51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List

By Paul Michael on 5 September 2008 (Updated 17 September 2009) 91 comments
Photo: matsuyuki

I was trawling the Internet recently searching for a way to remove a grease spot from a favorite shirt of mine. How it got there, well, I blame a faulty fork and not my clumsy mouth. Anyway, time and again sites would reference a can of Coca-Cola as a way to remove the grease spot. I tried it, cynical but hopeful, and it worked. Not 100%, but it was way better than before. It did leave me wondering, are there other uses for Coca-Cola? It turns out there are a lot more.

I haven’t had a chance to test all of these out, but the ones I have listed here are the uses I found turning up time and again; not just on the web, but in books and magazines. If you have any more, feel free to share. And by the way, I’m no Coca-Cola advocate, I’m sure Pepsi or even store-brand would work just as well (unless that secret Coke ingredient is behind all of this…but I doubt it).

The list
1. Remove grease stains from clothing and fabric (I had to start there)
2. Remove rust; methods include using fabric dipped in Coke, a sponge or even aluminum foil.
3. Remove blood stains from clothing and fabric.
4. Make gooey Coke funnel cakes .
5. Clean oil stains from a garage floor; let the stain soak, hose off.
6. Loosen a rusty bolt; pour on some Coke and wait for the magic to happen.
7. Kill slugs and snails; a small bowl of Coke will attract them, the acid will kill them.
8. Help a lawn become lush and green (see my lawn tonic article here )
9. Prevent an asthma attack! Apparently, the caffeine in two 12oz cans can prevent the onset of an attack.
10. Defrost a frozen windshield. Apply liberally and wait (I’ll see if this works in winter)
11. Clean burnt pans; let the pan soak in the Coke, then rinse.
12. Descale a kettle using the same method in 11.
13. Neutralize a jellyfish sting.
14. Clean car battery terminals by pouring a small amount of Coke over each one.
15. Cure nausea; let a can of Coke go flat then take a teaspoon of Coke every hour.
16. Also, flat coke can help relieve an upset stomach (aka “the runs”)
17. Make a Mentos & Coke exploding fountain. This one takes a 2-liter bottle of Coke.

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18. Get rid of hiccups; gargle with a big mouthful of ice-cold Coke.
19. Shake up a can and pour it over your windshield to remove bugs and other crud.
20. Use the method in 19 for your car bumpers, too.
21. Clean your engine; Coke distributors have been using this technique for decades.
22. Relieve congestion; boil and a can of Coke and drink while hot to clear you up.
23. Make a sweet BBQ sauce. Mix a can of Coke with ketchup and brush over ribs or chicken.
24. Baste a ham roast with Coke as it cooks. The sugars will caramelize; the ham will be moist.
25. Add a can of coke to your pot roast to tenderize it and add extra flavor. (Thanks Linsey).
26. Make pretty pennies; soaking old pennies in Coke will remove the tarnish.
27. Make your hair curly; pour flat Coke onto long hair, leave for a few minutes then rinse.
28. Age documents and photos; for that antique look, apply Coke, pat with paper, leave to dry.
29. Clean tile grout; pour onto kitchen floor, leave for a few minutes, wipe up.
30. Mix a can of Coke with a packet of Italian seasoning; cook a tough steak in it.
31. Make better compost; Coke increases the acidity, adds sugars and feeds microorganisms.
32. Dissolve a tooth in it; Use a sealed container, this takes ages. Why would you want to though, unless you’re Hannibal Lecter?
33. Remove gum from hair; dip into a small bowl of Coke, leave a few minutes. Gum will wipe off.
34. Get silky skin; mix a spoonful of Coke with regular lotion and apply liberally.
35. Make low-fat brownies .
36. Pour a little in a cup and set it out an hour before a picnic, away from your site; it will attract wasps and bees so they’re not bugging you and your grub.
37. Remove stains from vitreous china. More info on vitreous materials here .
38. Got a dirty pool? Add two 2-liter bottles of Coke to clear up the water (it acts as rust remover).
39. Add Coke to your laundry to remove bad smells, especially fish.
40. Remove (or fade) dye from hair by pouring diet Coke over it.
41. Mop a floor with Coke to make it sticky. It’s a movie industry trick to stop actors slipping.
42. Remove marker stains from carpet. Apply Coke, scrub, then clean with soapy water.
43. Clean a toilet; pour around bowl, leave for a while, flush clean.
44. Apply to skin for a deep tan (although this seems like a recipe for skin cancer to me).
45. Supposedly, drinking an 8oz can of Coke every day can prevent kidney stones.
46. Add it to a Sloppy Joe mix
47. Perk up your Azaleas or Gardenias.
48. Coke and aluminum foil will bring Chrome to a high shine.
49. Strip paint off metal furniture; soak a towel in Coke, sit it on the surface for days. Make sure you keep adding Coke to keep the towel wet. (Seems like a hassle, I’d rather buy paint stripper.)
50. Add it to vodka, rum or bourbon.
51. Drink it straight from the can, if you can (too sweet for me)

