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Coca Cola Cleaning Hacks

Did you know that there are practical uses for Coca-Cola you’ve never heard of? Yep, it’s true! These Coca Cola cleaning hacks are a perfect way to use soda that might otherwise go to waste.

old fashioned woman sitting in retro car holding a can of Coca Cola

While I’m not a personal fan of drinking soda, I would buy a cheap bottle of the stuff to have on hand as a cleaner. After all, spending a buck on a 2-liter of cola can definitely cost way less than some expensive specialty cleaning products, such as stain removers, drain cleaners, etc.

Why Does Coke Clean So Well?

Good question. After all, learning how great soda is as a cleaning hack can make you question why you are drinking the stuff.

To be fair, vinegar, baking soda, lemons and salt are also great cleaners. And they are food-based ingredients too. 

A glass of cola with ice cubes

With soda, the acids are what makes it a great cleaner. It is those acids that break up grime, lift away grease, remove stains and dissolve rust.

Among the many acids found in cola are:

  • Citric acid
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Phosphoric acid

Using Coca-Cola™ as a cleaner not only saves money and reduces waste (if you were going to throw unused Coke down the drain), but it also serves as a less toxic cleaner than other products you might buy. Drain cleaners, toilet cleaners and floor cleaners can all have some pretty dangerous fumes. But Coca-Cola does not.

And you can use Coke in the garden, too! Be sure to check out those additional tips and tricks.

Here are some of the surprising ways to clean using Coca-Cola.

can and bottle of Coca Cola

How to Use Coke to Clean a Toilet

Pouring soda in your toilet bowl is one of the easiest ways to clean a toilet. Why? It’s because of the citric acid, ascorbic acid and phosphoric acid that is found in Coke.

All of these acids eat away at the stains in the toilet bowl. Which makes brushing away the discoloration even easier after using soda.

Simply pour the Coke into your toilet bowl around the edges (just under the toilet seat area so that it can run down the inside of the bowl and into the water) and let sit for an hour or overnight. Afterwards, use a toilet brush as normal.

Does cleaning your toilet with Coke really work? Yes, it does! I’ve had success using the soda as a toilet cleaner. It’s not my preferred method (I like to clean a toilet with vinegar instead), but it does work!

By the way, you can use flat coke. If you have left a glass of soda out and it has lost the carbonation, or you discovered a bottle of cola that has been opened too long, this is the perfect Coca Cola cleaning hack to use it for!

Clean Your Windows

Soak a washcloth in soda. (I’d use an old washcloth that is just for cleaning!) Then wipe it across your windows.

The citric acid in the soda will break down the grime as you wipe the windows.

Be sure to rinse with water afterwards.

Cleaning Rust with Coke

Coca Cola cleans rust effortlessly!

All you have to do is soak a rusty item in the cola for a few hours (or overnight). Why does cola remove rust? The phosphoric acid dissolves the rust away. Then using a scrubbing brush, wipe away the rust and rinse afterwards with water.

This is perfect for rusty items such as a screwdriver, nails, screws, bolts, window hardware, etc. Try it with pennies and coins if you collect them. Even something large like golf clubs could be refreshed with a Coke bath.

We’ve heard you can clean a rusty bumper with Coke, too, though we haven’t tried it.

Get Rid of Carpet Stains

Soda works as a great stain remover on carpeting, especially when it comes to markers.

It’s smart to try a test spot first before doing this cleaning hack in a conspicuous place. And it’s best to use this cleaning hack on dark rugs, not white or light colored rugs.

If you see a stain, try rubbing a small amount of soda directly on the spot. Then finish up with soapy water to rinse and clean away the coke.

Why does this work? It’s the phosphoric acids and carbonation that lift away the stain!

bottle of Coca Cola against white background

Erase Driveway Oil Stains

Greasy stains will be dislodged and disappear when you pour acidic soda onto them.

This works great in a garage, where you are likely to find oil spills from vehicles or lawn equipment.

