13 Useful Reasons To Keep A Can Of Coke In Your Fridge

uses for cola

While I’m not necessarily a big fan of cola (I’m a Diet Coke girl, through and through!), I’m not here to pass judgment on those who are! While we all know that cola is fully capable of rotting the teeth right out of our skulls, life is too short to avoid indulging in a sugary soda from time to time. :-)

But even if you don’t enjoy it as a drink, there are a surprising number of other reasons you might consider keeping a few cans of it in your fridge Cola’s fizziness, acidity, and caffeine content make it a surprisingly useful tool for household tasks. And of course, its flavor makes a great addition to many recipes too!

Here are 13 uses for cola that you might not know about, but ought to be aware of!

13 Uses For Cola That Are Surprisingly Practical

uses for cola

1. Make Your Own BBQ Sauce


  • 1 (12-ounce) can of cola
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 of an onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp Frank’s hot sauce
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes


Add all the ingredients to a saucepan, stir, then bring to a simmer on your stovetop. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, then strain the sauce into an airtight container and discard the solids.

Place the sealed container of BBQ sauce in your fridge, where it will continue to thicken as it cools. Use within 7-10 days, or freeze it for longer storage.

uses for cola

2. Dissolve Sticky Messes

The phosphoric acid in cola can help break down sticky messes. Pour cola on sticky spots like sap or gum. Let the cola sit for 5 minutes or so, then wash the area with soap or shampoo. Easy and painless!

uses for cola

3. Remove Rust

The acidic quality of cola can also come in handy for removing rust from your tools! Pour cola into a bag or bucket and submerge your tool in the cola.

Let it soak for 24 hours, then wipe the loosened rust away with a cloth—no elbow grease needed!

uses for cola

4. Add Volume

Thanks to its caffeine content, you can use cola to add body and volume to your hair! Just pour room-temperature cola over dry hair, then rinse with water and style as usual. You’ll love how bouncy and shiny your hair will look!

uses for cola

5. Erase Oil Spots

Oil spots on your driveway can be an eyesore, but you can lift those stains with the help of cola. More specifically, it’s the sodium bicarbonate in the cola that is useful for dissolving greasy stains.

Just pour a generous amount of cola on the oil spots and let it sit for at least 3 hours. Afterward, spray the spots with your hose (or better yet, a pressure washer) to wash away the cola and oil residue.

uses for cola

6. Soothe Wasp Stings

Getting stung by a wasp can be surprisingly painful, because their stingers actually release a small amount of venom into the skin surrounding the sting. Luckily for us, the acid in cola can help neutralize the venom and soothe the sting!

Just pour cola over the area of the sting for some much needed relief. (Before you reach for the cola, take a moment to make sure the stinger isn’t still stuck in your skin—scraping your fingernail over the area should do the trick!)

uses for cola

7. Wash Chalkboards

The carbonic acid in cola can help dissolve and wash away chalky mineral deposits, like the kind that builds up on chalkboards over time. For a squeaky clean chalkboard, just dip a cloth into cola and use it to wipe the chalkboard clean.

uses for cola

8. Clean Pots and Pans

There are few things more obnoxious and difficult to clean than stubborn, baked-on food residue in pots and pans. Luckily, cola can help make the process much easier!

The fizziness of the carbonated cola will help dissolve those tough, crusty messes with minimal effort. Just pour a shallow layer of cola into the pot or pan, leave it overnight, then wash in the morning.

uses for cola

9. Eliminate Odors

Surprisingly as it sounds, cola also makes an effective odor eliminator! Add a bit of cola to your wash cycle to help remove odors from particularly stinky clothing. And you can even use it on your pet’s coat can help neutralize skunk odor if your pet has had an unfortunate encounter!

uses for cola

10. Feed Your Compost

Cola can be used as an inexpensive booster for your compost pile, helping to break down scraps and turn them into rich, garden-ready compost. The sugar content also helps attract the microorganisms needed to jump-start the composting process.

uses for cola

11. Clean Toilets

Fresh out of toilet bowl cleaner? Try a can of coke! Pour a can of coke right into the toilet bowl, and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Give it a quick scrub to help loosen scum and lime buildup, then flush and admire the shine!

uses for cola

12. Remove Paint

Cola can help remove stray paint splatters from your metal furniture. Saturate a dish towel with cola, place it on the paint stain, then leave it there for a few days. Re-moisten the towel with additional cola as needed, and in a few days, the paint will have loosened considerably and be much easier to wipe away!

uses for cola

13. Clean Coins

Cola is something of a secret weapon among coin collectors, because it makes a great cleaning solution for coins! Drop grimy coins into a cup full of cola and let them sit there for an hour or so. The grime will dissolve and the coins will wipe clean easily.

Do you use cola in any unconventional ways at home?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • So glad I read this article. Today I “bundled up” to try to find the nest of yellow jackets that terrorized my husband yesterday. Even though I thought I was fully covered, one got under my mask & did bite my chin. I only had diet cherry Pepsi, but it WORKED and took away much of the pain. It still hurts, but not nearly as much as after I was bit. Hope no one has to try it. Those bites are very painful.

