The Many Uses of Coke in Addition to Drinking It-Truth! & Fiction!



Summary of eRumor: 
There are several versions of emails circulating on the Internet about Coca-Cola.  Some criticize it from a nutritional and health standpoint.  Others, such as the one below, depict it as a kind of cleaning fluid that people drink as a beverage.  Some versions also contrast that with the suggested health benefits of water.  

The Truth:

There is a list of allegations.  We’ll try to take them one at a time.  Refer to the full version below for the details.  
For information on the water portion of any emails that compare Coke versus water,
click here

Critics of Coke (and some other soft drinks) say that if the beverages will do corrosive things, why drink them?

Defenders, including the folks at Coca-Cola, say there are many foods that have substances like acids in them such as fruit juices and buttermilk, and that the body seems to handle them just fine.  The operative substance is phosphoric acid, which, in pure form, can eat through metal.  Edible acids, however, should not be compared with them, according to the defenders.  

Here is the list.  If you have any of the answers, let us know:

 1.  The highway patrol carrying Coke to clean up blood at car accidents.  Unproven! (Help us out) If this is true, we haven’t found it.
2.  A t-bone steak will be eaten away by Coke in two days.  Unproven! (Help us out)
3.  Clean a toilet with Coke.  Truth!  According to, the popular household hint guru Mary Ellen says some coke in the toilet for an hour can do the trick.
 4.  Remove stains from vitreous china. 
Truth!  According to columnist Heloise.
 5.  Use Coke and a ball of aluminum foil for rust on chrome. 
Truth!  According to Joey Greene’s
 6.  Clean corrosion from car battery terminals. 
Truth!  This is true of a lot of carbonated beverages.
 7.  Use a Coke-soaked cloth to loosen a rusted bolt. 
Truth!  According to Mary Ellen.
 8.  Use a can of Coke in a load of greasy laundry. 
Truth!  According to Mary Ellen.
 9.  Dissolve a nail in 4 days in Coke. 
Unproven! (Help us out)
10. Hazardous materials signs are required on trucks carrying Coke concentrate. reader Marilyn writes:  
My husband and I drive the big rigs and often carried Pepsi products…and it is true of all soda in the concentrated form…YES we did have to put the hazardous placards up for the load. Also the driver has to have passed the hazardous material test and have that on his CDL’s (Commercial Driver’s License)

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Just when you thought you knew everything….

1. In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.

2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days.

3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl… Let the “real thing” sit for one hour, then flush clean.

4. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

5. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

6. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away corrosion.

7. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

9.The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.

10.To carry Coca Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly Corrosive materials.

11.The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!