Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Frugal Uses for Cola: Tuesday Tip

I've used cola to settle upset stomachs. But that's just one of several unusual uses for a popular beverage. The carbonic acid in cola is good for cleaning many items, including jewelery. In fact, for a science project my kid's teacher instructed the class to drop different items into cola to watch the change. A dirty penny, for example, was transformed into a shiny coin during the exercise.

Likewise, from beautifying bathrooms to cleaning tiles, cola has a variety of unusual uses. Over the next week, I will test out some of the stranger tips and report back next week during my Tuesday Tip feature. Here are a few of the suggestions, I've collected from First for Women and other sources.

Dirty Floors & Bathrooms:

1. Spill out a can of cola on a tile floor and take special aim at the grout between the tiles. Let the soda sit for about 10 minutes and then mop up the floor with a sponge filled with soap.

2. Apply a half cup of cola to grease spills and oil stains on a garage floor. Let the cola sit for a quarter of an hour. Hose down with warm water.

"The soda's carbonic acid seeps into the porous concrete and dissolves embedded dirt."--First For Women Magazine.
3. For the toilet bowl: Pour a can of soda into the the toilet. Let the soda sit for 60 minutes. Then swirl and scrub the bowl with a brush.

"The soft drink contains citric acid, a chemical compound that filters into the pores of the porcelain bowl and dissolves the dirt and rust that cause ugly spots and stains."
--First For Women Magazine.

4. Anti-Rust
"One unusual use for Coke is as a rust-control substance — the phosphoric acid in Coke converts iron oxide to iron phosphate, and as such can be used as an initial treatment for corroded iron and steel objects being renovated, etc."-- Answers.com
This list also has a variety of uses for cola, including cleanups for the car, the bathroom and greasy clothes.

Likewise, HGTV (Home & Gardens TV) offers it own tips for cola in this list:

"TIPical Mary Ellen host Mary Ellen Pinkham points out various ways to use
cola around the home.

  • Substitute cola for water in a cake recipe and in the icing.
  • Need a quick and easy marinade? Soak a ham overnight in cola. This will
    leave the meat nice and tender.
  • Make a cola fruit salad. Fill a bowl with citrus fruit and pour cola over
  • Use cola as a substitute for one cup water in gelatin mixes. Make cherry
    cola-flavored gelatin by mixing cola with cherry gelatin.
  • Fill a spray bottle with cola, and spray on a window or mirror to remove
    grease buildup.
  • Crumple a piece of aluminum foil and dip it in cola. Rub the foil on chrome
    to remove rust spots.
  • Loosen a rusted bolt with the help of cola. Soak a rag in it, then apply to
    the bolt. It should loosen in just minutes." --source: HGTV

Coca-Cola trivia:

A drugstore owner from Georgia originally sold coca-cola as a cure-all during the late 1800s:

Coca-Cola was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass. [John Stith Pemberton, the drink's inventor,] claimed Coca-Cola cured myriad diseases, including morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache, and impotence.--

There are also several urban myths about Coca-cola, Answers.com (linked above) highlights some of the myths.


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Alexandra said...

Great information, thanks! I've linked.

maria said...

Thanks so much for the great info on Cola.

I was reading also about your fear of driving. Did you learn eventually?

I myself spent a little fortune trying to learn with a teacher,but could never bring myself to go and do the test to get my licence.

I have finally accepted that I will never drive. It does make for a very different kind of life though.