An excellent cleaner you probably have at home is a can of Coca Cola. You can remove rust, dissipate bloodstains, remove stickiness, clean your toilet and even polish coins, among a host of other uses. But, what about Coca Cola’s popular counterpart, Diet Coke?
Does Diet Coke clean as well as regular Coke? Yes, it does! This is because both products contain citric and phosphoric acids. Both compounds are notorious for removing rust, blood, dirt and grime from almost any surface. It’s advisable, though, to assess the situation before using Diet Coke.
This is because it won’t be as powerful as other types of cleaners designed for such issues. But, they do work in a pinch or if what you have to clean is too fragile for harsh chemicals.
What Makes Diet Coke a Good Cleaner?
Like regular Coke, Diet Coke contains phosphoric and citric acids, which breakdown impossible stains like rust. However, rust removers will contain higher amounts of these compounds. These are far more effective on surfaces riddled with the staining. But, if there’s a light bit of rust, say in a toilet, then using a little Diet Coke will work.
So, if you do opt to use Diet Coke to clean something, plan on having it soak in the liquid for a full day. Use it as a spray cleaner for those things that can’t go into a soak and this will depend on the situation. As will be discussed, you can’t treat hair and fabrics the same as tile grout or garage floors.
What Items Are Good to Clean in Diet Coke?
You can clean almost any surface with Diet Coke that is sticky, rusty or has overall schmaltz that normal cleaners won’t particularly dissolve. However, you should evaluate how bad the problem is before going with Diet Coke.
This is because you may end up making the stain more permanent in the end. Such considerations will include how long the stain has been on the surface. It’s easier to clean stains the moment they happen rather than waiting for several days. You can clean things like:
- Eyeglasses or Sunglasses
- Glue from most surfaces such as Hair; Fabrics
- Gum Stuck in Hair; Fabrics
- Metals like Chrome and Brass
- Mold; Mildew on Fabrics
- Motor Oil Stains
- Neutralize Nasty Odors
- Old Jewelry
- Old Paint
- Rusty Items
- Tile Grout
How Do You Clean with Diet Coke?
How you choose to clean with Diet Coke will depend on the item and surface in question. In most cases, you’re going to want to be able to saturate the area with the product for a considerable period of time. You have several methods available.
Remember, always do a typical cleaning of the items first to determine how bad the rust, gum or stickiness is. Use Diet Coke when you have no other option.
For things like old jewelry, dirty coins, or rusty tools, you want to soak them in Diet Coke for about 24 hours. In terms of nuts, bolts, nails or jewelry, fill a cup with some Diet Coke and walk away. Come back a day later and wipe it off with a clean cloth.
Things like eyeglasses aren’t practical to soak in Diet Coke. So, for these types of small objects, place it over the sink and pour a bit of the product over the object. Wipe it off with a lint-free cloth, rinse off any sugary reside and repeat until they are sparkling clean.
As long as the object you have to clean has a bowl or dish of some kind, then you can pour the Diet Coke directly on the surface. Allow it to rest for a day and scrub it out. For toilets and tubs, you will want to use a scrub brush or toilet wand.
In regards to things like an iron skillet, use a scouring pad or steel wool to scrub off the excess.
Use a bottle or two of Diet Coke to remove oil spills from concrete, gunk from tile grout, bloodstains from the kitchen floor, old paint from a living room window or other such situation. Use an old spray bottle head that fits over the threading of the Diet Coke bottle and spray it over the area until fully saturated.
Don’t let the Diet Coke sit for too long, however. You don’t want the coke to dry completely as this may create more problems. But, allow it to work into the surface or fabric for an hour or so. Use an appropriate scrubbing implement like a broom, scrub brush, lint-free cloth or paint scraper. Finally, rinse off the area well with warm water.
You may have to repeat the process several times if the stain remains. If you can toss the item into a machine washer, do so. This will remove any excess and lift residual stickiness caused by the Diet Coke. Otherwise, doing another basic clean on the area will be best.
Removing Blood; Gum from Fabrics
If you’re dealing with bloodstains or gum embedded deep into fabric, you can use some Diet Coke to get it out. For clothing, bedding and other materials, you can fill a tub or bucket with Diet Coke and allow only the affected area to soak. You could spray it on, but this will depend on the logistics of the situation.
For instance, if the entire sheet or garment covers in blood, then you will want to use as much Diet Coke as is necessary. This means filling a tub enough to allow these to soak. But, if you have a very thick comforter with a spot of blood in the center, then spraying on the Diet Coke will be a more pragmatic choice.
In terms of getting gum out of fabrics, soaking or spraying will depend on the affected area and its level of severity. You will definitely want to soak any material with gum or stickiness caked within the fibers for several hours.
Removing Gum; Stickiness from Hair
For hair, on the other hand, you have to be careful how you remove gum and stickiness. If the hair is short or contains colorants, you will not be able to do a Diet Coke soak. This is because the hair will be too short and/or you will strip the hair color out of the strands.
While you will be able to spray short hair to remove gum, you wont’ be able to use Diet Coke at all on dyed hair. So, however, you apply the Diet Coke, you must work it into the strands well. When the gum begins to peel off and rub away from the strands, then you can wash the hair in normal shampoo and conditioner.
For color-treated hair, you will have to shampoo or hair oil designed for colored hair as the medium. Just as you would use Diet Coke, rub these into the hair until the gum rolls off and any stickiness is no longer present. Then, wash and condition as normal.
What Products Work Better than Diet Coke?
If you find your cleaning efforts to remove things like rust, bloodstains, gum and general gunk don’t work with basic cleaning and Diet Coke, there are a host of products out there. Manufacturers design their products to be powerful and tough against stains.
- Incredible! Stain Remover: For an effective remover for bloodstains and grease from fabrics, the stain remover by Incredible! is ideal. It’s good for upholstery like furniture and mattresses as well as clothing. The formula is also good against odors, coffee and wine.
- Goo Gone Adhesive Remover: To get rid of gum, stickiness and all around schmaltz on just about any surface, Goo Gone is the go-to. Parents and teachers alike swear by this product since it takes care of any gooey mess kids tend to get themselves into.
- Flitz Metal Pre-Clean: This industrial-strength cleaner is for rust and oil stains that appear on a variety of metals. It works in less than a minute and eats away at tough stains so you can clean up the metal in a flash.
- The Pink Stuff: Stardrops is the company that manufactures this cleaning paste. It can remove gunk, grime, blood, rust and paint from metal, ceramic, glass, porcelain, PVC and so much more. It gets below the surface and deep into stains, leaving things like brand new.
- Spirit Gum Remover: For delicate items such as garments and hair, you could try some spirit gum to remove gum, gunk and stickiness. It’s a little more powerful than Diet Coke and its design lends itself to removing costume makeup requiring glue.
- Concrete Rust Remover: If you have a rust stain on a porcelain tub, garage floor or other concrete surface, this rust remover from Singerman Laboratories is great! It can remove rust on any type of masonry including any natural stone like marble or granite.