How to Use Coca-Cola to Get Rid of Car Rust

May 10th, 2019 by

Patch of rust on a red car door

You’ve probably heard the old urban myth that Coca-Cola is so acidic it can remove rust from a car bumper. Like alligators in city sewers or fabricated words in the dictionary, this Coca-Cola myth is true! In addition to enjoying an ice-cold Coca-Cola on a warm day, you can use it to remove rust, especially from chrome finishes. It’s a time-tested car-cleaning hack. Have a stubborn patch of rust on your used car? Follow CarHop’s tips on how to use Coca-Cola to get rid of car rust!

What Makes Coca-Cola Such an Effective Cleaner?

Coca-Cola is carbonated, which allows it to dissolve with metal oxides and break up rust on a variety of metals and alloys. Phosphoric acid also gives it rust-busting power, while citric acid makes it an effective stain remover. Compared to commercial rust removers, Coca-Cola doesn’t contain as much phosphoric acid, so it works more slowly. However, it’s a good choice if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative.

Using Coca-Cola to Remove Rust: Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to get to work on removing that patch of rust? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Coca-Cola: You can grab a can or bottle. Make sure it’s a little flat before you use it, so it doesn’t immediately start fizzing. Diet Coca-Cola is less sticky, so you’ll spend less time cleaning the residue from the sugar.
  • Sponge or Aluminum Foil: You’ll need some sort of tool to work the Coca-Cola into the rust. The sponge is gentler on the surface of your car, but the aluminum foil is more effective at removing the rust with less labor.
  • Soap, Water, and Clean Rags: Gather a few clean rags, as well as soap and water, to wipe off the sticky residue left behind from the soda.

Once you have everything you’ll need, follow these steps:

  1. Fold the foil into 3 to 4 layers to give it more sturdiness.
  2. Pour some Coca-Cola onto the rust spot and gently scrub with the foil.
  3. Pieces of the rust will begin to flake off. You can switch to the sponge as you start to work through the rust.
  4. Repeat the process until the area is free of rust.
  5. Once you’ve achieved the desired results, clean the area with soap and water to remove the debris.

Learn More Car Maintenance Hacks from CarHop

Do you want more easy and inexpensive car care tips? The team at your local CarHop is happy to help! Learn more about cleaning old headlights with toothpaste or fixing squeaky brakes. Thinking of upgrading to a new-to-you family car? We can assist with that, too. Contact us with any questions!

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