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Coke: A Household Cleaner?
Netlore Archive:  According to this email flier, the acidity of Coke and Pepsi makes both soft drinks a health hazard, not to mention darned good household cleaners

Description:  Email flier
Status:  Mostly false
Circulating since:  1999
Analysis:  See below

Email example contributed by T. Zeigler, 3 Feb. 2000:

Subject: FW: FW: Coke & Pepsi

For those of you who love Coke/Pepsi...
Just when you thought you knew everything....

To clean a toilet:
Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl. Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers:
Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

To clean corrosion from car battery terminals:
Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

To loosen a rusted bolt:
Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

To bake a moist ham:
Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan; Wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.

To remove grease from clothes:
Empty a can of Coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

Coke & Pepsi
For your info:
The average pH of soft drinks, e.g. Coke, Pepsi is pH 3.4. This acidity is strong enough to dissolve teeth and bones! Our human body stops building bones at around the age of 30. After that it'll be dissolving about 8-18% of the bones each year through the urine depending on the acidity of the food intake (acidity does not depend on the taste of the food, but on the ratio of potassium / calcium / magnesium / etc. to phosphorus).

All the dissolved calcium compounds accumulate in the arteries, veins, skin tissue, organs. This affects the functioning of the kidney (kidney stones).

Soft drinks do not have any nutritional value (in terms of vitamins and minerals). They have higher sugar content, higher acidity, and more additives such as preservatives and colorings

Some people like to take cold soft drinks after each meal. Guess what's the impact? Our body has an optimum temperature of 37 degrees for the functioning of digestive enzymes. The temperature of cold soft drinks is much less than 37, sometimes quite close to 0. This will lower the effectiveness of the enzymes and put stress on the digestive system, digesting less food. In fact the food gets fermented. The fermented food produces bad smelling gases, decays and forms toxins which are absorbed in the intestines, get circulated in the blood and is delivered to the whole body. This spread of toxins can lead to the development of various diseases.

Think before you drink Coke or Pepsi or any another soft drink. Have you ever thought what you drink when you drink an aerated drink? You gulp down carbon dioxide, something that nobody in the world would advise you to do.

Two months ago, there was a competition in Delhi University "Who can drink the most Coke?". The winner drank 8 bottles and died on the spot because too much carbon dioxide in the blood and not enough oxygen. From then on, the principal banned all soft drinks from the university canteen.

Someone put a broken tooth in a bottle of Pepsi and in 10 days it is dissolved! Teeth and bones are the only human organ that stay intact for years after death. Imagine what the drink must be doing to your soft intestines and stomach lining!

Comments:  Aside from the allegation that baking a ham basted with Coke produces a sumptuous gravy ("definitely true!" say the folks at Coca-Cola headquarters), the above text is largely bunk. We have addressed the health claims, which have circulated previously in a slightly different form, elsewhere. As for the notion that the acid content of cola drinks makes them useful for various household cleaning purposes such as scrubbing toilets and removing grease from clothes, let's just say there are plenty of more effective, less costly and decidedly less sticky alternatives available. "It is possible," says the Coca-Cola Truths Website, "that the edible acid in any of these products could have the effects described, even though it's still quite safe to drink these products. However, we don't make any claims relating to other uses. Instead, we recommend using products specifically designed for cleaning or rust removal."

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Sources and further reading:

Coke Adds Death
Carla Homan debunks health claims about cola drinks

Can Coke Be Used as a Household Cleaner?
From the Coca-Cola Truths Website

Is the Acidity of Coca-Cola Strong Enough to Dissolve Teeth and Bones?
From Coca-Cola Truths

Last updated: 03/29/04

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