Are you wondering how many milliliters (ml) are in a can? Whether you’re cooking or baking, or just trying to measure out a serving of your favorite beverage, knowing the volume of a can can be incredibly helpful.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: It depends on the size of the can.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the different sizes of cans and how many milliliters they contain. We’ll also discuss the history of cans, their uses, and some fun facts about these ubiquitous containers.

So, let’s get started and find out how many milliliters are in a can!

The History of Cans

The history of canned food dates back to the early 19th century, when a French inventor named Nicolas Appert developed a method for preserving food in sealed glass jars. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that canning became widespread, thanks to the development of tinplate steel cans.

Early Can Designs

Early can designs were quite primitive compared to modern cans. They were made of heavy iron or steel and were sealed with lead. This made them difficult to open and somewhat dangerous to use. However, they were still a major advancement in food preservation technology and were quickly adopted by the military and navy.

  • In 1810, British merchant Peter Durand patented the first tin can, which was made of iron and coated with tin.
  • In 1813, American inventor Ezra Daggett and his cousin Thomas Kensett patented a similar design made entirely of tin.
  • By the 1820s, canned food had become a staple of military rations and was also being used by explorers and settlers heading westward in the United States.

The Introduction of the Modern Can

In the mid-1800s, advancements in can technology led to the development of the modern can. These cans were made of thinner, lighter steel and were sealed with solder instead of lead. This made them easier to open and safer to use.

  • In 1858, American inventor Ezra Warner patented a can opener that was specifically designed to open modern cans.
  • In 1866, American can manufacturer H.V. Colton patented a design for a seamless can, which eliminated the need for a side seam and made cans even easier to open.
  • By the turn of the 20th century, canned food had become a staple of the American diet and was being produced and consumed on a massive scale.

Advancements in Can Technology

Since the introduction of the modern can, there have been many advancements in can technology. These include:

Year Advancement
1901 Introduction of the first can opener that cuts along the top of the can, rather than the side
1935 Introduction of the cone-top can, which was easier to stack and store than earlier designs
1959 Introduction of the aluminum can, which was lighter and cheaper than steel cans
1963 Introduction of the pull-tab can, which eliminated the need for a separate can opener
1975 Introduction of the stay-on-tab can, which reduced litter and injuries caused by detached pull-tabs

Today, cans are a ubiquitous part of modern life and are used to package a wide variety of foods and beverages. They are convenient, safe, and efficient, making them an essential part of the modern food industry.

Standard Can Sizes and Volumes

When it comes to canned beverages, understanding the standard can sizes and volumes is crucial for both consumers and manufacturers. Here is a comprehensive guide to the most common can sizes and their corresponding volumes:

  • 12 oz Can: This is the most common can size for soda and beer. It contains 355 ml (milliliters) of liquid, which is equivalent to approximately 1.5 cups or 12 fluid ounces.
  • 16 oz Can: This can size is often used for energy drinks and some craft beers. It contains 473 ml of liquid, which is equivalent to approximately 2 cups or 16 fluid ounces.
  • 24 oz Can: This can size is commonly used for malt liquor and some flavored alcoholic beverages. It contains 710 ml of liquid, which is equivalent to approximately 3 cups or 24 fluid ounces.
  • 32 oz Can: This can size is typically used for juices and some sports drinks. It contains 946 ml of liquid, which is equivalent to approximately 4 cups or 32 fluid ounces.
  • Other Can Sizes: While the above can sizes are the most common, there are also other sizes available on the market. For example, some energy drinks come in 8 oz cans, while some craft beers come in 19.2 oz cans. It is important to check the label for the can size and corresponding volume.

It is worth noting that the above volumes are approximate, as there may be slight variations in the amount of liquid each can can hold. Additionally, it is important to check the label for the specific volume of the beverage you are consuming, as the volume may differ from the can size due to factors such as carbonation and foam.

For more information on can sizes and volumes, you can visit the Crown Holdings website.

Uses for Cans

Cans are versatile containers that have several uses in different industries and settings. They come in various shapes and sizes and can be made of different materials such as aluminum, steel, or tinplate. Here are some of the most common uses for cans:

  • Food and Beverage Storage: Cans are widely used for storing food and beverages because they are airtight, lightweight, and durable. They can keep the contents fresh and safe from contamination for an extended period. Canned foods and drinks are convenient for consumers because they are easy to transport, store, and open. They are also used for emergency food supplies, camping, and outdoor activities.
  • Packaging for Industrial and Consumer Goods: Cans are also popular packaging solutions for industrial and consumer goods such as chemicals, paints, oils, and aerosols. They protect the contents from moisture, light, and air, and can be easily labeled and shipped. Cans are also recyclable and eco-friendly, making them a sustainable choice for businesses and consumers alike.
  • Artistic and Decorative Purposes: Cans can also be used for artistic and decorative purposes. They can be painted, decorated, and repurposed into various objects such as planters, vases, lamps, and storage containers. Upcycling cans is a creative way to reduce waste and give them a new life.

Whether you are in the food and beverage industry, manufacturing, or art and design, cans are a versatile and reliable container that can meet your needs.

Fun Facts about Cans

  • Cans are Recyclable
  • The First Can Opener Was Invented in 1858
  • Cans Have Been Used in Space

Cans are one of the most commonly used containers for food and drinks. They are made of aluminum, tinplate, or other types of metals that can preserve food for a long time. Cans are not only convenient for consumers but also eco-friendly because they are recyclable. In fact, according to Can Central, the recycling rate for cans in the U.S. is over 50%, which means more than half of the cans are recycled and reused.

The first can opener was invented in 1858 by Ezra J. Warner, which revolutionized the way people opened cans. Before that, people used knives or hammers to open cans, which was not only dangerous but also time-consuming. With the invention of can openers, people could easily open cans and access the food inside.

Can Size Volume (ml)
Standard Soda Can 355 ml
Standard Beer Can 355 ml
Standard Soup Can 400 ml
Standard Vegetable Can 400 ml

Cans have also been used in space to preserve food for astronauts. According to NASA, the first canned food was brought to space in 1961 by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Since then, cans have been used in various space missions to provide astronauts with nutritious and easy-to-store food.


In conclusion, cans are incredibly useful containers that come in a variety of sizes and volumes. Whether you’re using them for food storage, as packaging for consumer goods, or for artistic purposes, understanding the volume of a can can be incredibly helpful.

We hope this comprehensive guide has helped answer your question about how many milliliters are in a can. If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!

Thank you for reading!

Similar Posts