How to open a soda can quietly? 4 Easy Methods

How to open a soda can quietly? 4 Easy Methods

Soda cans, or beer cans for many of us, are so ingrained into our daily lives since its invention back in 1959. Whether it’s a hot summer day or cracking a cold one with the boys, the act of opening a can has become almost second nature. 

how to open a soda can quietly pinterest

I must admit, there were a few times when we were still living in a small apartment when I wanted to have a drink late at night. The missus is fast asleep and the doors were paper thin. Besides, I didn’t want her to know I am having another night cap. I had to figure out how to open a soda can quietly!

Short of heading out of the apartment to open the can, I managed to learn how I can open up can without making much noise. 

If you are finding a solution to this or you just need a useless tidbit of information, continue reading below to find out more! 

Read this too: How to eat quieter?

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When was the soda can invented?

The modern day aluminium can was invented in 1959 by the beer company Coors. At that time, it was a pull tab can, which meant that you had to discard the tab after opening (do this things still exist?). This was replaced by the push tab that you see in cans nowadays, which was easier open and there was no need to find a bin after doing so.


Why do soda cans make noise?

Before we get to opening a can, let’s look at why soda cans make so much noise when opening them.

It might seem obvious, but there are 2 distinct sounds created when you open a can. The first is the sound made by the tab, and the second is the hissing sound make by gas being released from the can.

As carbonated drinks get canned, there is a lot of pressure formed inside it and this pressure helps to keep the bubbles from fizzing out. This pressure is higher than the air pressure outside of it, so when you open a can, there is a big difference in pressure.

The hissing sound you hear is the pressure trying to equalize itself. The gas from inside is pushing its way out, creating the sound we are all so familiar with. That’s the same reason why a can goes pop when you open it.

You would also notice that sometimes the liquid inside bubbles over, and that is because there is no longer any pressure to hold it in place. This is also why carbonated drinks like Coke or beer becomes non-gassy or flat after a short while. 

how to open a soda can quietly methods

How to open a soda can quietly?

In order to achieve this, you need to ensure that the process of equalization of the gases takes place as slowly as possible. That means you need to have a controlled manner of opening the soda can. Besides that, you have to take care not to flick the tab onto the can top cover, since that will cause a loud and sharp noise. 

Let’s take a look at the different steps you can use to open a can quietly, shall we?

1. Using a sharp object like a knife

use sharp knife to puncture a hole

Let’s kick off with an unconventional method of opening a soda can with a knife or sharp object. 

It can get a little bit tricky and of course you need to take care not to hurt your hands or fingers in the process. 

The main thing we want to achieve here is to puncture a small hole so that the gas inside can start to escape. Unlike opening with a tab, the hole here is small and thus the rate of equalization will not be as fast, which means that the hissing sound will be much lesser. 

Using the pointy end of a small sharp knife, drive it into the fold where the tab is. Holding the can firm with your off hand, apply pressure along the fold until it makes a small hole. This way, the gas will start escaping and after a couple of minutes, you will be able to use your thumb to press down on the tab to open it. 

Staying with the knife, you can also use it poke a hole at the bottom of the can instead. If you prefer this method, you will need to make another small hole on the side of the can near the top (not the top). This will allow gas to escape through the top hole and the liquid will flow out through the bottom one. Don’t forget to standby your glass to catch your drink!

2. Chilling it in a freezer

The second method is much easier, and what you need to do here is to put your soda or beer can into the freezer before opening it. Give it at least 10 minutes (although near freezing is better), and the reasoning behind this is that a lower temperature will equalize the pressure better.

When it is sufficiently cold, try opening by pulling the tab slowly. Once it penetrates the cover, gas will start escaping slowly. At this point, you just need to wait for like a minute before you use your thumb to push the tab down.

I would recommend that you use a small piece of cloth (or just your tee shirt) to protect your finger and prevent yourself from getting a cut. 

3. Using a towel to muffle the sound

I suppose it is common knowledge that mass helps in soundproofing, just like how a thick wall is better than a thin one at blocking out noise. 

The same logic applies here. 

What you are trying to achieve here is to create a sound barrier around the can before opening it. The more towels you use, the better the effect. 

Grab any towel that is large enough to wrap around the can, you can use a dish towel or even a moving blanket, and wrap it snugly around your fizzy drink. Since the noise mostly comes from the top end of the can, you will want to make sure that more cloth is covering this area. 

With the cloth set in place, you can now try to lift the tab with your fingers just as how you normally would open a can. Make sure that you are doing it slowly as you do not want to have a sudden expulsion of gas which will cause a loud noise. 

I would say this is probably the best and also my favorite method if I need to open a beer car silently. No sound was detected by the missus when I attempted it.

4. Push open with your thumb

I know that this method works because I tried it out when I broke the tab. But I don’t really like it because it can be dangerous if you don’t do it right. 

The idea behind this method is to use the base of your thumb, the fleshy part, and apply pressure to the opening of the can. 

You will want to have a firm grip with your off hand and place the can on a stable surface, ideally a table. 

With everything in place, use the base of your thumb and start pushing down on the opening. The rest of your fingers should be outside of the can cover or ideally not touching it at all since you don’t want to accidentally tick off the tab and cause a loud snapping noise.

As you start pushing down, you will feel the can opening start to depress and likely feel some gas being released. Continue applying the pressure slowly or you can switch to using your thumb itself. 

If you are using this method, please be careful not to cut yourself, and if you find yourself pressing too hard without success, move on to the other techniques mentioned above. 

You really don’t want to spill all that good stuff away. If only someone invented a beer can silencer!

Ways to open a can of pop without a tab

The methods discussed above all work well to quiet a can quietly, and if you noticed, they don’t really require you to have a tab to open them, which brings me to a related point: how do you open a soda can without a tab? 

I think lots of us have been in that situation before where the tab simply snaps off without making a dent in our soda can. So with the above steps in mind, here are a few more methods you can use to open a can without a tab (where noise is not a factor):

  • Use a butter knife or bottom of a spoon/fork to push down at the area where the tab is cut
  • Use a can opener
  • Use a small blunt object (for example base of a lighter) and place it on the tab and rub with medium pressure pushing it down. As you rub and apply pressure, the tab will pop down 

Conclusion: How do you open a soda can without making noise?

Now that you know how to open a soda can without making noise, keep it a secret from the missus, but use it as a bar trick to challenge your friends. A friendly wager to get yourself a free beer! 

Jokes aside, I hope this post has given you some practical information and maybe you can use it when the situation arises! 

Be sure to check out our other articles for lots more soundproofing tips and tricks. 

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Bryant Littlewood is the Chief Editor behind SoundproofingHacks. He shares all the lessons he has learned in turning his home and office into quiet sanctuaries across the blog posts here. Bryant is also a part-time audiophile, and some of the posts here will reflect that passion of his too. Connect with him on LinkedIn or read more on the about page.