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20 household uses for soda

Posted by mandyf on February 28, 2012

Soda has plenty of alternative uses, in fact given what is in soda pop it may be better to use it for the things it wasn’t designed for than what it was. There have been plenty of stories floating around for years about what you can do with a can of cola, some true and some pure fiction. The fact is there are at least a couple dozen things that soda can be used for around the house to make your life easier and you don’t have to be named Mr. Wizard or MacGyver to employ them. Once you can see what a simple serving of soda can do it is a safe bet you’ll reconsider actually ingesting it, at least for a few minutes anyway.

Without any further ado, here are some of the top alternative uses for soda pop.

If you have one of those nasty looking stained toilet bowls that’s an embarrassment to look at pour a can of soda into the bowl. Let it sit for 45 minutes to an hour and then make a few quick passes with a toilet brush. The phosophoric acid will loosen up the matter causing the stains and a simple flush will finish the job. The same thing goes for removing rust stains from your tub or sink.

If you have a pretty ugly looking shower or any surface with grouting, soak a sponge with soda, Coca-Cola works best, and scrub the tiled areas making a couple quick passes. Spray the area down when complete with regular tap water and sure enough all that nasty crud that settled in will lift up and out of the grout and rinse away.

It’s no lie that you can use soda to clean car battery terminals. There is enough acid in the average soft drink to remove corrosion from battery by doing nothing more than pouring some over the posts, letting it sit for 15 minutes or so, and then wiping it clean with a wet cloth.

Soda is a great agent for lifting grease from fabrics. Ask any mechanic, or whoever it is that does their laundry, about this and they will tell you that pouring a regular dark 12 ounce can of soda into the washer with the laundry detergent that you regularly use will lift grease stains right out of clothing almost every time. In the case of those sometimes tough to remove milk stains, soak the stain in soda for about 5 to 10 minutes and then launder. It works like magic. It even works on dried blood stains. Speaking of blood, it will loosen up set in blood on other surfaces as well like cement.

If you are a bit challenged in the kitchen and somehow or another burnt a pot or pan, pour one to two cans of soda into it, depending on size, and allow it to boil for 15-20 minutes. This usually lifts that burnt-on mess you couldn’t scrub away with no effort. Coke works best, and be sure not to forget it is on the stove top again!

Instead of buying all kinds of fancy specialty cleaners to get glass surfaces into tip top shape, use a little soda. You can lift grease and grime from almost any glass surface with just a sips worth of soda, depending on the size of the surface area, including mirrors and even eyeglasses.

You can use a small bowl filled with coke to soak those grungy old coins and get them just as shiny as they day they were minted. It takes maybe 3 hours or so, but it works like a charm. Most coin collectors advise against this however so you may want to hold off on trying this out on your high end coins.

If you have a sink that just doesn’t drain as fast as it used to pour a full two liter bottle of soda down the drain and let it sit for awhile. Once the acid has time to chew up whatever is causing the clog run some water just as you would after using a regular drain cleaner and the problem will usually be solved. Worth noting is that the bigger the clog the less effective this works. Still a couple bottles of soda is often cheaper than even a generic drain cleaner.

A little known fact is that cut flowers will last longer if you give them a taste of soda. A 1/4 cup of soda will help cut flowers stay looking fresh for up to three or more days in some cases. The trick here is you need to use a light colored soda like Sprite or Seven-Up. The reason this works is based on the sugar, so theoretically adding a little sugar would work just as well, but pouring a little soda in just seems easier.

If you have rusted nuts and bolts a little soda can do wonders when it comes to loosening them up. Rather than just pouring soda over the rusted area, soak a rag with soda and wrap it around the nut or bolt. The combination of the acid and carbonation is what acts as a rust busting agent. In the case of particularly stubborn rusted nuts and bolts you may need to pour soda onto the rag an extra time or two. You’ll most likely need a little elbow grease to get the job done, but it can make the process easier.

