What happens if you put a canned drink in the freezer?

Answered by John Hunt

When you place a canned drink in the freezer, you may think that it will simply get colder and be ready to enjoy. However, this seemingly innocent action can actually have some unexpected consequences. Let’s take a closer look at what happens when you put a canned drink in the freezer.

One of the main reasons why putting a canned drink in the freezer can be problematic is due to the expansion of water when it freezes. Inside the can, there is not only the liquid soda but also a small amount of water. As the temperature drops in the freezer, this water begins to freeze and turn into ice.

Unlike other substances, water expands when it freezes. This expansion can be quite significant, causing the volume of the water to increase. The problem arises because the can is not designed to accommodate this expansion. The walls of the can are rigid and cannot stretch or expand like a plastic bottle would.

As the water inside the can freezes and expands, it exerts pressure on the walls of the can. This pressure continues to build up as the freezing process continues. Eventually, the pressure becomes too much for the can to handle, and it reaches its breaking point. The result? The can pops open, releasing the contents inside.

The popping of the can can be quite dramatic, and if left in the freezer for too long, it can lead to a messy surprise. The force with which the can pops open can cause the soda to spray all over the inside of the freezer, creating a sticky and difficult-to-clean mess. Not only is this frustrating to deal with, but it can also damage other items stored in the freezer.

I recall an incident where I absentmindedly placed a can of soda in the freezer and forgot about it. A few hours later, I opened the freezer to find a burst can and soda splattered everywhere. It took quite some time and effort to clean up the mess and ensure that the freezer was spotless again.

To avoid such mishaps, it is important to be mindful of the time when placing a canned drink in the freezer. It is generally recommended to only leave a can in the freezer for a maximum of 1-2 hours. This should be enough time to chill the drink without causing it to freeze and potentially burst. Alternatively, you can also transfer the contents of the can into a freezer-safe container before placing it in the freezer.

Putting a canned drink in the freezer can lead to an unexpected and messy outcome. The expansion of water when it freezes exerts pressure on the can, eventually causing it to pop open. To avoid this, it is best to be cautious of the time and duration when freezing a canned drink or opt for transferring the contents into a freezer-safe container.