Multipurpose cola: Coke can be used for cleaning, cooking

Evert Nelson | Collegian Besides being a classic soda, Coca-Cola can also serve a wide variety of uses including dissolving your extra pennies.

Many people around the world enjoy the carbonated beverage Coca-Cola on a daily basis. Although once marketed as a medicine, and now as a beverage, the uses for Coca-Cola don’t stop at quenching thirst. You can also use the beverage for many household chores, as I discovered firsthand over a weekend of Coca-Cola-inspired cooking and cleaning.

Coca-Cola was first introduced to consumers by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886. Although his initial attempts to sell the product were widely unsuccessful, the product survived. Asa Griggs Candler purchased the company in 1888 after Pemberton’s death, and the rest is history.

I had heard for a while that Coke can be used to clean things like toilets and cleaning rust off pennies.
Over the weekend, I took on several claims from online sources that insisted Coca-Cola is not just a fizzy drink.

My first challenge was to clean the rust off of several dirty pennies. Following directions on, I soaked the pennies in Coke for a 24-hour period.

While the pennies soaked in Coke, I started my second mission: to clean my toilet with Coke. According to writer Jonathon E. Stewart’s video “How to Clean A Toilet With Coca Cola,” the best technique for cleaning your toilet with Coke is to use a bottle of the drink. This helps reach the inner edges of the toilet bowl. Using this technique, I applied the coke and scrubbed my toilet with a toilet brush for about 5 minutes.

I soon began to see results from the foretold cleaning powers of Coca-Cola. After scrubbing for about 7-10 minutes there was no trace of limescale on the white porcelain throne.

I was the most anxious to try a recipe I found online that used Coke as a sauce. While making an oven-roasted chicken, I used half original Oklahoma Joe’s barbecue sauce and half Coca-Cola to baste the chicken, and let it marinate in the oven.

To my surprise, the chicken came out crispy brown and tasted just as good as it looked. Although the thick barbecue sauce overpowered the Coke taste, the meal was very enjoyable.

The following day I checked on the pennies I had previously let soak in Coke. Although the rust was not fully cleaned off, the pennies were significantly shinier. I let them soak for another 24 hours. By that point, most, if not all, of the rust was cleaned off.

According to, Coca-Cola can be used for other household chores, such as removing the scent of skunk spray. Soaking the smelly clothes in Coke and detergent will eliminate skunk odors, according to the website, which also claims that you can treat jellyfish stings by pouring Coca-Cola over the sting area. I’ll let you test that theory yourself.

Sid Arguello is a senior in psychology. Please send comments to