Vertically split image showing old, dirty pennies on the left and clean shiny pennies on the right

Is Your Coke REALLY Good for More?

Ice cold Coke, or Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper, or whatever other carbonated beverage is your vice. We all know how much sugar these things have and just how bad they are for us. BUT, can it be useful as something other than a beverage. I have seen so many posts about “amazing things you can do with coke.” Part of me didn’t believe it. What can I say? I’m a skeptic. So, like any good analytically minded scientist at heart, I HAD to try it for myself.

Also, as a homeschooling mom I am always looking for fun little science experiments with my littles. I decided to get them in on this experiment. Below are the steps we took so you can recreate it and see the results in person! Don’t worry, our results are down below too. How can I be taken seriously if I don’t provide you with photo evidence?

Pics or it didn’t happen, as my Mom Squad says.

Materials: What You Need

  • Dirty, nasty pennies
  • Rusty tool(s)
  • Plain Coca-cola (I only tested this brand. I have no idea if other brands or varieties will work. That’s an experiment for another day.)
  • Small dish for pennies
  • Tall jar for rusty tool


4 dirty pennies with evidence of green buildup from years of use in the bottom of a clear plastic bowl4 dirty pennies that look dirty from years of use in the bottom of a clear plastic bowl






Gather your nasty pennies and place them in a small dish.

Bottle of coca-cola being poured into clear plastic dish with four pennies at the bottom

Cover your pennies and let them soak. After about 2 hours, you can take a few out and rub them. You will see the grime starting to come off. Leave them soak for at least 12 hours to get the best result.

Vertically split image showing old, dirty pennies on the left and clean shiny pennies on the right

This is what ours looked like before their coke bath (on the left) and  after (on the right). There’s something to be said about this beverage’s ability to dissolve this stuck on grime and gunk.

Rusty Tool(s)

This part was super hard for me. My husband is extremely picky about his tools so I struggled to find a single rusty tool in the garage, or house, or shed…*sigh*. I managed to find a pair of wire cutters that we used when running fence for cattle. These things were AWFUL. They haven’t worked for years. We couldn’t even squeeze them.

Dirty,unusable wire cutting tool with jar of coke in the background

So, I filled a mason jar ¾ of the way with Coke. I submerged the rusty part of the tool into the coke. Still skeptical, I checked the tool about 2 hours after submerging it and thought I saw a bit of the rust beginning to break free, but I still didn’t think it would really work.

I left them to soak for another 10 hours like the pennies. Much to my surprise, it worked. Sort of. No, they weren’t shiny silvery like when they were brand new. However, they were able to be squeezed and worked like new. Seriously, they actually worked. I’m not exaggerating when I say these things haven’t worked in YEARS. Literally, at least 10 years.

Vertically split photo showing dirty, unusable wire cutting tool on the left and clean, working like new tool on the right

Moral of the Story

I found an AWESOME cleaner. I also found out that this stuff is destructive and capable of stripping rust from tools and years of grimy build-up from pennies. I still like to enjoy an occasional soda, but I am being more mindful of the long term affects on my teeth and the teeth of my kiddos.

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