbing the container could cause a preemptive explosion.

Alternative methods To Cool your Soda

Instead of risking one exploding have the right to of soda, there are much better ways to display your soft drink, and much much more rapidly, to boot.

You could constantly place a can of soda in the refrigerator. The ambient cool temperature inside will certainly slowly change the temperature of her soda, although wait is a poor heat conductor and also will only achieve this process slowly.

By far, the best way to cool under your can of soda is to placed it in a cooler or bathtub of ice cream water.

Another amazing property that water is its warm retention. A warm deserve to of soda inserted into ice water will conveniently transfer that warm into the water itself, leaving the deserve to ice cold much more quickly than if friend left the soda in her refrigerator.

Water suck away warm a lot much more efficiently than continual air.

This is partly because of water’s own chemical properties and the reality that water is a much denser arsenal of molecules 보다 ambient air. All of that water can run over the surface of your can of soda, touching an ext of the have the right to than air does in much less time.

The more surface area reached by the ice cream water, the much faster the cooling process takes place. Since water maintain heat really well, there won’t be much of a feedback loop, so your have the right to will remain cold quite than suck up heat that the water bring away on indigenous the environment.

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Overall, making use of an ice cream bath to cool down a deserve to of soda have to only take it a couple of minutes together opposed to the hours forced by a modern refrigerator, and all there is no the hazard of one explosive mess the comes through using a freezer.