Does Coke Remove Rust From Tools? A Complete Guide

Rust is inevitable, and it continues to corrode tools faster the moment it sets in. You can use coke to remove rust from metal tools. Coke contains phosphoric acid, which is also the active ingredient in most cleaning agents. 

Coke is a sweet-tasting carbonated drink. However, its usage has become far more extensive as it can be used to clean and restore rusty tools. One way of increasing the longevity of your tool is by removing rusts. If you have any rust stains or tools covered in rust, coke will get rid of the rusts for you.

How Does Coke Remove Rust From Tools? 

Phosphoric acid is a major constituent in Coke, which is why it is capable of interacting with rust. While several other acids can remove rust, most of them will oxidize the remaining metal. This will eventually create more rust in the long run and negate the desired effect of rust removal. 

Phosphoric acid is one of the few acids that can remove rust without damaging or oxidizing the metal beneath it. Since rust is essentially iron oxide, the phosphoric acid in Coke interacts with it. 

Phosphoric acid is an excellent option for removing rust because it doesn’t dissolve the rust; rather, it binds with the rust to form iron (III) oxide and water. The iron (III) oxide can be easily rinsed off the metal tool. 

Coke also contains another acid, citric acid, which can remove rust. Importantly, note that the concentration of phosphoric and citric acid in Coke is very small and mild. Nevertheless, this is not to say that Coke will not work at all with removing rust from tools. 

How can you use Coke to eliminate rust from tools? 

Coke is an inexpensive way to spruce up rust from metal tools. There are different ways to use Coke to remove rust from tools. The method to choose depends on how rusty the materials are and the size of the rusted surface area.

So, if you’re looking for a method to get rid of rust while avoiding harsh chemicals and cleaners, then Coke is an ideal choice for you. 

Below are the four ways to eliminate rust with Coke leaving your surface shiny and stainless. 

Soaking in Coke 

To use the soaking technique, find a plastic or glass container and fill it with Coke. The container should be large enough to submerge the tool you are trying to treat. 

Soak the tool in Coke for 24 hours, after which you are to agitate it by scrubbing and rinsing off leftovers and residue. After rinsing it, allow it to dry, and then apply a light coating or other anti-rust treatment to ensure the rust won’t return. 

If you’re not satisfied with the amount of rust that has been removed, soak the tool in Coke for a couple more hours and agitate it again. When you are happy with the result, ensure you rinse off the Coke from the tool well. 

Applying Coke with a soft cloth 

Another fantastic way you can use Coke to get rid of rust is by applying the Coke with a soft cloth. This method is ideal when you cannot submerge the tool in Coke. Soak the soft cloth in Coke and use it to gently wipe the rusty materials off the tool.

Unlike the soaking method, this is an easier way to see results quickly as you won’t have to wait for a whole day. Also, it’s better to use this method for tools that haven’t rusted too much. 

If the amount of rust you want to treat is small, this may be the ideal option for you. Once you’re satisfied with the result, rinse the surface for leftover rust residue and oil the surface afterward to prevent future rust. 

Using aluminum foil and Coke 

In place of a soft cloth, you can apply the Coke to a crumpled piece of aluminum foil to get the job done. The foil will act as a mild abrasive that will work well at removing rust. 

You can also use aluminum foil and coke to battle rust when tackling rust built upon a chrome surface, as the foil is tough enough to remove stubborn rust. If you aren’t satisfied with the result, you can crumple another piece of aluminum foil, add the Coke and repeat the process until you are satisfied. 

When you are happy with the result, make sure you rinse off the surface with water and allow it to dry well. 

Using Coke and an old toothbrush 

One last method you can try out is the use of an old bristle toothbrush. Toothbrushes are strong enough to remove rust from surfaces yet soft enough to keep the surface from being scratched or damaged. 

You can either dip the toothbrush in the coke solution and then apply it to the rust, or pour the Coke on the rusted surface, wait for 15 minutes before you start scrubbing off the residue. This method will do the job if you have a small amount of rust to cover.  

Other useful information about using Coke to remove rust 

  • Coke contains a lot of sugar, using it to remove rust from tools will leave your tool sticky. 
  • To reduce the stickiness on your tool, you can use diet coke as it contains less sugar but has the same amount of phosphoric acid and all its cleaning agents.
  • The citric acid in Coke is known to have the stain-removing property, while the phosphoric acid helps get rid of the rust. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should the rusty tools stay in Coke? 

People often soak their rusty tools in Coke for 24 hours. You can soak tools in Coke for as long as you want with no harm whatsoever done to the tool. The longer you leave a tool soaked in Coke, the easier it will be to remove the rust. 

If Coke is a cleaning agent, how is it edible? 

Coke was not poisonous before it was determined that it could be used as a cleaning agent. The safe consumption of Coke came before people started using it to remove rust and other stains.

So, it’s not as though Coke was originally formulated as a cleaning agent. People became creative about more ways they can utilize it to its full potential. 

Can I use Coke to remove rust from a cast-iron tool? 

While rust on cast iron is often the toughest to treat, you can still use Coke to treat it. The carbonated nature of Coke, phosphoric acid, and citric acid all work together to create a great cleaning solution. 

Does Pepsi remove rust like Coca-Cola? 

There is no difference between Pepsi and Coca-Cola as they both have Phosphoric and nitric acid. You can use Pepsi as an alternative to Coke. 

Can Coke loose stiffened bolts and nuts? 

Coke can as well help loosen corroded bolts and nuts. When the case arises, pour some coke on the nut and let it sit for a few minutes. The acid in the Coke will react with the rust that caused the stiffness, making it easier to turn with your spanner.

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