  • When I burn a finger bad enough that it really hurts, I get out a cold can of coke (or any soda, really) and keep my finger on it for a good long time. It will take the burn right out and the finger heals faster. Don’t know why, but it does. As long as the can is cold I keep my finger on it. It works every single time.

  • You can also do the Volcano experiment with the Diet Coke and Mentos mints. I had heard about this before. My Nephew age 13 decided he wanted to do the Volcano experiment for his birthday. We’ve also used the Diet Coke for upset stomachs. I only usually have one once a week. So it’s not like I drunk it constantly.

  • Coca Cola was used for me as a small child. The doctor would tell my mother to go to the drug store and get Coca Cola syrup and give it to me. I, also, as an adult drink Coca Cola whenever I have an upset stomach or diarrhea. It works for me—and no ill effects—-yet and I am 77.

  • When I was teaching school, I did the experiment with cola in one cup, lemon-lime soda in another cup, and water in the third cup. Then I added some raw hamburger to each cup, covered them up, and left them sit until the next day. The hamburger in the cola was gone! Since then, I have read/heard that a person should drink one can of cola a month to eliminate the fatty crap that lines our gut system. Also, when I was little and one of us had a tummy ache, we were given warm cola. It helped every time.

  • Once I found out that you could clean a toilet with Coke, I can’t imagine what it does to your body drinking it! However, there is one reason I always keep a can of Coke around- it works wonders for nausea. Pour it back and forth between 2 glasses to get most of the bubbles out first. (You won’t get them all, but it prevents bloating, which can make your nausea worse.) I’ve had 2 fundoplications done for severe reflux, and I cannot empty my stomach when I’m nauseated. It really works, when you sip on flat Coke. Better yet, keep some cola syrup around.

    • Leo, you are right about cleaning coins – it renders them worthless in collector value! Please don’t do this, and don’t use vinegar or any other cleaner. If you have a non-valuable penny, and want it to look bright, sure, go ahead.

  • I’m one of those folks that has to have my weekly Diet Coke fix. I know the artificial sweeteners aren’t good for you, but I’ve tried the ones with stevia and couldn’t get used to the taste. One use for Coke – even the Diet will work is getting blood stains out of dark colored colors and sheets. I’ve had a few times where I thought something was ruined and the Coke will take it out. I learned this use from Joey Greens – wacky uses series of books.

  • COINS that are very old and possibly valuable-do NOT do this!

    I cost myself a small fortune by cleaning up an old coin with pop.
    It ate the patina (aka rusty muck colour) and pitted the surface of the coin.
    It went from hundreds of dollars to useless in less than three minutes!

    It works amazing as a cleaning agent though!!!

  • I knew about the toilet and rust but the rest is new to me. Sometimes when I order pizza, it comes with free coke. I usually keep them in the bathroom. Now I will keep one by my toolbox.

  • I agree with you. Diet drinks have so much wrong with them. I mainly drink the occasional seltzer water, half-and-half with water and real lemon juice added. Plain water with lemon juice is also delicious. Above all, I’d never cook anything with a can of soda made with high fructose corn sugar.

  • Hi, love this blog… and there are always such good tips and tricks. Jillee keep up the good work!

    If I were you I would not use cola on any part of your car because if you splash any on the paint and don’t rinse it away well enough, will eat the paint off down to bare metal… Unfortunately I know this because it happened to me ;(…. I had a line of rust spots down the hood of the truck… So be very careful.

  • all said and done…my family and i treat ourselves to a can of cola once a month! that truly satiates the fizz craving and gives us reason to look forward to and thoroughly enjoy without bingeing on the next!

    and thanks jillee for the funky tips!

  • Jillee’s article was entirely about all the additional ways to use a can of cola, not the dangers of drinking cola or diet sodas.
    Most people know the dangers and continue to drink sodas irregardless of the health risks. Their Doctors have repeatedly informed them at every visit.
    Please remember all the great information that Jillee provides on her blog and post accordingly Please provide any additional information that you may have using a can of cola other than drinking.
    By the way, I treat myself to diet dr pepper to calm migraines opposed to using pharmaceuticals. Homeopathic remedies can financially help only so many.

    • As a retired clinical health educator, I too would hope Jillee takes as good care of her body as she does her household. Diet cola drinks are MORE dangerous than the real thing!

    • Even though Dr Pepper is my favorite pop (although I rarely drink it), I keep a few cans of Coke in the fridge for migraines as well. I’ve been suffering with migraines for almost 40 years. There’s something about regular Coke, in particular, that helps me. Fountain Coke is even better for some reason. When I feel a migraine coming, I take 2 ibuprofen and 2 acetaminophen with a can of Coke. It doesn’t always stop it, but it’s the best thing I found (including pharmaceuticals) that helps me.

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