You can even use soda to keep your garden looking great! If you have trouble with slugs and/or snails taking over, there is a sure fire trick that works o keep them under control almost every time. Get some small shallow dishes you can set into the ground which slugs and snails can easily crawl into, and then fill them about midway with some soda. the sugar draws them un and then the acid finishes them off. Of course you could do the same with beer, but why waste a good, or even bad beer on a garden pest?

Moving on from the garden, soda actually has some medicinal purposes as well. When you were a kid and your mom gave you a flat can of coke to help relieve an upset stomach there was an actual reason for it. The syrup in Coca-Cola actually helps calm an upset stomach, and the reason it is served flat is so that the carbonation doesn’t further upset your stomach.

According to the Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, a Coke can not only give you a smile it can help prevent diarrhea. The reasoning behind this is that the acid helps reduce the amount of E-Coli bacteria running around in your intestines which is one of the big factors in causing diarrhea. For any traveler that finds them self in a location with a less than stellar water supply a can a day could well keep the doctor away.

It is also said that if you gargle with soda it is a great way to reduce the effects of a sore throat because it is one of the best things to loosen the phlegm which is the cause of the irritation that is felt. It is also said pouring a can of coke over a fresh jellyfish sting will counteract the venom and ease the pain. Some avid water lovers in jellyfish infested areas swear by this and others say it is just an old wives tale. If the option is having someone urinate on the sting, this may be a good first option just in case it works as all those surfers swear it does.

A can of soda can also serve as a beauty enhancing agent. maybe it won’t actually enhance your beauty, but it can facilitate the process of trying to make yourself look more attractive. Some people in the business claim that the secret ingredient to their special moisturizer is nothing more than soda. It is said that mixing about a cap full of soda with an unscented lotion makes for a great moisturizer. Whether this is actually does anything beneficial is debatable, but you sure can find plenty of people advocating for it. Moving on to other regions of the body, it is also said if you get a botched dye job a can of Diet Coke can strip away or at least fade a really bad tint from your hair.

Just in case you are ever the victim of or happen to be on hand when gum gets in someones hair, grab a can of Coke. If you soak the gum infested portion of hair with Coke for about 5-10 minutes it should break the cohesive bonds right down and allow the gum to be rinsed out with little problem. It is certainly a better alternative than having to cut it out.

If you have a slippery floor, mopping it with a can of soda will end that problem right away. It has worked well on the stages graced by thespians for years and will work just as well for you when it dries and creates a tacky surface. The drawback is it will attract any pest that loves sugar which is almost all of them. If you do this before hosting a party in which you are worried someone will slip, be prepared to mop the area again as soon as everyone leaves.

Now on to the land of rumors. Some of these may work, some may not, but they have been floating around for quite awhile. It is up to you to decide if they are possibly true or not.

Some people say that if you get sprayed by a skunk that sponging down with soda and then rinsing off with water will neutralize the stink. Not completely maybe, but enough so you just smell bad instead of horrendous.

It is also said that you can shell hard boiled eggs by soaking them in Coke, stop flatulence (this is highly doubtful), get a better tan by rubbing a dark cola on your body before worshipping the sun (which it seems would also attract everything that crawls or flies), improve the luster of your hair if poured on when washing, and finally that soda mixed with water and put in a spritz bottle is a great alternative to mousse, gel, or hairspray.

You now know some of the many alternative uses for soda. Some really do work like a charm, some work okay, and others are possibly left untried.


4 Responses to “20 household uses for soda”

  1. randyduckworth said

    This is definitely interesting, but it sure makes you re-think the idea of actually drinking the stuff, doesn’t it. I mean, I, for one, am not to thrilled about putting something in my body that can eat through rust or unclog a drain!!! Yuck! LOL 🙂

  2. I’m amazed at the power of these sodas…and we DRINK them?? One thing, are you sure coke cleans grout? I spilled some and IT seemed to have stained it.
    Just for clarification for Brits and Aussies:
    American soda = any kind of pop and not just soda water.

  3. You know, you can dip a peeled bannanna in sprite and it will not turn black for hours or days? This is a very informational post, I guess the sprite trick may be associated with the flowers.

  4. mandyf said

    That is one I did not know, but I’ll actually try it out with the kids – great experiments to learn from.

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