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50 Things You Had No Idea You Could Do with Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola can be awfully refreshing, but so can some of the ingenious uses for the caramel-colored favorite.

10 Soda Secrets Coca-Cola Isn’t Telling You

Dentists hate it, polar bears love it

We’re not saying it’ll do anything for the plaque on your incisors, but it’ll definitely do a number on your porcelain-tile grout, or a bloodstain. A more versatile soft drink than you might initially expect, we’ve gathered 50 criteria in which Coca-Cola excels—51 if you count being delicious.

Detail of clean white toilet bowl on black background.

Clean a toilet bowl

The picture has circulated around the Internet for some time and it turns out Coca-Cola can clean rust spots on your toilet. The slight acidity of Coca-Cola can remove stains of all kinds.

BBQ sauce in vintage measuring spoon
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Make a barbecue sauce

A little Coca-Cola can add just the right flavor to a barbecue sauce. It’s a popular ingredient to use for a barbecue sauce and make grilling a little more refreshing. Find a recipe at Instructables.

Coca-cola bottles
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Fertilize plants

Some plants love the delicious taste of that caramel-colored soft drink Coca-Cola,  like azaleas and bergenias. They like the light acidity of the drink in the soil. Here’s why the Coca-Cola logo is red.

Glass of milk for breakfast finished drinking
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Clean milk stains from clothes

It seems unusual that a dark cola could remove a milk stain but the claim exists. After letting the milk stain soak in Coca-Cola for around five minutes, just throw it in the wash. When you’re all done with that milk jug, repurpose that milk jug as a scoop or as a tool to collect stripped paint from furniture.

Glasses on the table
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Clean eyeglasses

Just pour some Coca-Cola over your lenses, wipe dry and repeat with water to get rid of any sticky residue. Find out more great ways to extend the life of your eyeglasses.

Coca cola on ice

Tenderize meat

Coca-Cola can do wonders in the kitchen, especially with meat. Its acidity can tenderize meat and work as one heck of a marinade.

Rusty bolt and nut of water heater pipe, Texture of rust with blur background.
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Loosen rusty bolts

The little amount of phosphoric acid a can of Coca-Cola contains can produce big results with rust. Let some Coca-Cola soak on a rusted bolt for a while and then try to remove it. Then find out whether Coke or Pepsi tastes better.

Skunk in Grass, Warm Colors
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Neutralize skunk odor

According to some, Coca-Cola has the power to remove the oils from a skunk spray. It seems a bit dubious but you’d better exhaust all options if you’re having trouble getting rid of the smell of a skunk.

jellyfish on the beach

Soothe a jellyfish sting

The exact healing capabilities of Coca-Cola on jellyfish stings remains a topic of debate but according to an Australian study from 1993, Coca-Cola reduced the pain and the reaction to a sting between 25 to 75 percent. Vinegar is a potential (if controversial) option, but who’s running around with vinegar in their bag at the beach?

Diet coke can
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Hair curler

Lady Gaga popularized the look of using Diet Coca-Cola cans as hair curlers in her “Telephone” video. The practicality remains debatable. Maybe if Ms. Gaga had read these 12 genius ways to tame frizzy hair first.

Coca-cola cans

Window cleaner

The Coca-Cola formula even extends into cleaning windows. The citric acid works like other cleaning products with citrus fruit to remove smudges and streaks from windows. Did you Mexican Coke tastes better than American Coke? Here’s why.

Orange Bug
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Bug control

Coca-Cola is great at bug control it turns out but for different reasons than you might think. The sweet syrup of Coca-Cola and other soft drinks attract ants, which feed on the larva of pests that plague crops. A 2004 article by BBC News said In 2004, farmers in India even turned to using soft drinks as pesticides because they were cheaper than pesticides.

Chewing Gum.
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Gum remover

Since Coca-Cola contains phosphoric acid, it neutralizes the stickiness of the gum. After soaking the affected hair in Coca-Cola for a few minutes, the gum should slide off. While you’re at it, also learn how to get gum out of clothes.

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IS MODE/Shutterstock

Color fader

The citric acid of Coca-Cola is believed to have the ability to lighten hair. The veracity of such claims is disputed but it hasn’t stopped people from trying.

Cast Iron Skillet
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Dish washer

Much like removing rust, Coca-Cola can clean up cast-iron skillets in a jiffy.

Frozen windshield wiper on car
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On those cold mornings when frost builds up on the windshield of your car, try jumpstarting the defrosting with a can of Coca-Cola. The acid will help remove the frost and get you on your morning commute. If you prefer Pepsi, find out the exact difference between Coke and its cola rival.

Compost Bin with Food Scraps and Grass Cuttings
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Compost invigorator

A sluggish compost pile can be energized with a shot of Coca-Cola. The citric acid will spur decomposition of organic material and attract the micro-organisms that help compost piles.

