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How To Make Soda Flat Fast – 9 Easy & Effective Methods [Pics]

Fizz. You either love it or hate it. 

If you’re in the hate it camp, it can be frustrating when it comes to picking drinks. Why is everything so fizzy?

Luckily I’m here to tell you how you can enjoy your favorite sodas without the fizz.

To decarbonate soda, use a clean folded paper towel and stir in your soda for 5 seconds. Other methods of making soda flat include pouring it over crushed ice, using a wider glass, and gently heating the soda in a pan. Heating in a pan is best for bulk de-fizzing.

Create nucleation sites

Any imperfections on your glass or bottle create an out for the carbon dioxide.

Bubbles form on the imperfections and then rise to the top of the soda and escape into the air. This is why you see lines of bubbles rising from seemingly random spots in a glass of soda.

The process of these bubbles forming is known as nucleation, and the imperfections are nucleation sites. 

One way to make soda go flat quickly is to increase the number of nucleation sites. The more bubbles that can form, the faster the CO2 can escape.

Anything with a rough, bumpy surface is an excellent candidate to encourage nucleation. Sugar, paper towels, and ice are common options.

Mentos are the ultimate example of this. You’ll probably know what happens when you put mentos in soda… but I’ll leave this video here if you don’t.

(I’m still fascinated to this day by Mentos and Coke. Don’t judge me).

Stick a paper towel in the soda

An easy, no-mess method and my personal favorite!

To make soda flat with a paper towel:

  1. Pour your soda into a glass, leaving an inch of room at the top. This will prevent any spillages
  2. Take one sheet of paper towel and fold it into quarters
  3. Stick the paper towel into the soda with the open edge down (this means the coke can penetrate the paper and reach more surface area). Keep hold of it, so it’s doesn’t sink to the bottom of the glass. The soda will fizz
  4. Once the soda has stopped fizzing, remove the paper towel and taste it. It will be nice and flat!
  5. Repeat for a second time if there’s still some fizz left

I had to repeat this process twice to get the soda really flat, but it worked well and was very quick. One downside is that you lose some coked as it’s soaked up into the paper towel.

Pour the soda over ice (good for when you’re at a restaurant)

On its own, this is unlikely to completely decarbonate the soda, but it will significantly reduce the fizziness. And it’s a straightforward option if you’re in a restaurant or other setting where some of the alternative methods will earn you a strange look.

Pouring the drink over the ice rather than adding the ice to the drink will work better because the pouring action will help release some CO2.

Soft drink and crushed ice
Pouring soft drinks over ice helps to decarbonate them when other methods aren’t an option

If you have access to crushed ice, even better. The more surface area of ice that can make contact with the soda, the faster it will decarbonate.

Add sugar to the soda

Adding a spoonful of sugar to your soda is a sure-fire way to flatten it quickly.

This is an easy one to do on-the-go because all you need is a sugar sachet.

Sugar being added to a fizzy drink
Adding sugar (or any powder) to soft drinks rapidly decarbonate them

The soda will fizz violently for a few seconds, so it’s best to do this in a vessel with some spare room at the top.

This isn’t my favorite method because the added sugar makes the drink very sweet. My dentist probably has nightmares about this sort of thing.

If you’re at home you can sieve the sugar out again, but it still leaves the drink noticeably sweeter.

Add heat (good for bulk de-fizzing)

Pour the soda into a pan and warm it on the stove.

Coca Cola in saucepan being stirred
Use a saucepan on a low heat to bulk decarbonate soft drinks

The warmer your soda is, the less carbon dioxide it can hold. As it warms up, the CO2 is released faster and the soda becomes flat very quickly.

Stirring the soda as you heat it will speed the process up even more. If you have a whisk this is the PERFECT tool.

Once it’s de-fizzed you can put the soda back in the fridge to cool it down. Or if you’re in a hurry, 10 minutes in the freezer should do the trick.

Top tip: warm, decarbonated ginger ale or cola is very soothing if you have a bad stomach.

This is a great method if you’re trying to decarbonate a lot of soda at once, but be aware it changes the taste slightly. So do a small batch to see if you like the taste before pouring your whole stash in.

Use movement to get rid of the fizz

Shake the soda

This is the classic method, but if you don’t do it right, it can get VERY messy.

You’ll need a bottle or container with a tight enough lid that you can safely shake it without the cover popping off.

It’s hard to pull off with a full bottle of soda, so it works best if you have some room in the bottle. The warmer the soda is, the faster this method will be.

To perform a controlled shake:

Coca Cola bottle being shaken to decarbonate it
Shaking soda to flatten it works when you’re out the house and want a quick and dirty trick
  1. Ideally, start with a ¾ full bottle of soda
  2. Shake the soda briefly (1-2 shakes at first)
  3. Tap the outside of the bottle 
  4. SLOWLY open the cap until you hear a ‘woosh’ sound
  5. Don’t open the cap any further and wait 2-3 seconds to release all the gas.
  6. Tap the bottle again to release any excess gas
  7. Close the lid and repeat the process until you reach your desired fizziness

You can slowly increase the number of shakes / the force of the taps as the soda becomes less fizzy. But it’s better to be conservative at first to make sure you don’t get an explosion. 

