Can Cooler (Improvised Refrigeration)

I am stuck in my office on Saturdays, and to save money I bring my own canned sodas.

I don't have a refrigerator nearby, and the one that is there, gets pilfered if you leave goodies in there.

The thought of drinking a tepid soda is less than appealing to me, Although I know people who actually like their sodas ambient temperature. *Shrug*

If you are like me however and enjoy your aluminum encased carbonated beverages well below room temp. then please follow me into a simple way using common office supplies to achieve this goal.

Step 1: Materials.

1. your favorite soda pop in a can.

2. 2 coffee cups

3. Water (in one of the cups)

4. 2 paper towels

5. a paper plate, or dish.

6. An electric fan (or, an open, or cracked window with a slight breeze.)

Step 2: Constructing the Cooling Elements.

Take one of the paper towels and fold it in half.

Place the can on the plate and wrap the towel around it.

Using your finger to dab water to create a seam close the towel around the can.

Step 3: Constructing the Cooling Elements (Part 2).

Take the other towel and fold it corner to corner.

then fold it onto itself.

Lastly begin twisting it as tightly as you can, until it resembles a rope as in the pictures.

Step 4: Constructing the Cooling Elements (part 3).

Flip the empty cup upside down to use as a base for the cup full of water.

soak your paper towel "Rope" and let it hang over the side.

You should notice capillary action pulling the water from inside the cup to start dripping outside.

Step 5: Putting It All Together.

drape the dripping, paper towel, rope on top of the other towel covering the can, and place in front of the fan (or window).

in a short while your can should be quite below room temperature if the humidity in your area isn't too high.

Enjoy a cooled beverage without having to go to the office fridge!

How it works:

When water evaporates it takes heat with it, and the fan, or window speeds this up.

The twisted paper towel creates a siphon from the water supply that is elevated over the can.

The "Rope" acts as a capillary feed to keep the paper towel wet as it evaporates.

Thank you for looking at my Instructable!

-Wasteland Man.



    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest

    10 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Many years ago, a hot day I drank water from a canvas canteen hanging off a truck going down the road. I was very surprised to find that water was really cold, not just cool.

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    No, that is another sort of canteen. I said "a canvas canteen" it is to say a canvas bag enough tight to contain water without leaks. There are some made of leather, other in canvas.


    4 years ago

    Great idea for my garage!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool manipulation of natural processes! Cold, even.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your comments!

    It's also cheap as I love coming up with free stuff I find around the office, and apply Science to it! :D

    -Wasteland Man.

    Awesome system, you must be the envy of the office. Or at the very least admired for your intelligence, or at least I'm admiring.


    Really handy! It's perfect for keeping your carbonated beverages cold, and discouraging those office scroungers. :)