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9 Uncommon Uses for Coca-Cola Coke – Which of Them Actually Work?

By Casey Slide

coke cansSince I enjoy using discount grocery coupons, I usually end up with a surplus of Coca-Cola in my home. While I’m usually brand-blind when it comes to carbonated beverages and usually buy generics, some would argue that Coca-Cola is the ultimate brand. And since I live in Atlanta, it’s basically a sin to buy anything other than Coke. I get it at a decent price, and it is by far my husband’s favorite beverage, so I stock up when I see deals. But I don’t drink a lot of soda, so I’m in search of some practical uses for Coca-Cola so I can get a little more value out of my purchase.

You’ve probably seen the popular email that lists the crazy things that you can do with Coke, like dissolve a T-bone steak in just four days. I’m not really sure why anyone would want to do that, but plenty of the other tips on the list look very useful, if they really work. Coke’s a lot cheaper than a lot of cleaners and other home remedies, so these tips could be money-savers too. To save you the time and expense of experimenting and learning which ideas are flops and which are not, I put some of these so-called uses for Coke to the test.

1. Curling Your Hair

I was the most excited about this possibility, simply because I have stick-straight hair that even a curling iron can’t curl. So before washing my hair, I drenched it with two cans of flat Coke. I let it sit for a few minutes, then I washed my hair. While drying my hair with a towel, I tried to crunch my hair to get it curly. At first, it looked like this method of curling my hair might actually work! But by the time my hair started to air-dry, the kinks were all gone.
Result: 2 thumbs down

2. Removing Gum from Hair

My poor hair went through even more abuse. Yes, I really did stick gum in my hair. For the sake of this test, I stuck a chewed piece of gum right into my hair and squished it into the strains. To remove it, I dipped that part of my hair in a glass of Coke and left it there for a few minutes. Although it wasn’t pretty, the gum came free with minimal hair loss. If I was to ever accidentally get gum in my hair, I would try Coke again. (But I’m glad I don’t dye my hair so that I don’t have to find out if it will strip hair dye or not.)
Result: 2 thumbs up

3. Removing Grease Stains

I have this shirt that has had a grease stain on it for over a year. I love this shirt. It’s my Florida Gator polo shirt that I used to wear on game days, and I want my lucky shirt back. I’ve tried many different laundry detergent and cleaning products to get it out, but nothing has worked. I wasn’t too thrilled about pouring a can of Coke on my shirt because I thought if anything, I’d have a Coke stain and a grease stain, but at this point, I had nothing to lose.

To my surprise, it actually worked! I poured Coke right on top of the stain and let it soak. I immediately noticed that the grease stain was slightly discolored. Then I threw the shirt in the wash, and it came out clean.  Game day shirt is back!
Result: 2 thumbs up

4. Removing Blood Stains

I was hoping this test would go as well as the grease stain experiment, but I had no such luck. I followed the same process, but the blood stain remains. I recommend using homemade laundry detergent instead.
Result: 2 thumbs down

5. Cleaning Tile Grout

Grout is tough to clean, and Coke could have been a surprisingly big help on a stubborn stain in the grout in our laundry room. I poured some Coke on the spot and left it there for about ten minutes. When I wiped it up, the stain was still there, but luckily, I had no problems wiping up the Coke. Perhaps this one works differently depending on the stain and if there is sealer on the grout.
Result: 2 thumbs down

6. Cleaning a Toilet

Coke-lovers of the world, hate me if you must, but I just poured a can of Coke down the toilet. Literally. I poured the contents of the can in, and I let it sit there for an hour. The toilet now looks clean, but I’m not convinced that germs and grime are really gone. I think I’ll stick with my other homemade household cleaners, like vinegar and baking soda.
Result: thumb up thumb down

7. Perking Up Gardenias

I need to wait a little longer for final results on this one, but I’m intrigued by the idea that Coca-Cola can perk up gardenias. I have two gardenia bushes in my backyard that look as though they could use a little life in them, so I decided to give it a try. It has been a few days, and nothing has happened yet. I’m not going to get my hopes up, but maybe I’ll see a change after a little more time. Anyone have a guess on what the result will be?
Result: To be determined…

8. Cleaning a Coffee Pot

I get quite a lot of use out of my peculator. I love to make gourmet coffee drink recipes at home in addition to my regular cup of joe every morning. With all that use, I have a bit of a build up in the pot, so I poured in a can of Coke and let it sit for 24 hours to see if it would clean off the residue. While it did clean out the pot a little bit, it did not work as well as I was hoping it would.
Result: 2 thumbs down

9. Cooking a Roast

After several days of experimenting with Coke, I finally found my favorite use – cooking a Coke Roast. It is very simple and delicious and is a great Crock-Pot slow cooker recipe as well. Put a three-pound roast in your slow cooker, and pour a packet of onion recipe soup and dip mix and two cans of Coke over the meat. Let it cook on low in the crock-pot for about 8 hours. Enjoy!
Result: 2 thumbs up

Final Word

While I was very impressed that Coca-Cola did get out grease stains from a shirt and gum from my hair, I was disappointed that it did not clean up my grout or coffee pot. And I am not sure that my husband appreciated me pouring perfectly drinkable cans of Coke down the toilet and into the yard. Perhaps the best way to enjoy a Coke is to simply drink it.

