Coca-Cola on a hot summer day is about as American as fighting bears in the woods and blowing things up—and more refreshing, too. But you already knew that.
What you didn’t know is that your favorite carbonated candy can be used for a lot more than just drinking. Here are 12 things you didn’t know you could do with Coca-Cola.
1. Remove blood stains
Got some blood on your favorite tee? (Bears do fight back, from time to time) Sprinkle a can of Coke in with your regular laundry detergent and water, and wait for magic to happen.
2. Take rust off
Need to clean up the bumper on that old Ford of yours? Looking to put some elbow grease into the wheels on your new-to-you bicycle? Pour some Coke on it.
The trace amounts of phosphoric acid are enough to corrode rust and keep your bike spokes and bumper looking like new. Pro-tip: Use tin foil to rub the Coke into the rust and watch it disappear, because science is goddamn voodoo wizardry.
3. Degrease cookware
When hot soapy water just won’t cut it, soak those stubborn grease spots and charred leftover mishaps in some Coke and let it sit for a half hour or so. Or stick to takeout. Whatever.
4. Fix your car battery
When a car won’t start without any low-battery warnings or cold weather, there’s a good chance you have a dirty battery terminal. The acidity of Coca-Cola is just enough to clean the oxidized terminals and give your ride the juice it needs to get you where you’re going. It won’t bring a battery back from the dead, but it may save you an expensive trip to the parts store.
5. Make an actual battery
It’s not much power, but you can really turn an LED on with a coke can. Check out this video.
6. Loosen stuck bolts
Anyone who’s ever done some home improvement or basic auto maintenance knows that stuck bolts can be every wrench-turner’s worst enemy. If you’re fresh out of PB B’laster or Liquid Wrench, try some Coke. Just like on those old bike spokes, the phosphoric acid will react with the rust and free those pesky bolts.
7. Get gum out of your hair
When mayonnaise, peanut butter, and whatever other gross things the Internet says will get gum out of your hair fail, try drizzling some Coca-Cola into your hair. The ingredients in the Coke will break down the gum and hopefully save you an emergency barbershop stop. It also works great for gum stuck on shoes!
8. Neutralize bug bites and stings
Bees are majestic creatures that pollinate our trees and flowers, put food on our plates, and keep our Cheerios honey nut-ed. They also sting. It sucks. Next time you find yourself on the wrong side of a bee’s stinger (or jellyfish’s tentacle!) pour some Coke on the bite/sting to neutralize the pain.
9. Clean your windows and mirrors
Those delicious acids found in this bubbly wonder work incredibly well on grimed up windows and mirrors. Just rinse it off with water so no sticky residue gets left behind.
10. Clean your toilet
Man, this stuff is great. If you run out of toilet cleaner, a can of Coke will work wonders on your throne. Literally just dump a can where you dump in your can (see what we did there?), let it sit for about an hour, give it a good scrub, and voila—presto clean-o.
11. Polish old jewelry
If you want to breathe new life into your old jewelry or de-gunk the treasure in your coin purse, dip your precious metals in a glass of Coke and let them sit overnight. Give them a light scrub the next morning with an old rag and they’ll look like new.
12. Clean grease stains off your driveway
If that old clunker of yours is doing a number on your once-pristine driveway, Coke is a great alternative to a complete re-pave. Drown the affected spot with the syrupy nectar of the Gods and let it sit for a full 24 hours. Take a hose to it (preferably a power washer), and watch the grime, gunk, and grease melt away.