Can Coke Remove Rust?

Using at-home materials to remove rust is a popular choice for a lot of reasons. But with all the information out there, it can be hard to decipher what actually works. Surely you’ve seen people using tools like Coca-Cola products to remove rust, but does that really work?

You can remove rust with coke products, as coke beverages contain phosphoric acid, which interacts with iron oxide and allows rust to dissolve. While it might take longer to remove rust with coke compared to other tools, it is definitely possible to eliminate rust with coke.

In this article, we’ll go in-depth into how exactly coke can remove rust, as well as how you can use it correctly on your rusted materials. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, keep on reading.

How Does Coke Remove Rust?

As is mentioned above, coke contains phosphoric acid that helps break down rust. It also contains citric acid, which also aids in the elimination of rust.

Many people are wondering if the ingredients in coke are capable of breaking down rust, how is it still safe for us to consume?

Phosphoric acid can also be found in most rust removers, but there is a very small amount inside a can of coke. Because of this, rust might take longer to fall away if you’re using coke as a rust remover.

That’s not to say that it won’t work at all, and it’s an inexpensive way to spruce up your rusted materials while also avoiding harsh chemicals and cleaners. You can easily soak your rusted items in coke for a few hours or even a full day, and you’ll definitely be able to see the difference.

After you’ve removed your item from being submerged in the coke, make sure to wipe off and rinse your item with water to get rid of any stickiness.

In the video below, you’ll see an example of how you can soak your rusted items in coke and be successful.

How to Successfully Use Coke to Remove Rust

Depending on how rusty your materials are, how many items you’d like to treat at once, and how large the rusted surface area is, these are all factors to be mindful of when deciding how you’ll eliminate rust.

For smaller objects and surfaces, your best bet may be to simply wipe down your materials with a solution. But if you’re looking to treat multiple, larger materials at once, perhaps soaking your objects in a solution like coke is a better option.

Below, we’ll explore multiple ways you can remove rust with coke that will leave your rusted surfaces stainless and shiny.

Soak for 24 Hours

First, find yourself a glass or plastic container that you can completely fill with coke.

The size of the container you use should be able to fully submerge and fit all the materials you plan on treating when your coke solution is added.

After allowing your materials to soak for 24 hours, you can scrub and wash off leftover stickiness and residue. If you’re not completely happy with the results, you can repeat this process.

Once you are content with the results of your coke solution, make sure to rinse your materials off well. Once rinsed and dried, you can apply some WD-40 to your materials to ensure rust won’t return.

Soaking your materials overnight is just one option you have when you plan on treating rust. It’s great for larger materials, as well as if you have multiple materials to treat. Below we’ll explore even more solutions using coke that will also get the job done.

Applying Coke to a Soft Cloth

If you choose not to submerge your items, you can simply soak a cloth in coke and then use it on your rusty materials.

This is an easy way to see results quicker, as you don’t have to wait 24 hours, although this option is better for tools that have not rusted too extremely. If you have a small amount of rust to cover and treat, this may be an ideal option for you.

Once you’re satisfied with your results, make sure you properly clean off any leftover coke residue. You can also oil your products afterward to keep any future rust at bay.

Aluminum Foil and Coke

Applying coke to a crumpled up piece of aluminum foil will also get the job done.

The foil acts as a mild abrasive, and will definitely have a better chance of removing rust than a soft cloth. This is a great option for tackling rust that’s built up on chrome surfaces, as the foil is tough enough to remove stubborn rust.

The video below shows an example of how efficient the use of foil and coke is on chrome surfaces.

After you’ve applied the coke solution onto your rusty product, and you’re happy with the results, make sure to rinse off the surface with water. If you’re not content with your results, you can always repeat the process.

Coke and Old Toothbrush

The bristles of a toothbrush are strong enough to remove rust, yet soft enough to keep your materials from being scratched and damaged.

You can either dip your toothbrush into the solution and then apply it to the rust or proceed to pour your coke product on the item and then wait 15 minutes before going in with a toothbrush to scrub off the residue. 

If you have a small and less severe amount of rust to cover, simply applying a toothbrush with coke on it will do the job. If you are dealing with more rust, allow the coke to sit before going in with a toothbrush or even wire brush.

No matter which route you go, make sure to clean off your products well as coke can become very sticky and almost impossible to clean off surfaces if they are neglected.

Diet Coke Is an Option

As we just stated above, sugary sodas can become very sticky, and it can be such a pain to clean off if you leave your coke solution on for too long.

To be safe, you can always use diet coke, which is a sugar-free option. The diet version can be used with the same effects and should be considered if you’re worried about your rusty surfaces becoming damaged by a sugary substance.

While it’s important to note that the sugar in regular coke won’t damage your material in any way, it can still leave behind a sticky residue that’s hard to erase. Diet coke contains the same amount of citric and phosphoric acid as regular soda, so this option will work just as well.

Similar to the other options we explored, make sure to rinse off your materials, and if you’d like to, oil them with WD-40 afterward.

Conclusion

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of how coke can remove rust. While it might sound like a myth, coke can actually successfully remove unwanted rust.

There are multiple ways you can use coke on your rusted surfaces and see results. With tools like aluminum foil and toothbrushes, you can successfully remove rust with at-home tools like these.

You can also soak your materials overnight in coke for visually striking results. No matter what options you go with, now you know you can successfully clean your rusty materials with items around your home, and even in your fridge.

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