Pour Coca Cola on the oil stains and let sit at least a few hours. Preferably overnight. Then rinse off the spot with a high pressure hose (such as the stream function on a nozzle) that will help to dislodge the oil and wash it away.

Clean Grout Easily

Just like with all of these other ways to clean using Coca Cola, using Coke in the bathtub or bathroom on grout is effective because of the phosphoric acid.

Let the acid naturally eat away soapy buildup that can accumulate in the grout around your bathtub, shower or throughout the bathroom. Pour soda on the grout, let sit about 10 minutes and then wipe away with a rag. 

A small toothbrush or grout cleaning brush can help you really get the grout clean, in addition to using the soda.

If you are concerned about Coke possibly staining your white grout, you might be thinking about trying a clear soda (such as Sprite) instead. Sprite does not contain phosphoric acid, and many other clear sodas don’t, either. So they might not work as well.

Neutralize Stinky Odors in Clothing and Towels

If you have some stinky towels that smell musty, or clothing that smells from a strenuous workout session, you can wash them in Coca Cola to get rid of the smell!

Add a can of Coke to your wash cycle, along with detergent. 

Worried about staining from the color of the cola? Generally, there is no staining even though the soda is dark. Of course, there is no guarantee, and doing a test patch is always a good idea if you are worried.

Clean Your Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers can develop a layer of film from swiping across a windshield coated in pollen, dust, dirt and environmental pollutants. That layer of film and grime can prevent your windshield wipers from cleaning as well as they could.

Before you buy a new set of windshield wipers, try this soda trick first. Soak a rag in Coca Cola and then wipe the windshield wiper blades. The acids in the soda will break apart the grime and pollutants that have accumulated on the rubber wiper. Rinse with water or wipe off with a wet rag to remove any soda residue.

Unclog a Drain

If you have a small backup in a bathtub drain or sink drain, try pouring a bottle of Coke down the drain before calling a plumber. The acids will eat away the buildup in the drain.

Be sure to do this when you can let the drain sit for about an hour without any water going through it. Then rinse with hot water (such as the hot water setting on your shower or faucet).

Remove Car Battery Corrosion

Yep, the acids will remove the corrosion that might make your car battery not work properly. Meineke even recommends using soda as a way to clean a car battery. Disconnect the battery and then pour soda on the terminals. Let sit for a couple minutes. Rinse with water afterwards.

Blood Stain Remover

Hard-to-remove blood stains are surprisingly easy to remove using Coca Cola. In addition to blood stains, oil stains (such as pizza grease) can also be removed with Coke.

 Pre-treat the stain for a few minutes by applying Coca-Cola on the stain. Then, add it to the wash and add more Coke to the wash cycle.

Clean Jewelry with Coca-Cola

Again, it is the acids in the soda that help with this cleaning hack. If you have a piece of real jewelry (not the stainless steel plate stuff) that needs cleaning, place it in a bowl of soda for a few hours. The fizzing action will help dislodge layers of dirt and oils that can build up on your jewelry.

Clean Stuck On Grease

Just like with cleaning grease from a garage floor or clothing stains, you can clean baked-on grease with soda, too. This is especially great with hard-to-clean dishes such as a lasagna pan.

There are a couple different ways you can clean with Coke to help easily lift off the grease:

  • Cover the inside of the blackened pot or pan with Coca-Cola at let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pour Coke into the pan and let simmer on low for about an hour.

More Cleaning Hacks

I just love sharing cleaning hacks. Especially when they use products you already have at home that are less toxic than cleaners you might buy in the store.

Here’s how to use ketchup to clean copper. And vinegar to clean a toilet.


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Charissa Smith

Tuesday 15th of August 2023

Well...I must say that Coca-Cola makes an excellent cleaning liquid. Yesterday, I bought a can of Coca-Cola from the vending machine to clean a small bolt. All it took was two tablespoons of soda just to make the bolt squeaky clean. Great advice!