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The Coca-Cola as Cleaner Experiment: Our Verdict

The Coca-Cola as Cleaner Experiment: Our Verdict

I stopped drinking Coca-Cola years ago but this week, it reappeared in my fridge.

You see, this iconic soft drink has been popping up in many ‘I can believe it can clean’ website blogs I research for my E-Dry articles. I get a kick out of finding alternative cleaning products that may save me time and money, so thought it was definitely time to test five of these claims to see if there was any truth to the rumours.

Why Does Coca-Cola have cleaning power?

Coca-Cola is certainly loaded with sugar but it’s the acidity levels in the beverage that gives it cleaning punch. Like cleaning products, Coca-Cola has a low PH level (3.4) and just like lemons, has citric acid (which can remove alkaline substances, like soap scum) in its ingredients. As our regular readers know, we love cleaning with lemons, so knew this hack was worth a try.

These were our results.

01 Make your Jewellery and Coins Shine

Our Experiment: It was pretty tough finding any coins around our house so I just tested the jewellery out for this one. I grabbed an assortment of pieces that I knew had seen better days and put them in a cup of Coca-Cola for around 2 hours. A lot of websites said that too much time left in there, or doing this hack regularly with your jewellery, could wear the polish down, so I was definitely mindful of that! The jewellery needs a really good rinse afterwards.

The Result: Some of this jewellery was my great-grandmother’s so it definitely gave it back some much-needed shine. It wasn’t anything different to what a standard jewellery cleaner could do and actually served as a great reminder to give all of my jewellery a bit of a polish.

02 Rust Remover

Our Experiment: This trick apparently works because of the phosphoric acid found in the soft drink. You need to let the coke sit on the rust for at least an hour and rub it with an abrasive material, like aluminium foil.

The Result: Again, not an amazing result. There was a lot of rust on the test object though, so it may have been worth leaving it on for a little longer for a better result.

03 Cleaning the Toilet Bowl

Our Experiment: This seems to be the most popular hack for cleaning with Coke enthusiasts. The Coke works to remove grime from the toilet bowl if left on there for an hour or so. I poured the Coke into the toilet and sprayed a little onto any particularly dirty areas.

 

After letting the Coke sit for a couple of hours, I scrubbed the bowl with a toilet brush before flushing twice.

The Result: My toilet wasn’t too dirty to begin with, but the Coca-Cola did make a marginal difference. Here at E-Dry, we like using vinegar to clean the toilet, using a similar method to the one in this experiment. Unlike Coke, Vinegar has got disinfecting qualities, which is definitely important for your toilet. It is a more natural and cost-effective option too (and preferable to pouring Coke down the toilet, if it’s your favourite beverage).

04 Make Your Windows Glisten

Our Experiment: Another tip I was keen to try was using Coke to clean your glass windows. My windows are always imprinted with the finger marks of an active toddler so I had to see if it worked. I sprayed Coke onto our dirtiest glass door, using my microfiber cloth and a little warm water to wipe it down.

The Result: They were a little bit streaky, and seemed too sticky to work, even after wiping them down with the warm water. I actually used my 1:1 vinegar and water solution to re-do the job afterwards.

05 Clean Your Grout

Our experiment: Put some Coke on the grout by placing a Coke-soaked hand towel across the grout line (push it in a little), leave it for 10-15 minutes, lift the towel, scrub with an old toothbrush and wipe clean. Give the area a mop afterwards as the acid in Coke may break down the grout sealing if used over a long period of time.

The Result: We have a big problem with dirty grout in my bathroom so I wasn’t surprised that Coke didn’t have the cleaning power here. What does work a little better? A bi-carb soda and water paste left on the grout before scrubbing thoroughly seems to make a little more difference.

A Warning about Cleaning with Coke: We’re the carpet cleaning experts, so believe us when we advise you to never clean carpet stains with Coke. The Coke will deposit sugar residue on your carpet fibres (even if you think you’ve removed it all), which makes it easier for dirt to stick to your carpet and can create a tough-to-remove stain. If you’ve spilled Coke on the carpet, we’ve got some great tips to remove it here.

The verdict is in. Overall, I wasn’t really impressed with Coke as a cleaner. With enough time and elbow grease, they may give you a good result but no better than what other products can do!

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