I don’t like a lot of carbonation in my soft drinks.   I don’t like them flat, I just like to be able to drink it without burning out my sinuses.   Since I am ego-centric, I therefore assume that other people must be just like me.   For those who are, here’s my nifty amuse-your-friends-and-confuse-your-enemies method for removing just the right amount of carbonation from your soda without squirting it all over the room.

Secret Magical Directions:

Step 1: Obtain soda in plastic bottle.

This method requires a plastic bottle with a screw-top lid.

Step 2: Open bottle, take optional sip.

This technique requires some airspace at the top of the bottle to work.   It is helpful to take a medium sized sip of soda to both determine a) how much carbonation you wish to remove and b) create some airspace at the top of the bottle.

Step 3: Squeeze the open bottle until the soda is to the top of the bottle.

Squeeze the soda until there is very little (or no, if you’re really good) airspace at the top of the bottle.

Step 4: Replace the lid.

Put the lid back on the bottle, making sure to keep the soda to the top of the bottle with little or no airspace.

At this point, the bottle should be scrunched up a bit, depending on how much airspace was in the bottle before you started squeezing it.

Step 5: Shake the bottle.

Okay, this is the fun part that will amuse your friends and confuse your enemies.

Start to shake the bottle.   You want to shake it just enough so that the bottle returns to its original unscrunched shape.

Step 6: Take off the lid.

Once the bottle has resumed its original shape, unscrew the lid and it will open without any hiss or squirting.   If either happens, you shook the bottle a little past the point where the bottle resumed its original shape.   Shake it a little less next time and it will work correctly.

Step 7: Enjoy your decarbonated drink.

Take a sip and enjoy your now less-carbonated beverage.   You can vary the effect from just slightly-less-carbonated to outright ‘flat’ by varying the amount of airspace you displace when you squeeze the bottle.

If your drink is still too fizzy for your taste, simply repeat the procedure. If it’s too flat, don’t shake it as much or displace less airspace when squeezing the bottle in step 3.


Do steps 1-4 when nobody is looking.   Then perform step 5 in front of somebody and then hand them the drink to open or point it at them and then open it.


What is happening is that as you shake the bottle, you are releasing the carbon dioxide (CO2) (which is why it’s called “carbon-ation”) that is in the drink.   The CO2 is the gas that gives the drink its bubbly feel.

What we are doing is freeing the gas from the liquid.   The CO2 then bubbles up to the top and re-fills up the airspace at the top of the bottle.   When we scrunched up the bottle, we effectively created a vacuum in the bottle.   The CO2 takes up more physical space as a gas than it does when it is in the liquid.   This extra space the gas occupies will fill up the bottle and will expand the bottle back to its normal shape.

This expanding gas is why sodas explode or squirt out when you open the lid after shaking them.   The gas expands when it is released from the liquid, which creates a high pressure inside the bottle.   When you open the lid, the escaping CO2 is the ‘hiss’ you hear, and the liquid that shoots out is from the pressure of the gas pushing against the liquid.   In other words, the air pushes the liquid out of the bottle when you unscrew the lid and release the pressure.

However, in our trick, since we squeeze the bottle first, we give the expanding air somewhere to go.   By scrunching the bottle, we have an easy way to measure when we have equalized the pressure: the bottle returns to its normal unscrunched shape.

At that point, we can open the bottle without it hissing or squirting because the pressure is the same inside and outside of the bottle.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.