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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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?