14 Strange Yet Practical Uses For Coca-Cola (That Don’t Involve Drinking It)

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After reading this list you may want to go grab a bottle of Coca-Cola from the store. And not for drinking—actually, you’ll want it for anything but drinking after this. After seeing all the things this fizzy drink is capable of, you’d be surprised Coca-Cola hasn’t started bottling their product and selling it on the shelves next to Windex. (Wait, can we coin that idea?)

What’s even more surprising, is that Coca-Cola wasn’t originally advertised as a beverage either.

As Part of Your Laundry Routine

If you don’t want to buy that super expensive stain remover then you have another option. You can get yourself some Coca-Cola and use it along with detergent to remove any stains. Just add a one 12-ounce can to your regular wash and let it run. The carbonic and phosphoric acid inside is the reason it can break up stains. Plus it will also deodorize your clothes.

It also works if you ever happen to get blood on your shirt, which hopefully is just as rare as you drinking a can of Coke.

To Get That Toilet Bowl Cleaner

There is an theory that a can of Coke can dissolve a penny over time, and while we don’t suggest trying as it would take years, what you can do in an hour is clean your toilet.

Simply pour the soda into the bowl and let it sit for at least an hour, then scrub it clean. Those acids we mentioned before will break down any toilet stains you may have (ya nasty), especially if you can leave it overnight.

To Get Sparkling Windows

A great alternative to buying something like Windex is to pour a can of Coke in a spray bottle and use it the same way you would another cleaning product. While we’re slightly skeptical—wouldn’t it be sticky?—various sites, like Reshareable, claim that the drink’s citric acid makes it perform much in the same way that other citric-based glass cleaners do.

To Kill Some Bugs

It probably could kill a slew of other things—like humans, slowly—but we know it kills lots of nasty insects with way too many legs due to the carbonation. It essentially suffocates them. Since water is not carbonated, an insect may drown, but if it escapes, it would otherwise survive.

Any carbonated beverage will do, but since Coke has so much sugar, it attracts bugs which is why people tend to use it.

To Have the Shiniest Hair Ever

Writer Elizabeth Denton brought this experimental cola-washing idea to her coworkers over at Seventeen and they all tried the ingredient that actress Suki Waterhouse claims is responsible for making her hair look so good.

The reason it tends to work on most people is because, according to Denton, “Apparently, Coca-Cola contains phosphoric acid, a very low pH. So when you apply it to your hair, the cuticle tightens, which makes your strands look smoother and your curls look more defined. Others say the sugar adds build-up to your hair, making it look fuller.”

Denton and her coworkers’ results were mostly positive, but no one really wanted to keep a bottle of Coke in their shower. Can’t say we blame them.

To Get Gum Out of Your Hair

Hopefully getting gum in your hair hasn’t happened to you since you were a kid, but nonetheless, it’s a good thing to know. If you find yourself with some Big League Chew or Bubble Tape in your hair then, first of all, good for you for chewing some great gum, but secondly, you need to act fast.

Seattle Gum-Alley wall
Taylor Rooney on Unsplash

Take some Coke and simply let your hair soak in the soda for a few minutes. If it’s not long enough to soak, then pour the soda over the gum slowly. The soda will help break down the gum making it easier to pick out and pull apart.

To Take the Sting Out of…Stings

Getting stung by a wasp is incredibly painful. How can anyone ever forget the ending to My Girl (even if those were bees)? If you find yourself stung by a bee, then Coke won’t help you much, but if you’re stung by a wasp, it will.

Pharmacist Dave Harcombe explained why to the Daily Express: “Cola contains phosphoric acid, which counters an alkaline wasp sting whereas bee stings are acidic and have no effect.”

To Remove Rust

If Coke can dissolve a penny or a tooth, then it seems like there isn’t much it can’t do. Well, one more thing to add to the list is rust removal.

If you have a rusty tool then you’ll want to submerge it in Coke and let it sit for a few hours. The rust will corrode due to the phosphoric acid in the soda and then you can scrape it off. The tool should be as good as new.

It’s hard to believe that soda pop can remove stubborn rust.

To Put an End to Slick Sidewalks

This will come in handy for all those icy winter mornings, whether the ice is plaguing your sidewalk or your car’s windshield. The acid in the soda helps to melt away the ice making it easier to remove and scrape away.

But like Asha Dornfest points out on her website Parent Hacks, you’ll definitely want to get a car wash or follow up with some water since the acid can’t be good for the car’s paint, plus it will be a little sticky. Still though, great for an easy fix, especially if you’re in a hurry.

Still though, great for an easy fix, especially if you’re in a hurry.

To Get a Couple Screws Loose

Have you ever had to change your license plate after several years and come to find that the bolts are basically one with the car now? Well, if you have some Coke and a rag, douse the rag in the soda and let it sit on the bolts for an hour or so. If you don’t have an hour (who does?), keep pouring Coke on them. Eventually they will loosen, just like the rust holding them in place.

To Remove Oil Stains From the Floor

Oil stains on cement or concrete can be incredibly difficult to remove. Pour the Coke on them and let it sit for a few hours then wipe it up with some dish soap and a rag. A little elbow grease never hurt anyone.

To Get a Clean Spot of Tea

If your kettle or teapot is stained from liquids on the inside then all you have to do is fill it up with Coca-Cola before you go to bed one night. The next morning, rinse it out and scrub it. The Coke will loosen all the stained particles, making it easier to clean.

To Clean Scorched Pans

If you have burn marks or stains on your pots and pans, pour in a can of cola and heat it up on high until it almost boils. Then remove from heat and scrub clean.

To Even Fix Your Car Battery

This really makes us just want to have some emergency cola around, especially if you’re somewhere stranded and your car won’t start. Of course, car troubles can be caused by a number of things, but one major cause of cars not starting up is due to a dirty battery.

Maxwell Barna explained for Thrillist: “When a car won’t start without any low-battery warnings or cold weather, there’s a good chance you have a dirty battery terminal. The acidity of Coca-Cola is just enough to clean the oxidized terminals and give your ride the juice it needs to get you where you’re going. It won’t bring a battery back from the dead, but it may save you an expensive trip to the parts store.” It won’t bring a battery back from the dead, but it may save you an expensive trip to the parts store.”

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