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Cleaning hack myths: Is using coke to clean really the right choice?

Discover the truth behind 4 coca cola cleaning uses and whether they’re worth trying. 

Coke makes a tasty drink at special events or on hot days but some people suggest it can be used in another way: for cleaning. From using coke to clean toilet bowls to cleaning brass with coke, you’ll find plenty of coca cola cleaning uses claimed online.

To get to the bottom of these rumours once and for all, we’re offering this ultimate review on using coke to clean at home – focusing on a whole range of different household surfaces.

1. Using coke to clean grease and blood stains

Can you really use coke to clean grease and blood stains off fabrics? Yes and no. Although this coca cola cleaning technique does sometimes work it can cause its own risk of stains.

To try, simply add coke to your normal washing load along with your detergent. Be cautious about trying this with light coloured items as the dark pigment of the drink could cause more stains than it removes.

2. Getting burnt residue off pans

Another suggested use for coke is to eradicate the burnt bits from the bottom of pans. This coca cola cleaning technique actually makes a lot of sense as the acid in the drink helps to lift off even the most stubborn particles which helps you get your cookware as good as new.

Of course, you can also achieve a similar result with other household products so you don’t have to waste a can of drink. Instead, try soaking dishes in hot water and a strong washing-up liquid or give white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, or cream of tartar a try.

3. Using coke to clean toilet bowls

This might sound the strangest of all but there are those who use coke to clean toilet bowls. They argue that the bubbles in coke help to lift off stains and get a sparkling finish.

So, what’s the problem? Well, aside from perhaps putting you off drinking coke again the high sugar content of the drink could also cause issues. Any traces of it left in your toilet is likely to be a germ magnet. Using a cleaner with proven germ-killing power, like Domestos, could be an easier choice.

4. Cleaning brass with coke

Cleaning brass might not be on your daily cleaning schedule but that doesn’t stop it from being a common cleaning hack involving coke. Leaving small brass objects in coke for a few hours can help get rid of dirt build-up. It’s the acidity in coke that’s responsible for this cleaning power, so the technique can work.

Although coke might be able to spruce up your brass ornaments, we suggest testing it on a small unseen area first to guarantee there are no bad reactions. For expensive or precious brass items, using a specialist cleaner is strongly advised.

Cleaning with coke: our verdict

While we’ve definitely found that cleaning with coke can work in some situations, it’s important that you weigh up all the risks before trying them. If you’re unsure, stick to reliable cleaning products and check the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.

Key steps

If you’re thinking of using coke to clean toilet bowls, brass or pans be sure to follow these simple steps:

  1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions of any product you’re going to clean – never do something they advise against as this could invalidate the warranty. 
  2. Conduct a patch test first: you can’t guarantee how any material is going to react.
  3. If in doubt, stick to regular cleaning products you know will do the trick!

Safety Warning

Never use coca cola to clean a surface before researching it thoroughly. If in doubt, use regular cleaning products designed for the material you need to clean.