The internet has been left baffled by one woman’s curious way of keeping her soda carbonated after opening.
In a post on Reddit’s popular r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit, user u/eyesoffdee posted a picture of the inside of his refrigerator.
Inside was two soda cans with tissue stuffed into the open tops. The poster explained: “[My] wife does this all the time. She thinks she is saving the carbonation by doing this. At any given time there’s three quarter sodas in the fridge that’s like this that she’s abandoned.”
Sharing his frustration, the husband said even his kids have started adding a tissue to an open soda, and explained it was particularly frustrating when someone knocked it over.
Carbonated drinks go “flat” because the carbon dioxide (CO2) gas responsible for the fizz in soda escapes from the liquid.
During production, soda and other carbonated drinks are infused with CO2 that dissolves into the liquid under pressure creating the characteristic fizz.
This dissolving process was explained by British chemist William Henry in 1803. Henry’s law explains how the amount of gas dissolved into liquid is directly proportional to the pressure of the gas in the surrounding environment.
This explains why when a liquid in a sealed can is paired with carbon dioxide at a pressure above the standard atmosphere, the elevated pressure keeps the gas dissolved within the liquid.
But when you open the can, you release the pressure, allowing the CO2 to escape—that’s why you get the “hiss.”
As your drink is exposed to the air, the CO2 works to reach the same concentration as the surrounding air, and as molecules escape, soda becomes less fizzy.
Last year, another man’s soda habit gained attention when he revealed he spent $8,500 a year on his Pepsi addiction.
Despite having created her own novel solution to her soda going flat, the woman’s efforts were overwhelmingly dragged online.
The Redditor wrote: “I’ve tried explaining that this will not help but no one is listening.”
Meanwhile in over 1,200 comments, other users shared their thoughts.
“Umm.. do they ever come back to drink it? Get smaller cans? That would bother me,” said Sea-Location3191.
While Puzzleheaded-Tip-888 joked: “Ah yes, the most air tight of substances, paper towels.”
“Paper towels is known to repel CO2 and force it back into the liquid from whence it came,” joked tvieno.
If you’re looking to keep your drink’s fizzy for longer, there are a few ways that really are tried and tested.
A 2018 study published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry B explored the chemistry behind the bubbles. Researchers Yakun Chen, Ji Lv and Kaixin Ren looked at how drink additives including sugar, salt and added flavorings affect carbon dioxide in a drink, and how fast carbon dioxide diffused from each.
Their study had an interesting result and they discovered that if you’re looking to give your drink a little boost of fizz, it can help to add something to your beverage.
The team found that adding alcohol, table sugar or baking soda to a drink could boost the fizz, keeping the bubbles going for longer. Although they did note that the effectiveness would vary depending on the drink’s ingredients.
Newsweek reached out to u/eyesoffdee via Reddit for comment.