And a few Coke fallacies:

  • Coke is not used by the authorities to clean blood from the roads after accidents.
  • Coke will not dissolve teeth or nails OVERNIGHT. It takes a long time.
  • Coke and aspirin will not get you high.
  • Coke is not an effective spermicide.
  • Coke poured onto raw pork will not cause worms to come crawling out of it.
  • The acids in Coke do not make it dangerous to drink (your own stomach acids are much stronger).
  • Drinking too much Coke will not make you die from CO2 poisoning.
  • Coke does not contain cocaine (although it used to).
  • Coke did not become carbonated by accident.

So, that’s what my days of research turned up (yes, days. Anyone who tells me to get a life will be justified). If you have anything to add, pour away folks.

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Guest's picture
Guest

Do generic brand colas work as good as the real deal?

Paul Michael's picture

and as they're cheaper, why not?

Guest's picture
Carrie

I used to have at least one Coke a day while pregant for this reason. It also helped combat the fatigue associated with pregnancy.

Sadly, I won't be using it next time around, or i'll be relegated to decaf, since new research warns against ANY caffeine during early pregnancy.

Guest's picture
Guest

Actually, I've got a two year old. When I was preggers with him, I looked up the march of dimes website to see what they recommend. as long as you stay under 200 milligrams of caffine, you can have caffine. in fact, it's actually a good thing while pregnant, according to my obgyn. it counteracts the exsaustion and fatique.

Linsey Knerl's picture

Great list, Paul.

Guest's picture

Wow... get a life. :-)

That's an awesome list.

Guest's picture
mb

any caffinated beverage helps asthma, cold sodas are not as good as hot drinks, but more convienent to grab when you *really* can't manage to start cofffe. can be a lifesaver on a hot day. the rest of the list looks like interesting ideas to try.

Guest's picture

Now there's no need to pee if you were stung by a jellyfish ;)

Guest's picture
Guest

You never had too. There's vinegar.elu

Guest's picture
Guest

Chances are you'll have pee or coke more accessible on a beach than vinegar...

Guest's picture

Coke will clean it out of her fur. This is what my grandparents used on Dolly and Lady when they'd go down by the wells.

Crude oil smells like liquid manure, so you want it out of there, fast. Coke worked great!

Guest's picture
Ritchell

I think the coke-a-day thing will give you kidney stones, as opposed to preventing them. The phosphorus in coke pulls calcium out of your bones (assuming you get enough calcium in your day, this shouldn't contribute overmuch to osteoporosis), and this calcium can collect in your kidneys and cause stones. It would take much more than a coke a day though, but drinking several every day over an extended period would not be good for your bones or your kidneys.

Guest's picture
Arthur

That is totally right, the phosphoric acid is such a strong acid that your body has to use calcium from your bones to neutralize it! Sure wish someone had told me that when I was swilling a liter a day... Then the calcium bonds with the acid to become calcium phosphate, a great building block for kidney stones.

Guest's picture
Guest

Why would you be swilling a liter a day even w/o this knowledge? The fact that pop is bad for you is common knowledge....

Guest's picture
Kevin

My uncle has been drinking coke since he was little and he never has kidney stones he drinks atleast 1 coke a day and always has coke the only weird thing about him is that he never ever ever gets sick beleive it or not my grandma says even as a kid he would never get sick and he thinks everyone else is weird for getting sick

Guest's picture
Andy

When I was just 6 years old I got kidney stones because of a bad eating habit and they said coke was a big factor. Now I never drink coke and only drink water for my health.

Guest's picture
Brii

While this is true to a point, if you regularly I take these calciums and whatnot, your body is used to metabolizing them and it actually can help keep your kidneys flushing themselves regularly.
I am a religious soda drinker, when I became with child I immediately quit the soda. But after a few weeks, horrible abdominal pain, I go to the ER an after some tests they told me it was kidney stones because of my recent lack of soda. My body was so used to it, that when I stopped, my kidneys started erratically flushing themselves due to the irregularity. I'm not a rare case, this is quite common. I was actually then old to gradually get myself back into drinking soda every day, to avoid more kidney stones and possibly, further complications. I have been drinking at least two cans of soda every day since and haven't had a single stone.

