Ask Almost-Doctor Dan: Cleaning Rusty Tools With Coke

As we mentioned a little while ago, we got to meet up with Almost-Doctor Dan on our recent whirlwind trip to New York and were once again able to pick his giant brain.

We asked him if he had any more home-related tips that might be of use to our readers and he thought for about a nano-second before spitting out this brilliant solution: cleaning old rusty tools with a common household item. That item, you ask? Well, it’s none other than some good ‘ol thirst-quenching Coca-Cola. Here’s what Almost Doctor Dan has to say on the subject:

To clean old rusty tools with Coke, submerge the tools in a tub or bowl of Coca-Cola overnight (not sure if Diet Coke or Pepsi will work – best to stick with original Coke). If you can still see rust, leave them for a few more days. Rinse them thoroughly, let them dry, and oil them if necessary to prevent future rusting. This works because Coca-Cola is loaded with phosphoric acid, which dissolves both iron and iron oxide (rust), but dissolves the iron oxide much more quickly. If you left the tools in there for months and months you would probably see significant dissolution (corrosion) of the steel, but for just a few days this isn’t a problem. For those who may be scared to drink Coca-Cola after learning this, just know that the contents of a healthy stomach are about 100 times more acidic than Coca-Cola. You aren’t harming your digestive system by ingesting Coke or any other dilute acid (i.e. vinegar, citrus juice), although they can be harmful to your teeth and esophagus. Of course Coke isn’t the healthiest beverage for those watching their waistline, so submerging your tools in it might just be the best way to use it.

So there you have it, a simple way to get rid of pesky rust and keep your tools in tip top shape. We know we’ll be breaking out some Coke whenever ours are looking a bit worse for wear, and you can’t beat the fifty-cents-a-can cost! And heck, it could also work for rusty metal candlesticks, vases and other decorative objects. Good to know. But what about you guys? Any other household items that you use to keep things clean or otherwise functional in your home sweet home? Do tell.

What makes Almost-Doctor Dan the smartest guy we know? Learn more about our resident braniac (and my little brother) right here.






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