So Apparently, We’ve Been Using Soda Cans All Wrong

If you’ve ever used a straw to sip out of your soda can and found yourself looking like a fool in public because that suck-cylinder bobs around your tongue like you’re making out with a ghost, we’ve got you covered today. Apparently, once you pop a soda can tab, it can be spun around and used as a perfect straw holder.

This is America, if you want to drink a soda through your nostrils, with a straw, or dipping your hand into a vat of carbonated liquid and letting it seep in through your pores, you have every right to do so. Over the past couple months, we’ve learned how to eat a cupcake like a genteman and how to dispense a Tic Tac properly, so why not get more versed on our soda sipping etiquette?

Personally, I sip my soda through a straw because I have dainty teeth (yeah I said it) and it hurts my choppers to drink it otherwise. So when I found out that soda cans have a methodical reasoning for their tab design, I nearly sh*t my pants through my brain. I had been sipping through a straw incorrectly for over 20 years.

The discovery happened when I was sitting in the lobby of our office building late last Friday. My friend Mike was on his way out the front door and in passing he mysteriously asked, “Elie, do you know how to use a soda can properly?”

“I’m a grown man,” I thought to myself, of course I know how to use a soda can. I have great parents, they taught me to tie my shoes, boil an egg, and of course, drink a soda can — but I decided to oblige him, “No…how do you use a soda can?”

He proceeded to look at me with a smirk, and calmly explained, “You know that pop tab? After you crack open your soda, spin it around over the open hole, it’s meant to hold your straw in place.

Just as quickly as he’d entered my life that moment and enlightened my soda-drinking existence, he exited with a smug one liner, “Sip on that buddy.”

And so I did, and thanks to Mike, I’ll never accidentally get a straw up my nostril while sipping soda through a straw again.

Elie is a product of Orange County, CA. In early 2012, his dentist diagnosed him with 8 different cavities, three of which on the same tooth, as a result of his 23-year Sour Patch Kid addiction.

  • Con Alex

    Been doing this since early 90′s

  • ZingVoo

    I dont drink soda, that stuff is bad for you!

    • Anonymous

      I don’t stupidly think that any one food is inherently bad for you in moderation and with a proper exercise regimen.

      • Anonymous

        There’s not one redeeming quality in soda, so yes, it’s bad for you. Just because you can have one or two a day and still be thin doesn’t mean it’s “healthy.”

        • snooze

          May not be healthy, neither is crème brulee or tiramisu. In moderation, a soda is an acceptable treat. Moderation being the key word.

  • Anonymous

    Is there anyone that didn’t know this? What with about 500 other websites pointing this out over the last 15 years.

  • Anonymous

    If you are older than 7 and stil using a straw to drink soda out of a can, then yes…you are doing it wrong.

    • Anonymous

      If you don’t have a glass nearby, there’s no way that you can trust the cleanliness of our friendly NYC bodegas. So yeah, a wrapped straw is ideal.

      • Josh Eacret

        except that once you open the can, you submerge the tab that was previously on the top of the can INTO THE SODA.

        • Reptilian

          And that is why I always wipe the top of the soda can before opening it to drink.

          • Joseph Slabaugh

            If you must drink sodas, there are also other options, like, for example, 20 oz bottles, or glass bottles. I actually mostly drink water, root beer, and sometimes Mt Dew. But cans are not that good for you anyway, being in aluminum, but I am also not so sure about plastics. That is why I prefer glass.

    • Dan Bridgeland

      straws help help keep the soda from touch you teeth, which the acid destroys. The reason to use a straw.

      • David Goehring

        Do you eat your food through a straw? It’s ok for food (and sugars) to touch teeth. There are any number of after-eating (or after-drinking) teeth-protecting options.

        The waste of plastic (which, in turn, can’t be recycled) makes the choice to use a straw really senseless.

        • Ronson Wagner

          You could use a washable plastic straw or perhaps one of those metal straws they sell at Maverik gas stations…. or a crazy straw ;)

        • Julianne

          But soda has been shown to have averse effects on tooth enamel. The high concentration of sugar, acids and carbonation eats away at the enamel, and once your enamel is worn down, it doesn’t replace itself… there are reusable straws.

          • Guest

            Or one could just not drink soda.

          • ‘Chez Rose

            I asked my dentist if drinking 2 x 2litre bottles of full fat coke a day will damage my teeth and he said NO, as the coke doesn’t actually stay in contact with your teeth long enough to damage them. when ever you see those teeth left in soda until the tooth erodes it actually takes quite sometime, I choose to believe a dentist as my teeth have no issues

    • Anonymous

      I have sensitive teeth. I drink all cold beverages through a straw to avoid the searing pain.
      Way to be judgy.

  • Joe Huang

    The best way using straw that can avoid warm or virus form worms.
    It’s trues occur in Taiwan.To dead by virus that on her bottle mouth.

    • WHAT?

      To dead by virus that on her bottle mouth.

