Do sodas go bad?

Soda drinks, who doesn’t love them, are in everybody’s home. In 2013 soda lost its top ranking as America’s favorite drink to be overtaken by water. But do sodas ever go bad, or do they just lose their carbonation, leaving you with a delicious flat drink? But be thankful you are in America. In parts of India, cow urine is captured and sold as soda!

Did you know mixing alcohol with diet sodas gets you drunk quicker than if you mix it with regular soda? Coke tried to tap into the Gen X market by rebranding as OK in the mid-1990s; OK was the only word that was universally recognized as the same as coke.

This article will unveil the hidden facts about sodas and answer many frequently asked questions so you have the low down on what’s good and what’s not.

Let’s dive in.


Do soda drinks expire?

Yes, they typically expire at approximately 39 weeks for regular soda and 13 weeks for diet sodas after production. The likes of Coke Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, 7 up, Dr. Pepper, and Fresco all have expiry dates on the bottle or can. The expiry date does not indicate that the product is bad or the shelf life has diminished. It’s an indicator of the peak performance of the product.

So, these soda manufacturers are telling consumers that the product is best if the bottle or can is unopened before this date.

The USDA or FDA does not mandate expiration dates for soda drinks. The date is a voluntary gesture from the manufacturer for consumers to enjoy the product at its best.

However, the sodas may have another 3 to 6 months before they are deemed expired. When expiry does occur in soda, it’s often represented by the soda becoming flat, and it loses the carbonation from the manufacturer.

Does Unopened Coke Go Bad 

No. Unopened sodas have a shelf life of approximately 39 weeks and 13 weeks for diet sodas. Before you run to your fridge to start drinking your coke or other favorite sodas, you should know that 39 weeks is almost 9 months!

If you want to get the maximum life out of your favorite sodas, then chill them down. By chilling coke and keeping it unopened in a fridge, you can get as much as another 6 to 9 months on top of the original best-before date or expiry.

Soda expiry dates are easy to read. For bottled sodas such as Coke, the date will be on the cap, and for cans, it is on the base.

The format is not mystical; it’s simple MMDDYY.

Storing soda

Does soda need to be refrigerated?

No, unopened sodas can sit in a cool dark area for the duration of the expiration. Keep sodas in a cool spot. Heat makes the sodas expand and accelerates the loss of carbonation process.

If stored in poor conditions, a plastic bottle in direct sunlight will lose as much as 15% of the carbon dioxide stored in the bottle.

But out of direct sunlight and in a cool place, sodas keep perfectly until needed.

Clearly, when you want to drink your soda, the best of the drink is going to be realized when it is cold and not warm. Placing a bottle or two of your favorite soda in the fridge before bed should see the soda at its optimal temperature for enjoyment by the morning.

Can you put warm 7 up in the fridge?

Yes, you can. If you ever pass by a storage facility or a manufacturing plant for sodas such as 7 up and the other major brands like coke, Pepsi, Fresco, and Dr. Pepper, you will see pallets of sodas stored outside in the lot.

Once the sodas are delivered to the grocery store for retail the product is stored in a warehouse and then in store on the shelf without refrigeration.

Invariably your favorite sida will be at least room temperature and enter the fridge warm. There are no consequences to pacing warm soda in the fridge other than it tackles time to cool and will elevate the temperature of the fridge.

Does soda go in the fridge?

You can drink soda at room temp or chilled. It’s your preference how you like to drink it. Most people prefer chilled sodas. The flavor profile is better, and it’s a more refreshing drink.

If you buy your sodas in bulk, placing them in the fridge is not always possible. Just one bottle of family-size soda takes a fair percentage of the volume of the fridge.

How long can soda sit out?

Unopened bottles or cans can sit out for 39 weeks for regular sodas and 13 weeks for diet sodas.

For opened sodas, it is a different story. If the cap of the bottle is sealed, then four hours should be ok, but refrigerating the product will give a superior refreshing drink.

Does soda go bad if left out?

Its been established that unopened soda is good for weeks if left out, but open soda, without being sealed or in a glass, should be consumed within an hour of pouring the drink or breaking the seal if it’s left out.

Sodas like Coke, Pepsi, and Fresco. 7 up doesn’t really get funky. They lose their carbonation, and the drink becomes flat.

However, if the soda has been left out for more than a few hours unsealed, it would be wise to discard it. Some bacteria will have entered the product compromising the possible safety of the drink.

Does frozen soda go bad?

It is an interesting concept and one that you should not explore. If you place a can of soda or a bottle of soda in the freezer, it will invariably explode at some point.

Glass bottles will possibly crack, leaving you with an enormous clean-up of the freezer, and can explode violently and in spectacular fashion upon thawing. Placing soda in the freezer is a bad idea, and it adds nothing to the drink other than chilling it down a little faster.

Physical dynamics of soda

How long does it take soda to freeze?

If you place your favorite soda in the freezer, it will typically take 3 hours to reach the stage where it becomes slushy and large ice crystals form.

What happens when you freeze soda?

When soda is put in the freezer, the water inside the can or bottle expands, causing the volume to exceed what the can or bottle was intended to hold. 

When the can or bottle is placed in the freezer for an extended period of time, the pressure inside causes the can or bottle to strain and eventually explode, giving you a nasty surprise to clean up in your freezer.

After 20 minutes or so, the danger of letting the can or bottle temperature fall below 4°C could result in pressure building inside the can or bottle. In this scenario, you should exercise caution while handling the soda can or bottle because doing so runs the risk of setting off an explosion that could cause injury to your hands.

How much pressure is in a plastic bottle of soda?

There can be up to 4.7 bar of carbon dioxide in a plastic bottle of soda and the same in a can. For the uninitiated that equates to almost 70 psi or pounds per square inch. 1 psi is one pound of force applied to 1 square inch. It’s a lot of pressure.

Does carbon dioxide in soda drinks only give the fizz?

Carbon dioxide readily dissolves into a liquid, especially soft drinks, and produces tiny bubbles. Carbon dioxide is a fantastic choice for usage in soda products.

Additionally, the carbon dioxide acts as a safeguard to preserve the soft drink and stop bacterial growth while it is being stored.

Oxygen is the enemy of most food and drinks, causing accelerated spoilage of the goods, and sodas are no different.

In addition to creating an effervescent froth, carbonation causes the water to react, producing carbonic acid and a mildly acidic flavor. Despite the fact that carbonic acid is partially responsible for the flavor of your favorite soda drink, it does not contribute to obesity and tooth problems.

Since carbon dioxide dissolves more easily in colder temperatures, soda is kept very cold during production before the can and bottles have been sealed.

The fresh fizz from carbon dioxide in sodas plays a much more significant role in your soda drinks than you realize.

Final thoughts

Your favorite sodas have a considerable shelf life of up to nine months, and then that can be increased by the same amount of the soda is stored chilled.

In theory, unopened soda drinks could last indefinitely, but they do lose the carbonation that does provide some of the protection for the sugary liquid.

However, if bacteria can’t get into the bottle or can, then the product will be acceptable to consume even if flat.

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