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How to Unclog a Whipped Cream Can: Quick Tips

A convenient can of whipped cream transforms a hot chocolate into a decadent dessert, a cupcake into a rich pudding, and a simple fruit salad into a luscious snack. But you know what’s not so convenient? When the nozzle clogs up with dried cream and hampers your efforts to create a stunning rosette of dairy goodness on your mocha latte. Eliminate this annoying problem with this genius tip: unclog your can by running it under hot water and you’ll never have to deal with runny cream squirting off in odd directions again.

But why does the cream get stuck inside the nozzle anyway? The dairy inside a can of whipped cream expands when it’s released because of the presence of a propellant called nitrous oxide. While the nitrous oxide is inside the canister and under pressure, it dissolves into fat. However, once this pressure is released it gets bigger and turns the cream into a light foam. This expansion occurs as soon as it exits the container, filling the nozzle with an abundance of cream. The problem is that it’s tricky to access the cream inside the fluted design of the nozzle because of its shape and size –- there’s always a little left inside, which dries up over time and hardens, especially when the can is placed in the cold environment of a fridge.

Warm water melts the fat in the whipped cream and unclogs the tip

Whipped cream on mug of coffee

Whipping cream contains over 35% fat, which cleverly traps the air bubbles created by the nitrous oxide on expulsion from the can, causing it to increase its volume. Fortunately, warm water melts the fat in the cream, triggering its whipped structure to slacken and wash away in the sink (this is also why it’s important to keep cream cold when whipping it into lusciously soft peaks). All you need to do is hold the tip of the can under the faucet until any bits of dried cream loosen from the sides of the nozzle. Hold it under there a little longer for any stubborn residues.

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Another useful tip? Always shake your can of whipped cream before use. This will ensure that the contents of the can (cream, sugar, and stabilizers) are mixed well, creating a sumptuously fluffy squirt of the good stuff. Hold your can horizontally and rinse the nozzle under a hot faucet to remove any cream accumulated at the tip before you return it to the fridge. This way your whipped cream will be free from blockages and ready to go the next time you want to use it. If you want to make your own instant whipped cream to top drinks and desserts without relying on store-bought options, try using a whipped cream canister. 

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