10 Surprising Uses for Coca-Cola

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It’s hard to imagine a world without Coca-Cola.

The iconic beverage, invented in 1886 by Atlanta pharmacist John S. Pemberton, is available just about everywhere you can travel. More than 1.9 billion servings are sold annually throughout the world.

But as it turns out, Coke is useful for myriad tasks — from basting ham to cleaning grout — in addition to being a tasty soft drink. Consider these alternate uses for Coca-Cola.

1. Ease nausea

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Perhaps your mom sometimes soothed your upset tummy with Coca-Cola when you were a child. It still works. Flat soda is best, notes The New York Times.

2. Clean car battery terminals

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Car aficionados know that you can clean corrosion off battery terminals by wiping them with a cloth soaked in Coke. It’s a quick fix if you are stranded somewhere due to battery problems, reports Lifehacker.

3. Baste a ham

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When you cook a ham, enhance its flavor by basting it with some Coca-Cola every 30 minutes, recommends Paula Deen on Food Network.

4. Give hair body and bounce

Woman dries hair after a home treatment
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English actress Suki Waterhouse told Us Weekly in 2015 that rinsing her hair with Coke gives it more body:

“I don’t like my hair when it’s washed — it’s fine and limp — but Coca-Cola makes it tousled, like I’ve gone through the Amazon or something.”

5. Create barbecue sauce

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All you need is 1 cup of Coca-Cola and a few other ingredients — ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, A.1. Sauce and spices — to make a delicious barbecue sauce, according to Food Network.

6. Clean grout

Dirty tile grout
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Cleaning expert Melissa Maker of Clean My Space explains:

“If you have dirty, dingy grout, pour a bit of cola onto the area, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe clean. For tough stains, use a cleaning toothbrush to scrub the grout before wiping the area clean.”

7. Loosen burned-on food from pans

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Pans caked with burned-on food take forever to clean unless you know the Coca-Cola secret. Pour some into the pan, bring it to a boil, and you can scrub the crusty stuff right off, reports Parent Hacks.

8. Make tasty pulled pork

Pulled pork sandwich
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Add a can of Coca-Cola (or root beer) to the slow cooker when cooking pork for pulled pork, recommends Taste of Home.

9. De-ice a window

Icy car windshield with snow
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There are few things more annoying than going out to your car and finding the windows coated with ice. Rather than chipping away, Parent Hacks suggests grabbing a can of Coke and pouring it on the windshield to melt the ice.

One warning, though: Keep it off your paint or make sure to wash the car right away.

10. For fun, add a few Mentos — watch it explode!

Coke and Mentos explosion
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You’ve probably seen the eruption caused when Mentos candies are dropped into a bottle of Diet Coke. If not, try it or turn to YouTube.

New Scientist explains how it works.

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