What Really Happens If You Freeze Carbonated Drinks?

Hot soda may have been a fad back in the early 1900s, per Atlas Obscura, but today not so much. Most would rather reach for a frosty can of pop than one that requires a koozie. There's just something about a crisp, refreshing sip of a chilled fizzy drink that can't be beaten. Freezing beverages can seem like a foolproof way to get a quick frost on the glass, but if the drink of choice is carbonated, it may not be the best option. 

Whether the goal is to chill a bottle of bubbles in record time, make a soda-based slushy, or just take a stab at a fun science experiment, you may want to watch out when opening that freezer door. What happens when carbonated drinks face the wrath of the freezer all depends on the vessel. 

If a carbonated drink is frozen (yes hop-heads, that includes beer), the fate of the receptacle is pretty grim. A glass bottle is likely to shatter and cause a dangerous mess amongst their frozen neighbors. While cans won't leave a path of sharp destruction in the freezer after bursting, they could cause some severe harm if they explode while in one's hand (via CBS News).

Soda could turn your freezer into a ticking time bomb

According to eHow, water expands by roughly 9% once frozen. The same goes for carbonated drinks, considering the contents are essentially water and sugar, but it's the CO2 that causes some complications when the temperature changes. With both H2O and CO2 fighting for the limited room within the container, per Sciencing, the carbonation is ultimately evicted from the drink in a pretty aggressive fashion. Between a lack of space and the pressurized gas, frozen soda is just a big explosion waiting to happen. 

The air bubbles in fizzy drinks take some time to expand, so there's a little wiggle room for those feeling risky enough to roll the dice. Although, keeping an eye on the freezer would be the smart move to avoid a long afternoon of clean-up. Some Montanans figured this out the hard way after leaving an untouched case of soda in a freezing car overnight, as reported by CBS News.

Luckily, there are a few ways to achieve the perfect beverage temperature without causing an explosion. Opting for regular old ice may seem like an obvious solution, but ice cubes can be upgraded in creative ways. Reddit users chat about dodging flat soda by dropping in carbonated ice cubes. Since ice cube trays aren't enclosed, the water and CO2 have the room they need to expand and freeze in peace.