Old coins. Background.

Coin polisher

Coca-Cola can shine up any coin because of its slight acidity. Here’s what happens to your body an hour after you drink a can of cola.

Girl with brown curly hair in a striped T-shirt close-up

Curly hair

When Suki Waterhouse, a British supermodel who starred in Insurgent, revealed she washes her hair in Coca-Cola to US Weekly, it sent some scrambling for soda to get their hair to look fuller and tousled.

renovation furniture - removing blue painting with spatula

Paint remover

The chemical makeup of Coca-Cola makes it a viable option to remove paint as well from metal objects. Or if that fails, try soaking the piece of metal in hot water. Or, try the all-encompassing guide on how to remove every type of stain.

Oil stains on the floor
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Oil remover

The phosphoric acid in Coca-Cola proves tough on oil stains around the garage. Pour some room-temperature Coca-Cola over a stain, let it soak overnight and soak it up the next day by blotting the area.

A rag sullied by blood stains.

Bloodstain cleaner

Through the years people have claimed Coca-Cola can be used to clean up blood stains. Mythbusters tested cola on bloodstains and concluded it helped remove the stain.

Old cine-film. Film strip on a blur background. Sepia photo.

Sepia photo finishing

Coca-Cola can give you a vintage look to a number of items, including black and white photos with its caramel color. Dip a photo into Coca-Cola for a sepia color. Or, you can just try an apt Instagram filter?

Chocolate cake with chocolate granules and cholate stuffing, macro details and front angle

Coca-Cola cake

Coca-Cola isn’t a just a delicious drink, it can transform into a delicious treat you can eat. Countless recipes incorporate Coca-Cola but one in particular sounds extra tasty: Coca-Cola cake. This Coca-Cola cake grabbed our attention.

Red Lawn mower cutting grass

Lawn care

Coca-Cola combined with other unusual ingredients can help a lawn, according to Wise Bread. A can of cola, a can of beer and a ½ cup of liquid dishwashing soap, along with a ½ cup of household ammonia and a ½ cup of mouthwash will keep a lawn green. The soap helps the mix penetrate the roots and the ammonia promotes growth to keep a lawn green.

Asthma patient inhaling medication for treating shortness of breath and wheezing. Chronic disease control, allergy induced asthma remedy and chronic pulmonary disease concept.

Prevent an asthma attack

A Cochrane study found that caffeine can help open airways and relieve asthma symptoms. Caffeine is similar to theophylline, a drug that is used to treat asthma symptoms. Caffeine can improve lung functions up to four hours.

Psst! Here’s why canned and bottled soda taste different.

Side View Of A Woman Lying On Bed Having Stomach Pain

Help an upset stomach

There isn’t any scientific evidence to back up that Coca-Cola and other colas can help an upset stomach but people continue to swear by it as a remedy. Where Coca-Cola can help is with stomach blockage, according to researchers from the University of Athens. Colas have chemical ingredients similar to gastric acid, which helps digest fibers.

Boy covering mouth

Get rid of hiccups

Everyone has a cure for the hiccups and for every person there seems to be a special cure. Coca-Cola, when gargled, can cure the hiccups. Here are some other weird tips that can help stop the hiccups.

Cleaning tile wall by woman hand
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Clean tile grout

Coca-Cola’s magical cleaning powers extend into tile grout as well. Let the grout soak with Coca-Cola for a few minutes and then wipe it up.

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Body lotion

A spoonful of Coca-Cola with regular lotion can give skin a silky look.

Sink, taps and soap bar from above
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Remove stains from vitreous china

Like using Coca-Cola to clean a toilet bowl, the soft drink can be used on other vitreous china surfaces around the home like a sink.

Little Boy drawing on the Wall
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Remove marker stains

Coca-Cola will help remove permanent marker stains and pen marks. Soak the stain and scrub to remove it. Try out a stain marker if you have marks on your furniture. One of these household ink stain-removal solutions could come in handy too.

Laying on the beach
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Apply for a deep tan

People have used Coca-Cola and other soft drinks as a homemade tanning solution but it’s a seriously dangerous idea because it provides no protection from the sun. According to a 2017 Global News article, the trend started in 2006 when Peter Andre, an Australian entertainer, said he soaked himself in Coca-Cola before sunbathing. Ingredients like citric acid and lime juice can make skin more sensitive to sunlight. Check out these other, healthier ways to self-tan.

Sloppy Barbecue Beef Sandwich on a whole wheat bun
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Add to Sloppy Joe mix

A cup of Coca-Cola can spice up a sloppy Joe recipe. This recipe from The Cake Chica sounds delicious.

Christmas Smoked Roasted Glazed Holiday Pork Ham
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Glaze a ham

Ham tastes sweeter with a couple of cups of Coca-Cola. This recipe from Lake Geneva Country Meats in Wisconsin calls for two cups of Coca-Cola.

