Since their invention in the 1950s, sodas/beer can have become ingrained in our daily lives. The practice of popping a canned beverage has become nearly natural.
Most people are familiar with the distinctive sound of a can being opened. Be it soda, beer, or something else, the sound always draws some attention.
Although cans will not harm anybody’s hearing, they are loud enough to be distracting if opened during a lecture, library, theater, or other places where silence is essential.
Maybe you’d like to have a cold canned drink, yet you do not wish to get the attention of people near you; how do you get the can open without making a popping noise?
You can reduce the impact of sound produced while opening a canned drink by gently pushing down the sealing or pulling up the pull tab.
This article will discuss how to open a can quietly and why you need to open a can quietly.
Why Open a Can Quietly
Canned drinks are so common in everyday life that people fail to consider the kind of noise they will produce once they are opened.
Here’s why you should open a can quietly.
Everybody at home is sound sleeping, and you’re craving another cold beverage.
Library. Places like libraries have minimum ambient noise, so you may need to open your can quietly to avoid distracting people around you.
Lecture room. Just like in libraries, most lecture halls are usually quiet when learning is in progress. In such a place, you may need to open your can quietly to avoid capturing the attention of everyone and sometimes making people lose concentration.
There are several other instances and places, where you may need to open a can quietly that I have not mentioned. Regardless, it would be best if you had a grasp on how you can open a can quietly when the need arises.
Ways on How to Open a Can Quietly
Freeze / Chill the Can
Freeze or chill your can for some time if you plan to open it quietly. Freezing will aid in balancing the pressure of the surrounding environment with the pressure in the content of the can.
It’s best to get it close to freezing, but even freezing for around 15 minutes will help remove some fizzes.
While you may have to face the popping phase of the process, a chilled can will help reduce the sound of pressurized carbonated air exiting the can.
After cooling, proceed slowly and carefully lift the lid’s pull-tab to open it.
It would be best to have so much control only to open it a small amount to release the pressure. Keep pulling the pull tab till the fizzing stops and the can is entirely open.
Use a Sharp Object to Puncture the Can
The majority of beverage cans are built of soft aluminum. Any sharp object easily penetrates them without excessive force.
You can use an object with a sharp tip, like a sharp knife or protractor.
All that is needed is to place the can on firm ground while keeping the object’s tip near the edge. Puncture a small hole on the lid to let the pressure out.
The hole is smaller than the pull tab; therefore, the pace of equalization is slower, resulting in a lower hissing noise.
After puncturing the top, move the sharp object around to expand the hole. Take off your object and allow the pressure to stabilize.
You might also puncture the can at the bottom, but be careful because it might be quite messy (spill all over), so have a collecting jar set to collect the contents.
Muffle the Sound with a Dish Cloth
Dishtowels are ideal since they are adequately heavy and thick to dampen the huge percentage of the noise. This technique only requires one dishcloth, but you may add another for better soundproofing results.
Wrapping a cloth around your beverage can will reduce the fizzing and popping noise.
Here are the procedures to effectively open a can of beverage with a towel quietly:
Tightly wrap a towel on the beverage can and make sure the pull ring is left in the open. Ensure that most of the cloth covers the top.
Lift the ring tab with your index and thumb finger slowly. The objective is to ensure the pressure inside the can is equalized.
Apply Thumb Pressure to Open the Can
Another technique for keeping the procedure quiet is to press the top tab downward using your thumb. Ensure you are using your thumb’s base to exert pressure.
Steps for opening a beverage can using a thumb:
The first step you should take is to grasp the beverage can on your left hand firmly. Ensure the can is placed on a solid surface to avoid spills and make the process easy.
Put the base of your thumb on the weakened scores of your tab. Gently press it down until a faint hissing sound is heard.
Once the hissing sound is over, continue pressing the opening of the can with your thumb. Make sure you do this cautiously to avoid injuring yourself with the aluminum edges of the cap.
Open the beverage can under a blanket.
The approach is practically the same as the use of a dishtowel. The idea is to have a thick and heavy fabric that dampens the sound of a can.
The blanket, in this case, is a better fit since it is used in other soundproofing projects, and it works magic in minimizing flanking noise.
You don’t have to follow a specific procedure with a heavy blanket because the material acts soundproof.
The can is covered, so people on the other end will not hear an opening can’s hissing and popping sound.
The downside of the method is that it is not applicable in other places other than at home, particularly in the bedroom. It is, however, very effective if you don’t want to wake others who are sound asleep.
Open the Can Slowly
If you have no freezer, a sharp object, dish towel, or even time and patience to use the approaches above, you may achieve the same goal by opening the can slowly.
You have to gently lift the ring tab and allow a small opening to let the pressure out. Gas will escape slowly and quietly.
Once the hissing sound stops, continue lifting the pull-tab slowly to avoid metal noise.
The approach should also reduce the tab’s loud popping sound if you keep up the slow pace.
Why Are Soda/Beer Cans Noisy
Although it may appear obvious, two different sounds are produced anytime a can is opened.
When gas is escaping the container, you hear a hissing sound, and the tab produces the popping sound.
When fizzy drinks are canned, so much pressure is generated within, which controls the bubbles from coming up.
The pressure inside the can is more than the outside one, thus the hissing sound when opening a can.
The hissing sound is caused by the inward pressure attempting to balance with outside pressure. The air in the can is forcing its way outside, producing the sound of a fizzing drink.
Once you flip the tab open, it produces a pop sound because of the pressure build-up.
You might have noticed that the drink in the can occasionally bubble up and spills since the pressure keeping it in the can have equalized.
Pressure equalization is also why carbonated beverages such as soda or beer turn flat (non-gassy) after a short period.
On How to Open a Can Quietly
The carbonation required to keep that fizzy beverage so refreshing makes soda and beer cans quite noisy.
The best part is that there are techniques to significantly lessen, if not completely, do away with the loud popping and hissing that come when a can is opened.
Even if most people are familiar with the sound that’s heard when opening a can, it is not pleasant, especially in places where silence is highly encouraged.
In most instances, you’ll want to mask or minimize the sound not to distract the people around you.
Out of the five methods discussed on how to open a can quietly, I recommend you freeze the can first, then puncture a small hole to let the pressure out.
Finally, cover the can with a thick dishtowel while lifting the pull tab and combining the three will eliminate the sound to give the best result.
However, if any of the three does not favor you, consider opening the can slowly to allow pressure and gas in the can to escape with a less destructive and very faint hissing.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.