How to Crush Cans Without A Can Crusher [4 Proven Methods]

Crushing soda, beer, and any other beverage cans is easy and fast when you’re armed with the can crusher.

This handy device quickly reduces the cans into smaller sizes to save space in your recycling bin. Some models can even crush as many as 10 cans at a go—saving you plenty of time when you have many cans to smash!

But what happens if you don’t need to invest in a new can crusher? Or do you need to flatten cans but don’t have your crusher within reach?

Well, the good news is you can still smash those cans without the can-crushing device.

4 Ways of crushing cans without can crusher

Here are the four most effective methods of smashing those soda or beer cans at home. These methods don’t require you to spend any money and are pretty easy to do for anyone.

1. Use your hands

Using your bare hands is one of the simplest methods of smashing soda or beer cans without using the crushing device.

This might even turn out to be a fun way to pass the time or impress your friends at your next bbq!

This easy way to crush cans works because aluminum cans aren’t rigid and can be crushed with a little force from your hands. You don’t need any additional tools—just your bare hands!

HOWEVER, you should keep in mind that this method can be fun and dangerous at the same time.

Some cans might crush into shanks that end up cutting your hands. To avoid this, we advise you to put on cut-resistant gloves.

You also want to empty your cans completely to avoid making a stank or even a mess on your hands with leftover beer or soda.

This is how you go about it:

Step 1. Hold the can so that its ends rest in your hands.

Step 2. Use your thumbs to put pressure in the middle of the can. This should flatten it along the center.

Step 3. Now use your fingers and palms to compress on both ends.

You should end up with a completely flattened that helps you save space in your recycling bin.

Watch the video below on how to crush cans with your hands.


A slightly different method for crushing cans with your hands would be two hold it in your hands and then twist it along the middle.

Once the can’s body gets twisted, use your palms to put pressure on both ends of the can to crush to turn it into a compact size.

This video demonstrates how you crush cans without a can crusher with this process:

2. Crush it with your foot

This is another can-crushing technique that doesn’t involve any tools. You just need to apply the weight of your foot on the cans, and they transform into smaller sizes to save space in your recycle bin.

Needless to say, you ought to put on tough shoes with tough soles so that you don’t end up with cuts on your feet.

How to do it:

Step 1. Start by emptying the cans to avoid making a stank of leftover beer or even making a mess on your shoes.

Step 2. Next, place the can on the floor on an even surface to stay stable.

Step 3. Lift your foot about one foot high and use all your weight to bring down and crush the can.

Note that you can use your left or right foot, whichever you feel comfortable working with.

TIP: You may consider lining many (2-4 or more) cans and crush them with your foot simultaneously. This saves you time when you have many cans to work on.

3. The scientific method (using air pressure)

Using air pressure is also a fun and highly effective method to crush your cans.

We call it the scientific method because it’s based on the principle of equilibrium (we’ll explain how this works later on).

But first, let’s see how you smash those cans with air pressure.

Things you’ll need:

  • Empty aluminum can
  • A pair of metallic tongs
  • A bowl (fill it with ice water)
  • Stove burner

IMPORTANT: Adult supervision might be required here since it involves hot surfaces. For adults, this is the easiest way of crushing cans without a can crusher.

Steps to follow:

Step 1. Fill the aluminum can to be crushed with a small amount of water. This should just be enough water to cover the bottom of the can (about a teaspoon).

Step 2. Place the can directly on the stove burner while in the “OFF” state. The adult should then turn on the burner to start heating the water.

Let the water roll boil such that you can hear the bubbling sound as it boils. You should now see steam coming out of the can. Let it boil for one more minute.

Step 2. With your gloves on, use your metal tongs to grab the bottom of the hot can and lift it off the burner; turn it upside down into the container filled with ice water.

Make sure the mouth of the can gets completely submerged in the water.

You need to conduct this step as swift as possible. So, make sure you get a good hold of the can with your tongs, turn it upside down, and submerge it in the cold water in quick succession.

Step 3. When you turn the can upside down, it should implode within seconds. And you’re done! You can go ahead and crush more cans by repeating the above simple steps.

Using air pressure to crush cans

Below, we will explain the magic behind the can crushing in seconds when you submerge it in cold water. This is the easiest way of crushing cans without a can crusher.

The can be crushed is originally filled with water and air before you start boiling it.

When you eventually place the can on the burner, the small amount of water inside changes from liquid to gas (this is the steam you see coming out of the can).

This steam is responsible for pushing out all the air that filled your can initially into the atmosphere.

Now, when you turn your can upside down into a bowl filled with cold water, its mouth forms a 100% airtight seal against the surface of the water inside the bowl.

And in a split second, all the water vapor that filled the can change back to the liquid state, which occupies much less space than the steam.

This small amount of water inside the can can’t exert much pressure on the inside walls of your can (and the air in the atmosphere can’t enter the can).

Thus, the air pressure inside becomes less than the air pressure acting on the can wall from outside.

As such, there’s no state of balance (equilibrium) between the pressure inside and outside the can. The outside pressure is greater and more powerful and ends up crushing the can!

4. Crush it on your head

Want to look beastly and cool in front of your friends? If yes, how about you try crushing those cans with your forehead?

Well, this sounds a bit scary, right?

Nonetheless, it’s highly doable provided you are careful and follow the correct steps.

Steps to follow:

Step 1. Place the can in your hand so that the mouth of the can is in contact with the palm. You don’t wanna smash this end against your head and hurt your head in the process.

Step 2. Now put your fingers around the can so that your fingertips point into its sides.

Step 3. Raise the can to your head level. Loudly count to three and hit your forehead with the can. And be sure to push in its sides with your fingers simultaneously. This helps add extra force to completely flatten the can.

Final Thoughts

That’s how you crush cans without a can crusher! As you can see, these alternative ways of doing it don’t require you to use any special tools or invest in any additional supplies.

The only technique that requires you to use several supplies is the air pressure technique. But the good thing is that everything you need is readily available in your kitchen.

Using your bare hands or foot is also an effective way to crush cans. You may want to focus more on the first three methods and only use the head technique to impress your friends. Which of these methods would you like to try first?

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