A Bottle of Dry Shampoo Shot Off ‘Like a Missile’ in One Woman’s Car, Teaching Us a Valuable Lesson

Photo Credits: Christine Debrecht

A 19-year-old from Missouri learned a valuable lesson about what not to store in her center console after a bottle of dry shampoo shot off “like a missile,” blowing a hole through her car’s sunroof Wednesday.

As her mother, Christine Debrecht, told TODAY, the family first thought someone had thrown a brick through the sunroof. “We thought it came from above,” said Debrecht. Then, her daughter noticed the white powder all over the interior of the car.

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The dry shampoo in question was Equate, Walmart’s generic line of products. Among the rubble was a Dove dry shampoo that didn’t explode. The main difference between the two, according to David Constable, science director of the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute, is that the Equate version includes propane and butane in its ingredient list (the same chemicals used in lighters), he explained to TODAY. “You really shouldn’t leave cans under pressure in a hot car,” he adds.

In a Facebook post about the incident, Debrecht shared photos of the damage caused by the explosion and a frightful reminder to friends. “It was hot yesterday and the can exploded. It blew the console cover off of its hinges, shot through the sunroof, and went high enough in the air that it landed about 50 feet away,” she shared. “I just want to remind you (and your kids) to heed those warnings on products you may be using. Please don’t leave aerosol cans (and especially dry shampoo, as this seems to be an issue with some brands) in your car! I am so grateful that no one was hurt.”

Walmart told NBC News in a statement that the bottle “includes a specific warning, like most aerosol products, that it may explode if heated and not stored as directed.”