Guest's picture
Earthforaliens

It kind of bothers me that coke seems to be a more effective and versatile cleaning detergent than many actual cleaning supplies... Do you really want to put that in your body? I'm just sayin...

Guest's picture
Guest

That was the main thought going through my head as I read this. Is Coke really suppose to be a drink?...

Guest's picture
Guest

Not sure if this is true or not, but someone once told me that they still use coca leaves (where cocaine comes from, not sure if thats the right spelling) but extract the cocaine under tight government control. However, they cannot extract all of it so a small amount of cocaine is still added to the secret formula.

Guest's picture
Scott

drinks Cherry Coke daily. Perhaps Coke can help with investment results?

Guest's picture
Mark

I don't think tip number 10 is such a great idea. Maybe it wil defrost your windows but then you're stuck with a sticky and dirty windows that's VERY hard to clean.

Guest's picture
ConcernedAmerican

My only question is...what about ants being attracted to sugar in Coke?

For instance, I'm all about using Coke to clean oil stains on my garage's floor. But wouldn't ants be attracted to the area?

Just my $.02,

C.A.

Guest's picture
Guest

Use diet coke.

Guest's picture
Marley

Just rinse it after you clean it. :)

Paul Michael's picture

to hose off the floor after getting rid of the stain with Coke. The only time you'd leave Coke down is the sticky floor tip, which is a movie trick and thus they probably wouldn't care too much.

Guest's picture
Johanna B

I can't see myself wasting a perfectly drinkable diet coke but I was wondering if it would work as well.

Guest's picture
Guest

I think I've seen this same article somewhere

Guest's picture
Guest

There are several postings of this list in other places. Looking at the dates, though, it appears that this is the original. Only one of the other sites that I saw gave credit to wisebread.

Guest's picture
NYC

"Coke is not an effective spermicide." - Now that is a funny one!

Guest's picture
grandawn

#17 and #19 are not the same person. I posted #19, but forgot to change "Guest."

Paul Michael's picture

for other sites to "borrow" from Wisebread. It goes with the territory I'm afraid. It took me days to compile this list, using books, the net and conversations with friends and relatives. Remember, you saw it here first.

Guest's picture
winniekate

HEY - I SAID "NO ICE"!! I warned you last time, buddy

Guest's picture
winniekate

HEY - I SAID "NO ICE"!! I warned you last time, buddy

Guest's picture
Guest

Thanks for sharing.

Guest's picture
Linda

My stepdaughter had them & was told to quit drinking so much Coke. Also if it can stain old documents I would hesitate to use it to clean carpet, grout or anything else that is white or light colored. Wouldn't it stain?

Guest's picture
Guest

The mentos explosion is always a good one as well. I saw this at momliving. Thanks for the fun read.

Guest's picture
Tisha

My mom is a coke-o-holic. She just got out of the ER for kidney stones. Guess #45 has been myth busted! But what a fascinating list! Thanks for the info.

Guest's picture
Fish Bone

Hey thanks for putting that together really appreciate it :)

Guest's picture
sts

What a nice designed site, your article is very interesting, regards stsericlo

Guest's picture
marco5811

I think the coke-a-day thing will give you kidney stones,

Guest's picture
Guest

My dad is a HUGE diet coke addict. He drinks like 5 or 6 cans a day and he's had a kidney stone. I know some other people have already corrected #45 but I just thought I'd add to the comments. Sorry! Great site, though!

Guest's picture
Guest

I have always heard that if u put a raw piece of bacon in a glass of coke that it will cook it. I have yet to try it but i thought i would share.

Guest's picture
Guest

Any acid will cook any meat. Vinegars used to soak any meat or fish will chemically cook them.

Guest's picture
Guest

you forgot: COKE CONTRIBUTES TO:
OBESITY
CANCER
CONSUMING MORE COKE (the acidic, sugary taste does not quench thirst, it stimulates the thirst response)
DIET COKE CONTRIBUTES TO:
CANCER
MS SYMPTOMS
LUPUS SYMPTOMS
OBESITY ( statistically, diet soda drinkers gain just as much weight as sugared soda drinkers)
mmmmmm, let's go get some coke!

