How to Remove Rust With Coca-Cola

by Emily Watt

Turns out Coke works really well to clean rust off of metal. (Really well. Disturbingly well). I de-rusted my bicycle today; check it out.


  • Coca-Cola
  • Aluminium foil
  • Clean rags
  • Water
  • Something rusty
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Rust is what happens when iron reacts with the oxygen in air or water. Most rust can be easily removed with a combination of abrasion (tinfoil) and corrosion (phosphoric acid, found in Coke).

    Step 2

    Here's my bike, a 3-speed Electra. It's beautiful, but I carelessly left it in the rain a few months ago, and it's been rusty ever since.

    Step 3

    Like, really rusty. It was giving me dirty looks as I walked past it every day.

    Step 4

    So I decided to tackle it using only a small tub of Coca-Cola, and a wad of aluminum foil.

    Step 5

    Dip the foil in the Coke ...

    Step 6

    ... And start to scrub away at the rusty bits. It's actually amazing how quickly it worked, with very little effort. Amazing and scary.

    Step 7

    On the right is before, on the left is after. My thoughts as I was working ranged from "This is amazing stuff!" to "I can't believe I drink this stuff!"

    Step 8

    Oh, I don't know what this is, but it was everywhere, and I'm pretty sure it stains clothes, so heads up. I kept a rag and a bucket of water nearby to rinse my hands every once in a while.

    Step 9

    It took a little elbow grease, but eventually I got the whole thing sparkling. When I was finished I washed it with soap & water (like I'd wash a car) to make sure all that acid & sugar was gone.

    Step 10

    Here's an after photo (I brought in Seamus the puppy for a cameo). I can't believe how great it looks! Who knew?!