Rexburg family learns why you shouldn't leave soda in your car when it's freezing outside - East Idaho News

Rexburg family learns why you shouldn’t leave soda in your car when it’s freezing outside

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REXBURG — Not only did Janeese Summers wake up to temperatures below 20 degrees Monday, but when she went to take her son to the gym she discovered quite a surprise.

Summers opened the doors to her Ford Expedition around 5:30 a.m. and found an icy, brown, slushy-type substance on the roof, windows, seats – pretty much all over the back of the SUV.

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The Rexburg mother of four quickly realized what caused the sticky mess. Her 18-year-old daughter had left three cans of Diet Dr. Pepper in the back pocket of the driver’s seat.

You may remember from middle school science class that water expands when it freezes and for canned liquids under pressure, that can mean an explosion. But there’s more to it. According to, “Frozen soda can explosions are not due directly to water expanding as it freezes, but to the resulting pressure put on an isolated pocket of C02.”

That’s exactly what happened with one of the sodas, leaving a mess for Summers – or actually, her daughter – to clean up.

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Summers tells the three full cans have been in the car since last Monday and she’s repeatedly asked her Madison High School senior to bring them inside (sound familiar, parents?). Obviously that didn’t happen.

While exploding soda cans cause a mess, on rare occasions they can be dangerous. A boy in China reportedly ended up with 38 stitches after he chilled a pop in the freezer.

The incident was publicized by the boy’s mother on Sina Webo, a Chinese site similar to Twitter. She said her son took a can of cola out of the freezer and when he popped the tab, the top blew out, propelling shards of aluminum into the boy’s face. He ended up in the hospital with 31 stitches on his face and seven inside his mouth.

Summers posted a TikTok video of the mess in her car and hopes it serves as a reminder to her kids, and others, to not leave soda cans in cold cars.