    • Herro.

      I really wish I knew what that meant.

    • Chrissy

      He is sayin that in Taiwan it is safer to drink with a straw because they can get worms and viruses from sipping on the mouth of the bottle. I best Google translate, oh ya :) ))

  • Bruce Hunter

    Real men don’t drink with a straw.

  • Decoy

    Yeah… That one wasn’t necessary… Obvious. Plus, that’s not the reason why pop tabs are shaped like that. Nice try champ.

  • 李倫

    i wanna try it tmr.

  • goatboyy

    i like to use an anodized aluminum straw it cost me like 20 bucks but i never have to throw it away. i carry it around on top of my ear like a pencil.

    • Reptilian

      I tie it to my platinum necklace as a pendant.

  • Caity

    Holy shit, you guys are morons. Some people use straws, some people don’t. A straw is just a straw, and the use or lack of use of one does not define your maturity level.

    • Golden Bear

      This is false. Using a straw to ‘sip’ your soda is for the gays and for women who don’t want to smear their lipstick.

      • Joseph Slabaugh

        Nope, I am not gay, and last time I checked I was a male.

        Speaking of “gays”, your name suggests you are gay, maybe still in the closet.

        They give you straws like this in some hospitals I been in, to patients that need some liquids while laying in the hospital bed, but are well enough to drink instead of just having it fed to them. I could see plenty of situations where a man would use a straw.

        But in the end, I would suggest that everyone try to cut down on sugary sweets, and if you want to drink, use water, or ginger ale, or some other healthy drink.

  • Danny Sauer

    Of course that other hole isn’t added in to create a perpendicular surface which adds strength to the can, minimized material consumed, and provides a gripping area. It’s clearly added to hold a straw in place, which is why every commercial ever made by every single company who sells a canned beverage shows people consuming the beverage *without a straw*.

  • Jon Barnes

    Actually I have two things about straws & soda cans. First off, utilizing a straw to drink from a can is not about sugar on your teeth, touching your teeth to the metal, or ANYTHING having to do with teeth. It is to avoid the dirt & other sundry crud, that exists on the outside of unwashed cans. They may be clean when they leave the bottler, but after weeks, sometimes months, being in trucks, warehouses, back rooms, loading docks, and in the case of street vendors, street gutters, they tend to amass a ton of nasti little germy things.
    The other thing, I noticed the author poked the straw through the centre of the tab. That is not how you do it. With many vendorsrestaurants looking to cut costs, they are going for skinnier straws, which if poked through the hole in the tab, will do the exact same thing as if you had not spun the tab around in the first place.
    How you use the tab is to put the straw in the opening of the can, THEN spin the tab around to trap it into place between the tab & the side of the ‘drinking hole’. That way the tab holds the straw securely by pinching it against the hole.

  • Anna

    the fact that you all are holding a real conversation about this… and calling people dumb. wow.

  • Anonymous

    I have been doing this for years. It was more of a common sense thing.
    except i don’t do it like that. I just pull the tab all the way over and skip the step of turning it around. the straw still fits through. it also keeps the straw at an angle that makes it easier to sip from.
    people stare at me in amazement when i do this.

  • James

    First, the correct way to consume soda is: self hypnosis. Obviate the sugar, the aluminum, and the straw, leaving only the glass and the water. Secondly, this is not the “correct” way, it’s an unintended- but effective- way to manage a straw, which was never intended to be used with a can.

  • Kyle Kleinstuber

    How do one fumble around with a straw? It’s not that hard…

  • Anonymous

    Canned soda is already gross, but the texture of a canned soda makes it even worse. I haven’t had a canned soda in a loooong time, but it’s been over a decade since I’ve used a straw to drink it. Ew.

  • Anonymous

    You funny – did you think they made that extra hole in the tab to save on metal?

    • Anonymous

      Actually, yes. Or did you actually think that the same tabs on beer cans were straw-holders?

  • DaliSaysFU

    So, all you immature fucks who are saying straws are for kids, gays, what the fuck ever you say they’re for, are kind of illiterately retarded, So, you’re telling me, that when you go to Mcdonalds, or a gas station to get a polar pop or some shit with a straw, you don’t drink out of it cause you’re either gay, or under the age of seven? NO. Who gives a fuck if someone drinks out of a straw, they do whatever they please. You’re all stupid, i think. Now im going to get back to drinking my code red with a straw, cause of my sensitive teeth yo’.

  • Anonymous

    Beer cans have the same tabs with the same holes. They might hold a straw if you stick a straw in there, sure, but the holes exist to save metal and make your grip on the tab better.

  • Jamie Nicoletti

    you guys are morons… and that is my opinion.. and all the comments u made are just an opinion… which doesn’t necessarily make them true. the article here u just read is based on fact… (now thats not moronic) and its really not about the straw at all or who should or shouldnt drink out of it… its about the FACT that the companies actually make the stupid tab a certain way and that is to hold a straw in place… IF you choose to use one