Can Soda Be Frozen?

Cola bottles with blank white labels on freezer shelf

In this guide, we address a question we hear quite a bit from our customers: "Can you freeze soda water?" It's a good question and people no doubt have concerns because they've heard that if you put soda water, natural soda pop, or any carbonated beverage in the freezer, it will explode. So kick back, crack open a bottle of your favorite Rocky Mountain Soda Co. flavor, and join us as we examine the complex relationship between soda and cold air.

Why Would Anyone Want to Put Soda in the Freezer?

Let’s say you’re expecting guests to start arriving soon for a big holiday party. The food is ready, the beer is cold, the wine is chilled, the place looks great and even the weather is cooperating. Suddenly, you realize you forgot to put soda in the fridge and even if you do so now there’s no way the pop will be properly chilled by the time guests arrive. What’s a party host to do?

You could just hand out warm sodas and tell your guests to with them. But unless you’re some kind of sociopath, that’s not an option. Once you begin to realize how limited your options are you’ll probably do what a lot of people do and cast a sideways glance at the freezer.

Can You Put Soda Water in the Freezer?

Soda (even our gluten-free, vegan soda) can trace its nickname to soda water. Soda water derives its name from the sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate first used to produce carbonation. Today, most (not all) soda pop manufacturers have replaced sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate with carbon dioxide (CO2) gas that’s injected into water under pressure to produce carbonation. Remember that fact because it will be important in a minute.

While the average temperature inside a refrigerator is about 40° F, the freezer needs to live up to its name. In other words, the temperature inside a freezer must be below the freezing temperature of water - 32° F. When water freezes, it expands by 9%, which has some unpleasant implications for any canned or bottled beverage you place in the freezer.

Watch the Minute Physics video below for an overview of the freezing process - and the outcome when we limit water's ability to expand as it freezes.

The carbonation in soda only makes things worse. As the water in pop freezes, it squeezes out the CO2, which migrates to the outside edge of the frozen liquid and puts even more outward pressure on the surface of the can or bottle. Leave your carbonated beverage in the freezer long enough, and it'll eventually burst - there’s no way around it.

Does That Mean You Can’t Put Soda Water in the Freezer?

Not necessarily. Those Rocky Mountain Soda Co. cans won't immediately explode after they're added to your freezer, no matter how cold its temperature may be. The process takes a while. So the secret is to remove them before you reach the point of no return. Which begs the question: “How long can you leave soda in the freezer before it explodes?” The answer depends on a variety of factors, including:

An exploded glass soda bottle
A shattered glass cola bottle after freezing to the point of combustion.
  • The temperature setting of your freezer
  • Whether the soda is regular or diet
  • Whether it's in an aluminum can or a glass bottle
  • The size of the can or bottle

"Whether you have cans or bottles of soda on hand, they need to be stored in a place where the temperature will not change drastically or very often."

—Molly Harris, TastingTable

How Long Can Soda Stay in the Freezer?

Here are some ballpark figures regarding how long different types of soda pop can be in the freezer before they explode: Again, these are rough, ballpark estimates. The actual time may vary slightly from freezer to freezer:

Amount of Soda Soda Type Temperature Est. Time to Combust
7.5 ounces Regular 25° F 3 hours
12 ounces Regular 25° F 6 hours
12 ounces Diet 25° F 5 hours
12 ounces Regular 31° F 4-5 hours
12 ounces Diet 31° F 3-4 hours
2 liter Regular 31° F 6+ hours
2 liter Diet 31° F 5+ hours

SOURCE: Chilled Drink Calculator | OmniCalculator

So, Is Chilling Soda in the Freezer Doable?

Soda bottle in freezer that has exploded
Don't freeze soda cans for too long, or they're likely to explode - leaving behind a mess like this one.

Yes. If you are expecting guests within the hour and you need to chill some Rocky Mountain Soda Co. beverages, put as many as you'd like into the freezer, then set your phone’s alarm for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, move the first batch down to the fridge and put another batch in the freezer for 20 minutes. Repeat until you have enough chilled sodas.

The only cautionary note here is to not put the cans or bottles on top of something else in the freezer, as that is likely to slow down the chilling process.

Can You Preserve Soda in the Freezer Long Term, Like Meat?

All this talk of putting soda in the freezer might get some people wondering whether they can preserve soda in their freezer long-term like they do with meat. So, can you? The answer is “yes and no”.

“Yes” in the sense that if you do it right the soda pop will keep for six months to a year, and “no” in the sense that it won’t work if you leave the soda in its can or bottle. Instead, you have to pour it into a piece of Tupperware® or a similar type of airtight plastic container and leave enough space inside for the frozen soda to expand.

That said, a more relevant question is “Why would you bother freezing soda long-term?” If left in a cool, dark place (like the basement) out of direct sunlight soda will last just fine for three to nine months. If we had to pick a way to hold onto soda for a while we’d choose the basement.

The Alternative to Putting Soda Pop in the Freezer

Soda cans on the counter in a kitchen setting

If for whatever reason, putting cans or bottles of soda in the freezer is just not an option for you does that mean you’ll have to go full sociopath and force warm soda on your holiday guests? Fortunately not. There is one alternative that will work like gangbusters but will require you to have plenty of ice on hand.

If you are fortunate enough to have bags of ice (or you can get them quickly from a nearby store), fill a bucket or cooler with the ice and place your sodas there. In 10-12 minutes, your beverages will be cool and ready to drink. You can speed the process up by mixing water with the ice.

You can speed things up even more by putting salt in with the ice and water. Salt makes ice melt faster, which will cause the water to get colder faster and the soda pop to cool in just a couple of minutes.


You can put soda water in the freezer to cool it quickly if you have to. On the other hand, if your only goal is to freeze the soda solid, you'll need to take it out of its can or bottle and put it into a piece of Tupperware® or something similar. When you eventually thaw it out, it should reconstitute fine.

If you’re seeking a source of supreme refreshment for the upcoming BBQ season, try kosher all-natural soda from Rocky Mountain Soda Co. It contains no GMOs and comes in a wide variety of delicious flavors sure to tickle the taste buds of your guests.