Electronic soft circuits with LEDs, batteries and modeling clay. Set for electronic education for children. Stem activity with green leds lights on
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Make a battery

It isn’t so much the ingredients of what goes into a can of Coca-Cola as it is what holds the cola that can transform a can of Coca-Cola into a battery. Grab a penny, perhaps that shiny one you just washed in Coca-Cola, some crocodile clips, wire wool, and some tools to make a battery.

antique jewelry

Polish old jewelry

Let the acid of Coca-Cola go to work on mother’s jewelry to give it a nice luster. Many claim Coca-Cola as a good source for cleaning jewelry as well. Here are some more clever household items that can clean jewelry.

white retro car, with chrome bumper
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Chrome cleaner

Mythbusters tried using Coca-Cola as a chrome cleaner and found when used with aluminum foil it did a better job than the leading chrome cleaner. Try it out for yourself, and once you’re done with the exterior of your car, see how to make a car’s interior spotless.

Homemade Dark Chocolate Fudge Ready to Eat
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Coca-Cola fudge

Sweet 2 Eat Baking has an awesome Coca-Cola fudge recipe. It takes a total of ten minutes to make from start to finish.

Chocolate Cupcake with cherry
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Cherry Coke cupcakes

Still sweet on Coca-Cola even though it can remove rust? Try making cherry coke cupcakes with another recipe from Sweet 2 Eat Baking. Before you guzzle that can of Coke, learn the soda secrets Coca-Cola won’t tell you.

Young ill female have a cough and sore throat in winter. Causes of cough include common cold, flu, respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, bronchitis, allergy, asthma or COPD. Copy space. Health care.
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Sore throat healer

Some people swear by a folksy remedy of Coca-Cola as a sore throat healer. Others combine it with lemon and ginger for a sore throat. Still many say drinking soda while sick isn’t a good idea because it can dehydrate at a time when more fluids are best.

06-menopause-Reasons You're Not Getting Your Period (and You're Definitely Not Pregnant!)_
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Relieve constipation

Caffeine has a laxative effect but the effect varies from person-to-person based on their caffeine tolerance. In theory, Coca-Cola could work as a home remedy to constipation, though there are not reams of data on it. If that doesn’t work, here are some more surprising natural home remedies for constipation.

Hands striping glue from parquet wood flooring

Remove glue

Folk stories of using Coca-Cola to remove glue are out there. Whether it’s floor glue or super glue, the soda can break down the adhesive properties of glue and save you some money along the way.

white sink plug hole

Prevent clogs

Coca-Cola can serve as a quick fix for clogged drains because the acidity will clean grime but it may not be worth it because the soda will leave behind a syrupy residue. In case you’ve gotten to this article too late: how to clear a clogged sink drain.

Asian women are headache severely.Lady wake up in the morning with migraine. Insomnia results in headaches when awakened.Young girl sitting on a stressed bed. In her bedroom.She was sick.
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Relieve a headache

Coca-Cola was invented as a headache cure when it first hit the market. The caffeine in Coca-Cola can help relieve a headache by reducing inflammation and making aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen work faster. Find out 95 household uses for vinegar you didn’t know.

Small solar panels
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Heat water

Another creative use for the actual Coca-Cola can is turning it into a solar water heater. The process is a little complicated but it’s a heck of a way to go green on a few levels. Here are some more great green house cleaning products that house cleaners trust.

Black mold on clothes, blurry and too soft focus

Clean mold and mildew from clothes

Putting Coca-Cola in your washing machine doesn’t seem like a great idea but a can of Coca-Cola with the usual laundry detergent can remove mold and mildew from clothing. It’s also pretty good with stains and grease. Here are 9 cleaning solutions to get mildew out of any surface.

Homemade Barbecue Baked Beans with pork in a bowl
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Make beans not so magical

Soaking beans in water or Coca-Cola can reduce the byproduct consuming beans creates. Coca-Cola isn’t a special soft drink to deflating beans but it’s another option. Plus: Eat Beans, Lose Weight.

Coca-cola 2 liter bottle
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Plastic bag dispenser

To make it easy to stow and reuse plastic bags, make a dispenser from a discarded 2-liter soda bottle. Cut off the top and bottom with a razor knife. Trim any jagged edges so you don’t tear the bags when you pull them out, then screw the dispenser to a cabinet door or closet wall (or attach with hook-and-loop tape). Then, find out why Coke at McDonald’s tastes so good.

Carpenter tools – A carpenters bench with various tools
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Instant tool holder

Store chisels, files, large drill bits, screwdrivers, and other long tools so they’re both visible and close at hand. Simply cut off the top from a clear 2-liter plastic soft drink bottle, leaving a flap for hanging. Use smaller bottles, which are extremely common household items for smaller tools. Next, find out 43 extraordinary uses for household staples you already own.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman