You would happily stash a bag of peas, a box of popsicles, or a preemptively purchased Thanksgiving turkey in your freezer. But how about a bomb? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. As it turns out, there are three common items that should never, under any circumstances, be frozen; freezing temperatures turn these items into spectacular (but not in a good way!) explosives.
The following three items are rendered unsafe by confining them to freezing temperatures. Can you guess what they are? Don’t worry, it’s not a race. In the name of safety, we’re letting the proverbial cat out of the bag and telling everybody.
First, never put carbonated drinks in the freezer.
Surprised? As explained by Good Times, canned carbonated beverages contain carbon dioxide, which gives rise to their delicious, tongue-tingling fizz. However, once frozen, the water in the drinks chills and crystallises, taking up more space than its liquid form and vying for space with the particles of carbon dioxide. When temperatures reach freezing, or below, carbon dioxide also expands and exerts a high pressure on the inside of the can.
The pressure builds, and the can will explode.
Second, don’t freeze dry ice. Now this one’s bound to cause a few raised eyebrows. “But, it’s ice!” we hear you protest. “The clue is in the name!” Funnily, there’s a catch.
Dry ice is essentially carbon dioxide in solid form. Normally used to create atmospheric “foggy” background effects, dry ice is often used in theater productions and concerts to entertain the audience. The dry ice is soaked in water, with the handler using heavy gloves or tongs to prevent frostbite. The water causes the carbon dioxide solids to convert into gas (that’s “sublimation,” for the scientifically-minded among you).
However, in a freezer where temperatures drop below -18 degrees Celsius (-0.4 degrees Fahrenheit), sublimation is expedited: the carbon dioxide expands up to 800 times the volume of its solid form. Read: explosion!
Note, however, that if by some stroke of luck your freezer does not explode, it may still shut down. The standing temperature of dry ice is already far lower than your freezer, and your freezer cannot handle it.
Lastly, be sure not to freeze alcohol or any other flammable liquids. It’s a well-known life hack that a few minutes in the freezer will chill an alcoholic beverage to perfection, but beware of freezing unopened bottles of wine and beer for longer.
Pressure plus liquid expansion causes what? You guessed it: an explosion!
For a final bonus tip, be sure never to try to scratch excess ice and frost from your freezer walls with a sharp object, such as a knife or screwdriver. Why not? Because freezer coolants utilize isobutane gas, and it’s extremely flammable. If you accidentally slip, scratch the surface of the freezer, and the coolant leaks out, you could trigger an accidental explosion.
So there you have it: three items to avoid freezing if you preference an explosion-free home. We certainly do. Tell your friends, protect your freezer, and stay safe!