—Donna Boyle Schwartz
Sugary drinks aren’t allowed in some households these days, but even the most health-conscious of folks can find a few reasons to keep a can of Coke around the house. Did you know Coke can help you do the dishes? How about cleaning your laundry with cola? Would you try Coke to clean your car battery? These are only a few alternative uses for Coca-Cola. If you need more excuses to stock this classic soda in your home, read on!
1. Pest Control
A small bowl of Coke will attract slugs and snails, and then the acid in the Coke will kill them. A cup of Coke also can be used to lure wasps, which then drown in the liquid. You can even get rid of an anthill by liberally dousing the area with Coke.
2. Car Care
Coke can be used to clean car battery terminals; the slight acidity does not react with battery acid, so you can pour it over the battery and let it wash away corrosion. Coke can also be used to defrost a frozen windshield, and a liberal amount of cola poured over the windshield and bumper can help remove bugs and road debris (always rinse with clean water to avoid damaging the car’s paint job).
Related: How To: Avoid Frost on Windows
3. Boost Beneficial Bacteria
Coke can help improve your compost pile. Add one can of soda each week to your compost; the sugar in the cola feeds beneficial microorganisms, and the cola increases the acidity of the pile, helping material decay faster.
4. A “Fizzy” for Your Toilet Bowl
Toilet bowls can get downright disgusting, filled with unsightly stains under the rims and around the bowl. Make an unpleasant cleaning chore easier by pouring a can of Coke right into the toilet. Let stand for an hour before scrubbing with a stiff brush. The carbonation will “fizz” through the toughest grime, leaving you with a sparkling clean bowl.
5. Rust Buster
Maybe you’ve heard that Coca-Cola is great at removing rust. The hype is true—the phosphoric acid in a can of Coke means that an overnight soak can help remove rust from metal with ease. Simply submerge the item in a tray of Coke, then scrub clean with a stiff brush in the morning.
Related: How To: Remove Rust
6. Grease Be Gone!
Maybe it’s time to give Coke a place in your laundry room. The soda makes an effective presoak treatment and stain remover for grease spots in your laundry. For best results, apply to fresh stains. If the spot discolors slightly when you pour on the Coke, that’s a sign it is working. Let the liquid sit for a few minutes, then launder as usual in the warmest water recommended for the garment.
Related: 9 Smart Hacks for Laundry Day
7. Eliminate Oil Stains
When motor oil drips onto driveways and garage floors, it leaves an unsightly stain that’s tough to remove with ordinary cleansers. That’s where a little Coke comes in handy. Pour a liberal amount of cola over the stain, let it bubble and soak for an hour, then hose clean.
8. Copper Cleaner
Copper-bottomed pots are great for conducting heat, but the copper loses its luster with use. Restore that bright sheen by soaking the copper bottom in a pan filled with Coke for about an hour. The acid in the Coke makes the copper look shiny and new—without scrubbing. This cleaning trick works on plenty of other household copper accents as well.
Related: How To: Clean Copper
9. Burnt Offerings
If your oven grates and baking sheets have seen better days, you don’t have to toss them and buy new. Instead, try letting them soak overnight in a Coke bath. The chemicals in the cola will loosen all the burnt-on bits, allowing you to scrub away most of the blackened areas and save you from having to replace these costly items.
Related: How To: Clean Oven Racks