Millions of people reach for their favorite soft drinks to quench their thirst every day. However, apart from being beloved sugary beverages, soft drinks have a wealth of other uses. From haircare to pest control to tool maintenance, a can of soda can work in nearly every field thanks to its slight acidity, strong flavor, and significant carbonation.
Even if you’re not a pop fan, these uses might make you decide to keep a few cans around.
Scraping ice off your windshield can be a long, bothersome task, especially because you’re fighting the cold at the same time. Rather than spending all your time and energy on vigorous scraping, pour some soda over the areas that you want to melt. Hit the area up with a window scraper or windshield wiper and watch as the ice simply slides away.
Soft drinks can remove more than fog from your windshield. If collections of grime and dead insects are blocking your view while driving, standard wiper fluid often won’t be able to remove them. Try pouring a can of soda over the problem areas and let it sit. Wipe your windshield down with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
Even the greenest of thumbs can’t fight against a plague of pests. Snails and slugs can completely ruin a garden, especially in large groups. However, all it takes to banish them forever is a shallow bowl of soda. The sugar in the soft drink will attract them, and the acid will kill them, keeping your green friends safe.
Few things can clean off rust as well as a can of pop. If you have some tools that have succumbed to rust, simply submerge them in a soft drink for up to 24 hours. Wipe it down after the soda bath and the rust will slide right off. If you have bolts or other fasteners that you can’t remove but are gathering rust, try soaking a hand towel in a soft drink and wrapping it around the bolt.
Everyone’s cooked that one meal that left behind a seemingly permanent residue on their pots and pans. If tackling your cookware with soaps, scrubbers, and sponges hasn’t worked, soft drinks are capable of melting away some of the baked-on grime. Pour some soda into your marred pots and pans, let them sit overnight, and then wash them the following day.
Soft drinks are a staple at any barbecue, but they’re also perfect for barbecue prep. Marinating meats in soda is a great way to tenderize them while also adding some flavor. While more complex marinades may provide a greater depth, tossing the meat into a sealed bag of soda is much more accessible sometimes.
Grease stains are some of the most stubborn stains that you’ll ever face, especially if they’re on your clothes. While most people assume that a grease stain has forever ruined their attire, a simple can of soda can solve the issue entirely. When washing clothes that have grease stains, pour some soda in with the detergent. If this general application makes you nervous, you can also pour the soda directly on the clothes and let it sit for 30 minutes. Most soft drinks contain carbonic acid that breaks up persistent stains.
Grease isn’t the only contaminant that soda is great at removing. You might have heard the myth that some agencies use soda to remove blood from highways. While this isn’t true, the carbonic acid in soft drinks does allow them to clean blood out of clothes and fabrics. This was even proven on an episode of “MythBusters.”
Oil stains that ruin driveways and garage floors are such a persistent issue that you’ll find dozens of home remedies for cleaning them. However, if kitty litter and soap haven’t helped you any, it may be time to turn to soft drinks. Pour some pop over the oil stain, allow it to sit for several hours, scrub it with a brush, and then rinse the area with water.
If your toilet has lost its natural sheen and instead features a number of unpleasant stains, soft drinks work better than many industrial cleaners. Pour the soda around the rim of your toilet, allowing it to flow into the bowl. Let it soak the porcelain for about an hour and then scrub off the remaining stains with a toilet brush.
Gasoline has such a signature smell and it always seems to linger around. If you happen to get some on your hands or clothes, you’ll be smelling like gasoline for quite a while. Even multiple washes might not fully eliminate the odor. In most cases, the easiest and least costly solution is pouring a can of soda into your next load of laundry.
Model Suki Waterhouse once swore that rinsing her hair with soda was the secret behind her voluminous, beautiful locks. Because soda is full of sugar and other ingredients that stick to your hair, it works similarly to a salt spray or volumizer. However, experts warn that while this is a great trick for extra texture, overusing it could damage the scalp, so save it for special occasions.
While cola isn’t the best choice of fertilizer for most plants, certain flowers love a slightly more acidic environment. A small amount of diluted soda is a great fertilizer or soil additive for gardenias and azaleas. Make sure not to overdo it though, as too much acid will ruin even the most sweet-toothed of plants.
At one point, getting gum in your hair was a death sentence for those locks. The only real way to remove it was simply chopping off any sections of hair the gum had a grip on. However, if you somehow end up with gum in your hair, don’t fret. Head to the shower and pour some cola over the gum, and watch it slide right out.
Though you might think soft drinks would simply add a layer of stickiness to your jewelry, they’re actually a great way to remove residue and give old coins and jewelry a new luster. Soak your valuables for about an hour before removing them and washing them off. Don’t submerge them in soda for too long, though, as the acid could start to corrode the metal.
If your brownies always seem to be too dry or crispy, try utilizing diet soda. Many internet users swear that mixing a bag of brownie mix with a can of diet soda is the secret to fast, easy, and ridiculously moist brownies. Combine the ingredients and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your desired consistency.
Pork is one of those meats that responds ridiculously well to acidic additives. Most people opt for fruits like pineapple, which have enzymes that slowly break down and soften the meat. However, combining a soft drink with a little brown sugar provides just enough sweetness and acidity to perfectly baste a ham.
A compost pile is a great way to provide a renewable source of nutrients for a growing garden, but starting one can take a significant amount of time. Pouring some soda into your fledgling compost will break down some of the organic matter and attract key microorganisms that will help the composting process.
If you’re a DIY fan or simply someone looking to freshen up old decor, it may be time to incorporate soft drinks into your process. Removing paint from metal can be an annoying, time-consuming task. Wrap the object you want to strip in an old towel. Drench the towel with soda, making sure it stays wet for at least a week. This will strip off all the previous paint, making repainting a breeze.
Nothing is worse than when your outdoor gathering includes a host of uninvited insects and other pests. Fill a small bowl with a non-diet soda and set it a fair distance away. The sugars in the soft drink will lure all of the annoying bugs away from your food and guests, letting you actually enjoy your get-together.