Guest's picture
Kimberly V. of Nashville, Ga

My fiance's family is of the "Coca-Cola age" and gives the grandbabies the stuff whenever they want it!! I cringe everytime!! (My fiance' isn't around when they bat their eyes at their nanny-he is against it, as well) We were just telling one of his 9yo twin boys how bad it is, and was able to pull this site up for proof positive!! He's not so keen on downing a Coke when the mood often strikes him. He raised his eyebrows more than once during our read! Thank you so much!!!

Kimberly

Guest's picture
Anthony

yes! you dit it, congrtas my friend, and as well I heard Coke is used in hospitals to clean their toilet stains! once my toilet got clogged and pour a whole 2 litter botle of coke to disolve everything it worked!

Guest's picture
Guest

IT DOES MAKE YOU TAN QUICKER!!!!! WORKS GREAT AND LEAVES YOUR SKIN SILKY,,DEAL WITH THE STICKINESS @ FIRST BECAUSE THE RESULTS ARE AMAZING

Guest's picture
Guest

coke doesnt prevent kidney stones. my mom has kidney stones
& she drinks a coke a day

Guest's picture

Greatpost.Many usefull info at once. Wish all the best.

Guest's picture
Tiffany

#45 is so not true. My husband actually got several kidney stone from doing this. He had to have 2 series of Lithotripsy done to remove them.

Guest's picture
Guest

A lot of these cleaning ones can be replaced with club soda so you don't have to worry about stains. The carbonation is the reason it's such a versatile cleaning agent.

Guest's picture
Christine

I do have to say that cops to use Coke to clean up blood from the roadways. Atleast in Michigan a guy I know has a couple of buddies in the field and they keep 2-liters in their trunk!

Guest's picture
LorieB329

I use a can of coke to marinade steak tips. garlic/brown sugar/ginger/soy sauce/oil/pineapple juice/onion/and a can of coke. Makes the most tender, yummy steak tips

Guest's picture
Lori H

I just wanted to let you know that if you use Diet Coke instead of regular coke in the brownie receipe you will get moist chewy brownies. You can also do the same thing with cake mixes, I use diet sprite with yellow cake mix and it is really good. Enjoy!

Guest's picture
Büyü

I just wanted to let you know that if you use Diet Coke instead of regular coke in the brownie receipe you will get moist chewy brownies. You can also do the same thing with cake mixes, I use diet sprite with yellow cake mix and it is really good. Enjoy!

Guest's picture
Paul Niland

There a couple of points about using it with beef in cooking. That really works. I was in South Africa a few years ago and had the most tender steak ever in a restaurant, when I asked the waiter whether the chef's marinade was a secret she told me that all she knew was that it contained coke. I thought is was a wind up, but have tried it myself a few times and it really does help!

Guest's picture
Guest

Add 1 can of coke(diet,zero,regular) to a cheap chocolate cake mix and cook as directed, delicious and moist!

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm curious about number 27... how does it make one's hair curly, exactly?

Guest's picture
April

actuall diet coke will dissolve a nail. a rusted nail. we did the experiment in a science class. we did several different nails at different stages (added during different hours of the day) to determine exactly how longit took to dissolve and a smaller (2 inch) rusted nail took only 6 hours in diet coke.

Guest's picture
skinked labs

I did not see it so here is my addition to the list. I know it works since I used the 'coke' method on Friday Oct 14th
Des-skunk dogs
My 2 labs got skunked ... and bad. I used a total of 3L of Coke per dog massaged into their fur. Left it for a good 1/2 hour, then rinsed them off. I followed that with a good cleaning with dog shampoo. I dried them with towels and let them in the house. Skink smell was almost all gone. The next morning there was a faint smell of skunk just on their nose.
Today is Sunday and there is zero trace of the skunk smell.

Guest's picture
Guest

Tomato juice works the best to deskunk a dog. It doesn't take much and the smell is completely gone in an hour. Just douse them with the tomato juice, leave it on them for awhile (we left it on for about 15 minutes but you can leave it on longer if you want) then hose them off, give a good scrub with some pet shampoo and rinse. It's done and gone. Don't waste the coke! LOL

Guest's picture
stavky

Coke will clean it out of her fur. This is what my grandparents used on Dolly and Lady when they'd go down by the wells.Wish all the best to all

Guest's picture
Neb

I would just ad that we should not drink this poison at no cost.

Guest's picture
Zack A

Great for neutralizing armpit stink belive it or not..just soak a wash cloth in coke and wash. Rinse with water. Very unconventional if you ask me but it works

Guest's picture
Guestt

Can you use a generic brand of Coke (like pepsi or ANY soda) to make you hair curly??

