The top five unusual household uses for cola

But first, it's confession time again. See, I don't actually drink cola. . . ever. So perhaps I shouldn't be appointed as the arbiter of your soft drink's destiny? Because I'm all about the repurposing of pop into anything other than edible form. Maybe I'm in the minority? Or maybe you, too, aren't so much a soda person.

If you're like me – someone who eschews the carbonated sugar crash, yet somehow seems to find themselves in possession of the occasional can (left over from a barbecue, abandoned by a house guest, left by a local Portland plumber who worked on the house, etc) – then my friend, have I got an article for you.

Because there's a lot you can do with fizzy high fructose corn syrup! This list is pretty impressive and although I haven't tried every idea myself, I have it on good authority that each one works like a little bit of bubbly magic. They mostly involve a lot of deep cleansing via erosion and acidification, which is, you know, sort of the reason why I'll never just drink the stuff. Enjoy!

1. Remove blood stains from clothes and other objects. This is a simple matter of pouring the beverage directly onto the offensive mark. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then launder or clean as usual. But if you're wondering whether there's truth behind the old rumor about cops carrying cola around to clean up bloody car crashes, well . . . sorry to disappoint, my friend. That one's just an urban legend.

2. Clean corroded metal. In it's inaugural season, the TV show MythBusters proved that you can use cola to clean a penny, by removing grime and leaving a lovely shine. And although they only tested a coin, corrosion is corrosion and copper is copper. I imagine this technique would work on many more objects. Why not give it a try?

3. Create a super secret lawn tonic to make your grass extra gorgeous. Can you imagine suggesting this to your local landscaper? This technique involves a strange combination of soda, beer, dishwashing soap, ammonia, and mouthwash. I know! It sounds totally impossible, but the author swears by it. You can get a detailed account on Wise Bread, and make sure to read the comments – this magic mixture gets rave reviews!

4. Use cola to clean burnt pans by boiling and then soaking the caked-on crud. Fill your poor crusted kitchenware with cola (enough to cover the stains completely), bring it to a boil, and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Then use a steel wool or some other super scouring pad to get in there and get the charred pan nice and clean. (If you want proof, watch this demonstration.)

5. You can use aluminum foil and a can of cola to make your chrome sparkle like the day it left the factory floor. True! From your car's bumper and your Chopper's engine, to your jewelry and your barware, a little soda is all you need to restore that super shine. Just pour the soda over the rusty or dirty area and let it sit for a sec. Then crumple up the aluminum foil, and use the foil to buff out the blemishes. Voila! Pristine and practically brand spankin' new.

So there you have it, my top 5 ways to put your leftover cola to good use. If you were to kind of person who made horrible, hardly-relevant puns, you might even say that you were "taking colas and making cleaning-aid". You know, if you were that sort of person . . .

Sayward Rebhal writes for Networx. Get home & garden ideas like this on Networx.

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