Be ESPECIALLY careful if you’re dealing with a pretty full bottle of soda.

Stir the soda

Stirring the soda with a spoon increases nucleation sites (surfaces where bubbles can form) AND agitates the soda so more bubbles are forced out.

If you heat the spoon up this will warm the soda and mean the gas can be released faster.

If you don’t have a spoon handy, you can pretty much use anything you’re willing to stick in your drink!

Pour the soda multiple times (and from high up)

  1. Get a glass or cup and pour your soda from several inches above the cup. Hold the cup down with your spare hand because the stream of soda might knock it over
  2. The soda will fizz slightly so don’t plan to completely fill the cup. Stop 1-2 inches from the top of the cup
  3. Take another cup and repeat the process 
  4. Pour the soda between the cups several times until it’s reached your desired level of flatness

The impact from pouring the soda high up will release the CO2 bubbles quickly and efficiently.

Use a bigger glass

There are two ways CO2 is lost from soda.

  1. Through bubbles
  2. From the surface of the soda 

I’ve covered how to increase bubbles. The other thing you can do is increase the surface area of your cola.

The easiest way to do this is to move it into a glass with a bigger opening or a jug. Combine this with pouring the soda from high up and you’ll have flat soda pretty quickly.

Coca Cola in different sized glasses side by side

Mix soda syrups with plain water

Since the soda stream’s invention, it has gone from strength to strength. Even though you’re not after fizz, this is still great news.

There are so many different soda syrup flavors available now, and most of the time, they taste just like the real thing.

To make flat soda, simply mix the soda syrups with plain, uncarbonated water. Instant de-fizzed soda, without any of the hard work.

This is the perfect option for people wanting a quick and easy on-the-go solution. 

Check out the Soda Stream store on Amazon to browse all the different flavors. 

If you want the real deal, you can purchase brand syrups in bulk on amazon. Coke (Diet, Zero, and Regular), Sprite, Pepsi, Fanta, Mountain dew, Dr. Pepper, and Roaring Lion are just some of the brands that sell their syrups.

A 5-gallon bag will yield around 30 gallons of ‘soda’ (320 12oz cans or 192 20oz bottles).

Sometimes there’s just no substitute for the real thing!

How to decarbonate a can of soda

Cans of soda are the hardest to de-fizz. 

They’re often consumed on-the-go and have no lid that you can replace. Once it’s opened that’s it, so the shaking method isn’t all that effective.

You need something a bit more inventive.

Blow bubbles with a straw

Take a straw and blow bubbles in the soda. The agitation and movement will force the CO2 out of the soda rendering it flat.

You might look a bit strange, but it’ll be worth it. I suggest taking a sip of the soda first to make some room at the top of the can. Otherwise, you might get some spillage.

If you don’t have a straw handy, pop into a cafe and ask for one. Most will have a big supply.

Why does soda go flat?

Soda is super-saturated with CO2 gas. The gas is pumped into the liquid at very high pressure, and when the bottle/can is sealed the gas is locked in.

But the liquid doesn’t like holding that much gas. As soon as you open the bottle, the CO2 starts to escape. That’s what the oh-so-familiar ‘WHOOSH’ sound is when you open a fresh bottle of soda. 

The CO2 will keep escaping until it’s all gone, leaving the soda de-fizzed, uncarbonated, and flat.

How long does it take opened soda to go flat?

Once you open a bottle of soda, the CO2 will start slowly leaking out. If you keep your soda in the fridge this process will take 2-4 days. If you leave the soda out on the side it will take 1-2 days.

The warmer the soda is, the less CO2 it can hold, and the faster it goes flat. 

Note that these are just estimates. How quickly the soda will go flat can be influenced by a lot of factors such as how well the original bottle was sealed, how old the soda is, and how big the bottle is.

Leaving the lid off the soda will speed the process up even more. If you can’t wait a day, use one of the above methods to get the job done quickly. 

How To Make Soda Flat Fast

Fizz. You either love it or hate it.
If you’re in the hate it camp, it can be frustrating when it comes to picking drinks. Why is everything so fizzy?
Luckily I’m here to tell you how you can enjoy your favorite sodas without the fizz.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 person
Calories 210 kcal

Equipment

Paper towel (folded)
Large glass

Ingredients
 

  • 1 bottle soda

Instructions
 

  • Pour your soda into a glass, leaving an inch of room at the top. This will prevent any spillages.
  • Take one sheet of paper towel and fold it into quarters.
  • Stick the paper towel into the soda with the open edge down (this means the soda can penetrate the paper and reach more surface area).
  • Keep hold of it, so it’s doesn’t sink to the bottom of the glass. The soda will fizz.
  • Once the soda has stopped fizzing, remove the paper towel and taste it. It will be nice and flat!
  • Repeat for a second time if there’s still some fizz left.

Notes

This is the best method of decarbonating your soda. However, it’s not the only method. If you check out the article I also list 8 other ways of de-fizzing your soda, which may be more helpful for you.
Did you try this technique? Let me know in the comments. V.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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