I have a circular saw meant for cutting metal, I have pliers, I even have a can opener, but I'm not certain others encountering this problem and looking it up on DDG/Google may have these. So, what's the solution to a commercial can of whipped cream being unable to empty on its own? Assume that I want the cream edible but don't care anymore that it won't be foamy.

EDIT: There is concern that this might not be safe. Ensure that your answer, therefore, is safe.

  • 22
    I’m voting to close this question because this is asking for how to do a fairly unsafe thing, which we should not provide advice for.
    – Joe M
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 0:41
  • 14
    @piojo Among other things? The fact that it might have pressure. Or that the method might create a very, very sharp edge. Or introduce metal filings into things, as the top answer states. The OP is asking for how to do something, that if you asked the producers of said can, they would 100% absolutely say "do not do this". I think we should concur. As a more general thing, we should specifically offer no advice whatsoever on things that could be dangerous, as they create a liability hazard for StackExchange as well as the person writing the answer.
    – Joe M
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 3:07
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    @JoeM Sounds as dangerous as every DIY activity. Everything I've done lately has had a risk (no matter how small) of getting burned, gluing my fingers, being cut, food poisoning... it doesn't make sense to fret over potential harm, only probable harm. And even then, helpful suggestions reduce risk rather than creating it. If this topic were closed, it would cease to be a resource on how to avoid the problems you mentioned. And I'm skeptical that anyone here lets corporate liability (rather than personal risk assessment) guide their actions.
    – piojo
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 3:13
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    We'll have to agree to disagree on this, then; I think there's a line of 'too dangerous to be here', and this is over it. It's also of nearly no value, as it's not something anyone should be doing in general.
    – Joe M
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 3:21
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    @JoeM: Rather than closing the question, it's better to post a "frame challenge" answer that explains the problem. After all, the question is perfectly valid and sensible, it just happens that we don't have a safe solution to offer. (It's not as if the OP were specifically asking for unsafe solutions.)
    – ruakh
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 4:37

9 Answers 9


Circular saw will fill it with metal filings - not great for the mouthfeel, I'd think.
Pliers aren't sharp enough to puncture.
Can opener will have no lip to grab.

Your first issue will be the container skidding out of your control - with potential for finger-loss & furniture damage. You're not going to easily find any implement you can squeeze slowly to make the first cut, you're going to have to hit it with something sharp.
Your second will be how much gas is actually left in the container & what that results in.

Messy but possible, grip it in a vice & puncture with a hammer & fine wood chisel. Then use something like aluminium sheet cutters (they're like big, tough scissors) to finish cutting around the perimeter.


  1. Spray/spatter on your first puncture, assuming you can hit it hard enough to penetrate the top face without going straight through & pouring the rest on the floor.
  2. Sanitising the tools.

I'd just bin it.

  • Don't most whipped cream cans have a folded lip on the bottom?
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 23:00

This may be the solution you’re looking for

  1. Make sure the pressure has all been released
  2. Lay canister on the counter with a towel underneath (or something to help keep it from sliding around). Or, place upside down in a stable container that won’t break or slide.
  3. Use church key to puncture the bottom. (Additional leverage may be required)

whipped cream canister laying on counter

whipped cream canister upside down


Because this question intrigued me, I decided to follow up on it once I had an empty container to work with.

The “church key” can opener would probably work for someone with a bit more strength than me (I’m getting closer to little old lady muscles daily), but I was able to get a nice divot.

can bottom with divot can bottom 2

You can see from the photos above that I was able to remove the bottom of the canister. It took several revolutions around with a can opener, each one cutting a little deeper.

opening canister opened canister

Before beginning, I did make sure there was no pressure left in the container.

At no time did this process feel unsafe.

  • 16
    "stable container that won’t break or slide" ...I love how the example picture appears to show neither. Personally, I think I'd go with wrapped in a towel between my legs while sitting on a chair (assuming this doesn't require so much force I'm worried about hurting myself if the pointy tool slips). Although if you've got a vice handy, that would be better.
    – Matthew
    Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 0:56
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    @Matthew - Debbie M, was good enough to show her solution with a fine photo. It is only fair that you take a photo showing yours, with a whipped cream container protruding from between your clenched thighs, towel at the ready.
    – Willk
    Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 1:06
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    Here you go. Alas, I have neither whipped cream nor that type of can opener, so you'll have to use a little imagination. (And I used a blanket rather than a towel, because a) it was handy, and b) I wasn't actually going to open something, so the ability to easily wash a towel was not relevant.) You can't really tell because of the blanket, but I assure you, that's between my legs. Oh, and if you have somewhere besides parts of your body you can wedge it, by all means, do so. BTW, wash the bottom of the can first!
    – Matthew
    Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 1:27
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    @Willk, to be clear, I think the textual answer is reasonable. I was just noting that said text says to use "a stable container that won’t break or slide", while the picture shows what appears to be a glass container (breakable) on a tile counter (slippery) in an arrangement that looks top-heavy (not stable). Heck, if the container is sufficiently empty, just set it down horizontally on a towel (a silicone baking mat would be better if you have one) on a counter braced against the backsplash. Maybe try to puncture the side rather than the bottom, also.
    – Matthew
    Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 1:35
  • 7
    "church key" means an old style bottle-cap opener. Another option would be an old style can opener where the finger-tip is sharpened, to puncture the can. Personally I'd turn it 180 degrees and puncture the side wall not the bottom. Then use either some stout scissors or a nibbler tool to cut all the way around. This leaves a mostly smoothish edge to pour/scrape the cream out over.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 4:26