Have you ever used Coke for anything other than for drinking?

Casey Slide
Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.

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Comments

  • Adam Slide

    I think this was both my favorite post and least favorite post. It’s clear that Coke has some pretty good uses but I would definitely think twice before I used it for anything other than drinking. :)

  • http://www.money-and-kids.com/ Brad Castro

    Loved this post – a fun read on a Friday.

    The Coke Roast sounds interesting. But it may be hard to top my favorite use for Coke – mixing it with rum!

    • tennessee wildman

      try getting some country style ribs and boil them in coke –they will be so tender that they fall off the bone–then send them to the grill—-they will taste great with the coke and rum

      • Casey Slide

        Mmmm…sounds good!

  • http://www.akstafford.blogspot.com Todd

    I used it to gain 170 pounds. Simply pour 6 to 12 cans a day down your throat and in no time you can be a substitute for the floats in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Only you don’t float. In truth you can barely get up off the couch.

  • http://www.cindybrick.blogspot.com Cindy Brick

    You missed a use for (Diet) Coke — mix it with Mentos for showy effects!

    http://www.eepybird.com/featured-video/the-extreme-diet-coke-mentos-experiments/

    Thanks much; I enjoyed your post.

  • Casey Slide

    Brad and Cindy – Yes, those are fun uses for Coke for sure!

    Todd – I left that “use” off the list because it went without saying! :)

  • http://stretchyourdollarwaukesha.wordpress.com/ Skirnir Hamilton

    I may have to give the grease stain trick a try, as I know I have a shirt or two with a grease stain.

  • Casey Slide

    Skirnir – If you try it, let us know how it worked!

  • Russell Starr

    My parents owned a service station in rural Kansas. We used Coka-Cola on old truck tire and wheel assemblies to eat through the rust on the rims so we could break down the tires for repair or replacement. It worked like a charm.

  • Franki Griffith

    I heard once years ago that Murphys Oil soap is good for getting out dried blood stains. My moms friend had said that she tried it and it worked great but I don’t know how she used it so I would look into it before preceeding.
    You didn’t include the most popular and cringeworhy use for a coke drinker
    You can also use coke to eat away the corrosion on your battery terminals.
    And you can drop two alka selzer tablets, to clean a toilet . Juatrlet them fizz for 10-15minutes and flush

  • Karen

    Here is more Use for Coke; Pour it over your cars battery if is leaking acid. Will wash away the accid and oil and grime. We have always known ,also that Coke will put a whole in your stomach….why? you may ask? If it burns acid from your cars battery, it will burn the acid in your stomach

  • dav

    hey i heard the police used coke to clean blood off the highway after an accident

  • jim

    for blood stains, you can’t beat the saliva of the own person’s blood. It has a very powerful anticoagulant effect and will wash out with regular detergent very quickly after that.
    jjd

  • Julie

    when it’s raining and your windshield gets road grime on it, just pour a coke on it and turn your wipers on… it rinses right away with the rain and your winshield is clean

  • Julie

    coke is also good for eating away at the grime in your sink drains. just pour a can of coke down your drain and wait awhile before you run water through. the acid in the coke will eat the grease and grime away

  • Ray

    We had a station also, and Coke on the windshield, on battery terminals, and around tire rims all work. I would use a paper towel on the windows to help it a little extra. And, I’ve used it with Jim Beam. Lots of good uses.

  • Elrod

    I was a boy in the 60′s in Brooklyn and on the weekend pop would take me his machine shop.
    We were tool and die makers. When old machines came in for repair, he would always pour a
    little coke on the rusty bolts and let it sit as they waited in the bay. He said it eats through the rust
    and gunk and in a cople of days when he had time to work on them, the bolts would come off easy- no
    problem. He always took my little bottle of coke away and used it to free the rusty bolts. I was forbidden
    to drink it as it will put a holl in your stomach, to this day I never touch the stuff except to repair machines.

  • Casey Slide

    Very cool story, Elrod! Thanks for sharing your personal story!

  • Xoxo

    What’s funny is that two people say it would put a hole in your stomach, but they both spelt hole wrong (whole, holl). lol thanks for the experiments! I was thinking about putting the coke in my hair, but I will not now.

    • Casey Slide

      If you do end up trying any of the experiments, let us know how they work for you!

  • redraider93

    Hydrogen peroxide works better for blood stains on clothing…

  • Leigh

    The coke works if you have wavy or curly hair already. It will bring out more defined curls. Doesn’t have to be flat. let it sit for about 10 min,and shampoo after.

  • suzanne

    If you want to clean your coffee pot pour salt with a little bit of water and rub it around the pot.

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