When I was younger, I was a figure skater. To get the rust off of our blades we would frequently soak them in Pepsi. I didn’t understand at the time why that worked, only that it did. Turns out that most dark sodas have a pH of 2.8 – 3.4. This makes them acidic enough to handle many common household tasks. Given that many commercial cleaning products and rust removers cost far more than the $2.00 or so you pay for a 2-liter, using soda around the house can save you some money. Here are some ways that soda can be used around the home:
Fertilize plants: Some plants such as Azaleas thrive in acidic soil. If you have plants that require acidic soil, you can buy commercial additives or you can pour soda on them.
Rust remover: In addition to soaking off the rust, you can rub rust spots with aluminum foil dipped in soda. It works for outdoor furniture, grills, and other metal surfaces. You can also use it to loosen rusted nuts and bolts.
Remove gum from hair: Soak the gum coated hair in a bowl of soda for a few minutes and the gum will rub off.
Clean a toilet: Pour soda in the bowl and let it sit for an hour. Swish with a brush to remove debris and then flush.
Engine cleaner You can pour soda over an engine (not into!) to remove grime and corrosion. Just make sure that all fluid ports are tightly closed. Soda does not work as an antifreeze or oil.
Remove corrosion from battery terminals: Pour soda over the corrosion and watch it bubble off. Scrub with a toothbrush to flush it away.
Grout cleaner: Dampen a rag with soda and scrub the grout. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it clean. If dirt persists, repeat. Otherwise, rinse to remove the stickiness.
Soothe a jellyfish sting: Wipe soda over the sting. The acid neutralizes the sting.
Clean a cooking pot: If you have a pot that is encrusted with burned food, pour in a can of soda and bring to a boil. The soda will boil off the crud leaving you with a clean pan.
Remove grease and blood stains from clothes: Pour a can of soda into the washer with your greasy clothes, add detergent and wash as normal. The soda dissolves the grease. It will also kill strong smells.
Remove road grime from windshields: Dampen a paper towel or rag with soda and wipe your windshield. It dissolves the nasty film that accumulates on the inside and outside of a windshield. Rinse with water to get rid of the sticky film.
Remove oil stains from the garage floor or driveway: Pour on the soda, let it sit and rinse it off.
Drain cleaner: Pour soda down the clogged drain and let the acid do its thing.
Soda has many other uses, as well. There are many recipes that call for it. It’s also got medicinal uses. It can soothe an upset stomach, and help with constipation and diarrhea. Some people use it to stop hiccups and some swear it can hold off an asthma attack. It’s a versatile product that costs a fraction of what buying all of the commercial preparations would cost.
Of course, there is a downside to this. Once you see all the things that you can do with soda, you may lose your craving for it. When I was skating, using Pepsi as a rust remover pretty much cured me of drinking it. I really worried about what something that could remove rust was doing to my digestive tract. It’s not all bad, though. I’ve saved a ton of money over the years by not drinking much soda.