Because your goals are not entirely clear, I'll assume that you are approaching this from an angle of waste reduction. Likely, you have run out of N2O on several occasions and you want to use it all up.

I think your best bet is to stop buying cans of whipped cream and start buying cartons of heavy whipping cream. It's cheaper, requires no N2O to whip up, and there is just a carton of waste when you are done instead of a can and whatever cream is trapped inside. Whipping up your own cream only requires a small amount of extra work, but you can sweeten and flavor it to your own taste!

  • The really sad thing is that I've already thrown away the singular can that sparked this question and started eating from the second that I got BOGO. I just wanted to know what coconut whipped cream tastes like, I got to taste a miniscule amount before I could no more, and then figured others might benefit from my question. Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 23:14
  • Heavy cream can be whipped to foamy consistency with just a mini egg beater by hand.
    – paulj
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 15:53

Place in the fridge with something holding the top down. Leave for 15 minutes. As it cools, it will suck in air. Remove from fridge and wait until it warms up. A small quantity will be released. Repeat until all is purged.

  • 2
    I imagine that with some electric tape and a bicycle pump, one could re-pressurize the can sufficiently to get the rest out.
    – user73902
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 23:33

Ensure your are alone because the following would not be considered good manners.

Just like some baby bottles, suck cream from can, can above mouth. Move valve to side to open. After some cream comes out, let some air go back into can. This will give you about 5 g of cream every cycle, which is enough to go with a bite of food that tastes good combined with cream.

Another option similar to Debbie M's answer, you could use a screwdriver and a hammer to poke a hole in the side, near the bottom.


I haven’t tried it but a tool for cutting metal tubes could work. Unlike a saw it doesn’t create particles and the cutting surface is pretty clean and smooth. They are commonly available up to 35mm diameter, not sure if this is sufficient for a whipped cream can. image of metal tube cutting tool

  • 1
    Some of the newer can openers that cut the side of the bead work similarly, and because of where they're cutting, there's less chance of contaminating the food. (they don't pierce all the way into the vessel, just the folded over bit). If you have one, and it'll grab onto the bottom edge of the whipped cream can, I'd give that a try. (although, I'd also make sure that I've vented it well before starting).
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 14:58
  • I'd be surprised if a food can's walls would be tough enough to stand up to a pipe cutter; there's a lot of force goes into that method & I'd expect a thin-walled can to just fold in too far for the cutter to cut.. I don't have one big enough to test, mine does copper pipes up to 22mm, same as yours.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 17:08
  • @Tetsujin: That could be a problem but I imagine if you cut at the top or bottom of the can and start with very little force it should work.
    – Michael
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 17:54
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    The physics just doesn't work on a thin-walled structure. You can get pipe cutters of that type up to 45mm - still way too small for a can - but they rely on being able to apply considerable force with a relatively blunt cutting wheel. the design in your picture is also set to apply just enough more force as you turn it; one revolution of the cutter applies one revolution to the jaw adjustment. Basically, it would just crush a can until the cutter no longer made any difference & you'd just be squeezing. (I come from a family of plumbers;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 18:01
  • 1
    They're thicker than coke/beer cans, more like a strong soup can, but much much thinner than pipes.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 18:17

The valve is plastic. You can puncture it by hammering a nail through there. A long enough nail will dislodge the internal straw, and allow cream to dribble out. The church key method looks good, if they still make the cans that way.


If you want the cream, and don't care if it's whipped via nitrous, I'd say you should by a mall carton of heavy cream at the nearest grocery store.

If you have a hand or stand mixer and some sugar, you can even whip it if you want.

Cost/benefit/effort/danger analysis really says don't bother trying to crack open that can.


Try grinding the bottom lid off with an 10" file. It will take about 10 minutes of filing and the lid will come off in one neat piece along with a ring of metal that remains from what used to be the lip. Or you could grind the bottom lid off by rubbing the can's bottom on the surface of a cement sidewalk like in the YouTube video "3 Awesome Ways To Open A Can Without A Can Opener"

  • 8
    Metal filings… not great to eat.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 17:05

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