Does Tapping Your Can Actually Stop The Drink Fizzing Up?

by : UNILAD on : 31 May 2017 18:56

Forget Brexit, forget the election, the pressing question on everyone’s lips right now is what the f*ck happens if you tap a can of soda and does it actually stop it from fizzing over?


We really, really wanted to know the answer and to show the magnitude of this all encompassing issue, we even created our own video to find out first hand what happens. Yes, we’re that keen.

Sounds like a waste of time I hear you say, or perhaps another ‘conspiracy theory’, but I assure you, this is big stuff, so much so, there’s even been an actual scientific experiment around it.


That’s right, we’re not the only ones crazy enough to donate a whole lot of time in getting to the bottom (of the can) in this age old problem – well perhaps since they were invented anyway.


So let’s get straight down to it. UNILAD called upon two team members to help shed some light on this urgent topic –  which could well be dividing the nation right now.

Both girls were instructed to shake the can at the same time, with one opening it straight away and the other only pulling the opener once she had tapped around the edge.

It may sound like madness and potentially a load of bollocks – well that’s what I thought anyway – but I can categorically say there is real truth behind this ‘bullshit theory.’

Take a look for yourself:

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Cue gasps of wonder as you witness how we single-handedly busted a myth right before your very eyes.

It happened, it’s not a weird tick your mate has before they tear open a can, it really does work and apparently there’s a very good reason behind it.

Christopher Arthur Edward Hamlett – a chemistry lecturer from Nottingham Trent University – has also looked into this puzzling spectacle and explained the magic behind it, in an article for The Conversation. And no, before you ask, no witch craft is involved.


He said:

Before the can is opened, microscopic gas bubbles attach to the inside of it (nucleation). When the can is opened, these bubbles increase in size, due to the decrease in the solubility of CO2.

When these bubbles reach a certain size they detach from the inside of the can and rise up to the top of the can due to buoyancy and displace liquid in their path.

So what part could tapping the top of the can play in this process? As described earlier, the bubbles in an unopened can nucleate at the walls, so tapping the can before opening could dislodge some of the bubbles, enabling them to float to the top of the liquid.

When a can is opened, the bubbles expand with those deeper within the liquid travelling further than those near the surface, displacing more of the drink and possibly resulting in greater amounts of ejected liquid.

A ‘tapped’ can will have fewer of these ‘deep’ bubbles and so less liquid will be dislodged – and possibly sprayed out – than an ‘untapped’ can.


So there we go, the science actually works and we’ve proven once and for all if you tap a can of coke, you can actually stop it fizzing all over you.

You need never get soaked from a drink you’ve had bumping around in your bag ever again. Consider your day made. There’s no need to thank us…

Topics: Featured


The Conversation
  1. The Conversation

    Does tapping a can of fizzy drink really stop it foaming over?