Guest's picture
Guest

I think it would ruin your hair!

Guest's picture
Jane

I like number 50.

Guest's picture
Guest

helps me to digest

Guest's picture
U're my dudett..no questions!!

use 29= wont the floor get sticky or smelly? i spilled coke once on the tiled floor and it beacame all sticky.....another use perhaps? =)

Guest's picture
Guest

TMI

Guest's picture
Guest

Can coke cook a raw piece of meat?

Guest's picture
Guest

ummmmm NO its just a drink not an acid liquid!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

What ingredient does coke have to dissolve object?

Guest's picture
Guest

Actually coke is used to clean up blood from crime scenes. My best friend is a csi for LA county he's the one that told me that they do it.

Guest's picture
Guest

cool! appearently it can get rid of "stains" in your toilet bowl :) haha

Guest's picture
Guest

#2 soak in plastic cup of Coke over night. I have done it many times with hubby's tools....works like magic.

Guest's picture
Guest

My dad, around 56, drinks coke, and only coke. The only time he has anything other than that is whens he's eating cereal, he drinks the milk. He has at least 2 cans a day, because he wont finish them in one sitting. He has never had ANY health problems, and no kidney stones. He also has used it for about 50% of the uses on the list. He has had no issues with drinking it every day. He's tall, fit, healthy, and happy. But when he drank mountain dew for a month, couple cans a day, around 2, things happened, so he stopped and went back to coke. But we all know mountain dew is terrible for you, although i like it. What I'm trying to say is coca cola cant be all that bad for you. It might actually have benefits. Anyone who objects to things, please keep it to yourself.

:) no offense or anything

Guest's picture
Guest

honest- i just fell upon this one by chance- a lint free cloth dipped lightly in DIET coke and rubbed gently on the surface, makes your monitor screen sparkle like you have never seen!

Guest's picture
Guest

Actually in Wyoming all of the Highway Patrolmen carry coke to take blood stains off of the road. The coroners use it too. But hey that's just how we do it here in Wyoming, it may be different everywhere else.

Guest's picture
Guest from ND

I have found that the original recipe of Coke was what worked the best for all these things-- yes, the one with cocaine in it-- and yes it did have it in it at one time. There may be things that it does still does work wonders with-- but some were the best with the original concoction. Some people still actually have stockpiles of this-- strange world we have -- Hugh?!

Guest's picture
Guest

You can use it to unclog a toilet sink or jut about n e drain just poor a can in let it set for a little while n presto working drains

Guest's picture
Zac

I have seen it for myself. Coke DOES make worms come out of pork. Also, it's not COKE with ASPIRIN, it's 5 Aleve and 1 beer = one pain pill. Really cool info on the page though. Very cool. I knew there was a reason I don't drink this garbage lol.

Guest's picture
Patty

I think the tanning idea would just cause ant bites, bee stings and sunburn.

Guest's picture
Sassie

Using coke on hams has been a long time family tradition....nothing else, just coke and bake in oven or big crockpot for a few (I do mine over night) hours and it's so moist it's falling apart...

Guest's picture
Katherine

As a former police officer I can honestly say, Yes we did keep a 2 liter bottle of coke in the trunk of the patrol car to pour on 'bio smears' after accident scenes were cleaned up.

Guest's picture
Renee

I have a non-stick bread pan that I thought was rusty and contemplated discarding it. After reading the comments here, I tried using Coke/Pepsi in the pan. It took some of the browned coloring off the bottom of the pan. I poured it out and started again.

This time...I sprinkled some baking soda in the bottom of the pan, added the cola and using a nylon spatula, gently scraped the brown off the pan. It worked great. I did have to let it set for a little while and do some scrubbing, but, it saved my pan!

It wasn't rust as I thought, but, the pan had been sprayed several times with a Pam type cooking oil spray. I have some cookie sheets I'm going to try this on.

Thank you one and all for your helpful insight.

Guest's picture
Guest

In a 7th grade science experiment, we put teeth in a glass of Coke and they dissolved overnight. But maybe the Coke in 1971 was more acidic.

Guest's picture
Guest

When cooking deer meat that has a wild taste to it, just marinate it ahead of time in Coke and it takes out the wild & gives you deer meat that tastes like beef!

Guest's picture
Guest

I'd love for someone (you) to research Tequila. It was spilled on my coffee table once and the next day it ate through MANY layers.