On a hot summer day, there’s frequently nothing better than ice-cold soda pop. However if friend forgot to litter your latest batch in the fridge and need come cool it down in a hurry, friend might think about putting a have the right to of soda in your freezer.

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After all, your freezer is colder than her refrigerator, and also cooling the this way means you don’t need to water the soda down v a chunk of ice.

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

There room two possible outcomes if you leave your drink in the freeze: you could have a frozen container the soda if girlfriend are really lucky. But in plenty of cases, you’ll have actually an exploded deserve to of soda decorating her icebox.

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


Image courtesy of Derek K Miller

This occurs due to the distinctive chemical nature of water mixing explosively through the normally expansive nature of carbon dioxide gas.

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

Even if the deserve to of soda hasn’t exploded, it’s not a an extremely safe point to handle since putting pressure on the container could trigger the same chain reaction defined above.

Overall, putting soda in the freezer isn’t a clever idea also 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 top top a warm day, there room other approaches that can attain the very same goal there is no as lot risk to your icebox or an individual safety.

Table that Contents

Expansion of Water In your Soda Can

To fully understand this process, you have to understand just how water expands when the approximately temperature transforms with your soda.

Generally, chemistry and also 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 more gaseous as a an outcome of an ext energy in the environment surrounding the liquid.

The reverse is true for chillier temperatures; liquid molecules slow down and thus become an ext solid. In fact, as soon as liquids freeze it’s a an outcome of the temperature being so cold the their molecule don’t move approximately as much.

Water follows this basic trend, yet only approximately a particular point. At 4°C, water stops ending up being denser as it cools down and also instead start to expand as the temperature proceeds to decrease.

This quirk the physics is what renders ice take it up much more surface area once frozen than the exact same amount of fluid water, along with some air molecules being trapped in the latticework of a provided piece of ice.

As friend know, her freezer reaches below 4°C. It reaches at the very least 0°C in bespeak to accomplish the freezing suggest of water. This means that any fluids included inside her freezer will broaden as they reach the final stages the transitioning come a hard state of matter.

How This affects Soda Cans and Bottles

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

Despite every one of the tasty ingredient that comprise a deserve to of Coca-Cola or Pepsi, both beverages and also all other types of soda are mainly water and also carbon dioxide. In fact, water is the solitary ingredient that provides up the majority of the matter in a offered can the soda.

This way that every have the right to of soda is usually a ticking time bomb if girlfriend stick it right into your freezer. That’s 16 or therefore ounces the liquid will certainly chill till it reaches 4°C, then start to expand.

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

You see, together the water expands, it additionally puts press on the carbon dioxide gas to escape its confinement. Unlike consistent water, carbon dioxide is reasonably explosive if friend unleash it conveniently through a little opening.

Imagine opened a have the right to of soda; the immediate hiss you hear is the carbon dioxide escaping v the optimal rapidly. When a deserve to of soda explodes, it’s because the water and CO2 have put so lot pressure on the can that the framework can’t resist it any kind of longer.

The aluminum have the right to of a typical soda is solid enough to resist normal press changes and hold the carbonation press from the carbon dioxide gas.

But it’s not developed to take care of the form of pressure that comes with an entire can of fluid trying to expand. As you could imagine, the broadening water has nowhere to go, increasing the stress and anxiety on the aluminum can, an especially its weaker points choose the tab i m sorry you use for opened the soda come drink.


Image Courtesy that Steve Clancy

These weak points only become much more stressed together the water and also CO2 proceed to expand and reach 0°C. This is no a sudden process; that’s why some cans of soda will certainly actually do it all the means to the freezing allude and become frozen solid without exploding.

In those cases, the expansion result that wake up slowly sufficient in the aluminum deserve to was strong enough to stand up to the change.

But in many cases, the slight press buildup will eventually reach a breaking suggest and cause the peak of the soda have the right to to literally blast off.

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

It’s simple physics; the water and gas inside the can expand and the aluminum can isn’t solid enough to save it contained. Therefore, making use of a freezer come cool under a can of soda is a risky venture.

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

Can friend Still usage the Freezer to Cool Soda?

As pointed out above, you can always use the freezer come cool soda if it’s in another container besides the original sealed have the right to or bottle.

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

You have to pay really close attention as soon as using the freezer to provide a quick burst of cold prior to drinking to protect against dropping the temperature too much.

The idea is to take it the soda out prior to it get 4°C when the water inside the have the right to would begin to expand.

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

Ideally, you’d want to keep a close eye top top the soda and check the after about 20 minutes. Anything after 20 minute or so dangers the deserve to drop to a temperature listed below 4°C, which can put push on the can.

In this case, you need to be cautious when managing the deserve to or party of soda together disturbing the container could reason a preemptive explosion.

Alternative methods To Cool your Soda

Instead the risking an exploding deserve to of soda, over there are far better ways to display your soft drink, and much an ext rapidly, come boot.

You could constantly place a deserve to of soda in the refrigerator. The ambient cool temperature inside will certainly slowly change the temperature of your soda, although wait is a bad heat conductor and will only accomplish this process 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 water.

Another interesting property of water is its heat retention. A warm deserve to of soda placed into ice cream water will conveniently transfer that heat into the water itself, leave the can ice cold much more quickly than if girlfriend left the soda in her refrigerator.

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

This is partly because of water’s very own chemical properties and the truth that water is a lot denser collection of molecules than ambient air. All of that water have the right to run end the surface ar of your can of soda, touching an ext of the can than wait does in much less time.

The much more surface area reached by the ice water, the faster the cooling process takes place. Because water retains heat really well, over there won’t be much of a feedback loop, so your deserve to will continue to be cold quite than sucking up warmth that the water takes on from the environment.

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Overall, making use of an ice cream bath come cool under a deserve to of soda should only take a few minutes together opposed come the hours forced by a contemporary refrigerator, and also all there is no the danger of an explosive mess the comes v using a freezer.