How fast do you think you can get a can of soda to go from warm to cold? Would you believe it can be done in about one minute? It can and here is how you can make a gadget to do just that from simple materials. It is a good idea to have an adult help with this.

First, gather everything you will need to build the gadget. You will need:

  • A motor (with the mounting screws) taken from a remote control car or something similar
  • A pair of scissors
  • A hot glue gun
  • A plastic ruler
  • A permanent ink marker
  • A lighter
  • A USB cord (an old one like a phone charger will do)
  • The cap from a can of spray paint

The first step in making your gadget is to use the ruler to measure 3 centimeters from the bottom of the spray paint cap and mark it with the marker. Next, cut the cap where it is marked all the way around the cap so it is as straight as possible.

Now you are ready to shape your cap so it will grip your can of soda. Place the cap in the top of a soda can (for this, you can use an empty can). Mark the cap where the top of the can is (a flashlight shining down on top of the cap will help you see where to mark). Light the lighter and hold it close enough to the bottom edge of the cap to heat it but not burn it. Heat the cap until the plastic starts to sag. Press the edge of the scissors against the heat-softened plastic so it takes on the shape of the lip of the can. The idea is that the cap will clip onto the top of the soda can.

It is time to mount the motor to the top of the cap. First mark the center of the cap with the marker. Then put a good glob of hot glue there and put the motor on so when the motor is running, the cap will spin. Now cut off the charging end of the USB cord and strip the ends of the black and red wires. Have an adult solder them onto the motor.

Now you need a handle to hold while the gadget spins your soda. Place one end of the ruler against the motor mount and mark where the screws need to go. With the scissors, drill holes where the marks are and rock and twist the scissors to make the holes the right size for the screws. Put a blob of hot glue between the screw holes and press the ruler to the motor mount so the holes line up for the screws. Tighten the screws.

Now you are ready to chill that warm can of soda. Put ice in a bowl deep enough to cover the can of soda and add enough water to let the can spin easily. Clip your can to the gadget and put it in the ice bath so the can is submersed so only the very top of the can isn’t in the ice bath. Plug in the gadget and it will spin the can. You can time it for one or two minutes for an ice cold soda.


As a final note – this is a science site and sometimes the approach might seem a bit on the “round-a-bout’ side.

So … while you are building your can spinner, you can immerse another hot soda in a bath of ice, water and table salt. ¬†From room temperature at 75F or so, you can have that soda cold enough to drink within 2 – 3 minutes of putting it in the brine bath.

But it is so much more fun to make something spin with motors no?


If you liked this, perhaps this one will fascinate you: