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7 things you can clean with Coca-Cola

No -- not that kind of coke.

Coca-Cola is one of the most popular soft drinks on the planet, but it also happens to be a fantastic household cleaner.

There are dozens of alternative uses for Coca-Cola. While Coca-Cola doesn't directly endorse or advise alternative uses, the company notes that it makes a mean basted ham. It also doesn't denounce that Coca-Cola can be used as a cleaner on various household items.

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Photo by: Taylor Martin/CNET

Clean the toilet bowl

That's right. The fizzy drink can actually remove hard-to-clean stains on the inside of a toilet bowl. You can either pour cola directly onto the stains themselves or cover the entire inside of the bowl by putting cola into a spray bottle and spraying on a light coating.

Letting the cola sit for several hours will improve its effectiveness. Before flushing, use a toilet brush to scrub away the stains and flush.

This works very well, but only for removing grime and stains. To disinfect, you will still need to use a disinfectant cleaner.

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Photo by: Taylor Martin/CNET

Remove grease stains from clothing

You may have heard of other solutions for removing a grease stain from clothing, such as spraying the stain with WD-40. That said, Coke has grease-busting abilities, too, thanks to the phosphoric acid in the drink.

All you need to do is pop open a can of cola and pour it in with your laundry, along with the normal dose of detergent and run a wash cycle.

To fight even tougher stains, apply the cola directly to the stain and let it soak for up to 30 minutes before tossing it in a regular wash cycle.

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Photo by: Taylor Martin/CNET

Remove baked-on grease from pots and pans

Thanks to its effectiveness as a grease remover, you can also use cola to help remove baked-on grease from your pots and pans.

For a pot or sauce pan, add a can of Coke to it and sit it on a burner on low heat. Leave it for 30 minutes to an hour, then remove from heat. Use a scouring pad to scrub away the grime. This method can be used to remove foods which have stuck during cooking, such as rice, pasta or eggs, but it will still require a little elbow grease with a scouring pad to lift the worst of the stains.

The same steps are possible for a baking pan, but it can be more tricky. Instead of heating the baking pan itself, heat the Coke in a pot, pour the heated soda into the pan, scrub and rinse.

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Photo by: Taylor Martin/CNET

Remove corrosion from car battery terminals

Excessive corrosion buildup on a car battery's terminals can cause problems when trying to start the vehicle.

However, Coca-Cola removes corrosion from battery terminals quite effectively. Simply crack open a can and carefully pour over the terminals. After letting it sit for a few minutes, use a toothbrush to scrub the corrosion away. Remember to rinse the terminals with some warm water to get rid of any residual Coke.

It may be beneficial to use a brush and cleaner designed specifically for cleaning battery terminals. But it's also good to know that if you're in a pinch, a can of Coke can do the trick.

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Photo by: Andrew Bossi/Flickr

Restore shine to coins and jewelry

Coins and jewelry that have started to gather an unsightly tarnish can be cleaned with nothing more than a can of Coke.

If, for some reason, you care about how shiny your pocket change is, simply drop the grimy coins in a Coke bath and leave them overnight. In the morning, pour the Coke down the drain, rinse the coins in warm water and pat them dry.

I grabbed a handful of grimy pennies and nickels, dropped them into a cup of cola and let them sit overnight. While most of them didn't return to their original shine, the black tarnish was removed from virtually every penny. However they did require a bit of polishing with a wash cloth.

It's wise to be cautious when trying this on jewelry, as the acid in Coke can also strip paint and rust off metal if left long enough. Remove the jewelry and promptly rinse. For something a bit safer, you may want to stick to cleaning jewelry with aluminum foil instead.

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Photo by: Taylor Martin/CNET

Strip rust from nuts, bolts and tools

The same concept applies to stripping rust from metal tools, nuts, bolts and chrome.

For large areas, you can use a spray bottle for a larger coverage area. Using aluminum foil or a scouring pad, scrub the affected area, then rinse with water. If you're using this on chrome, you definitely do not want to let it sit too long, or it can actually eat away at the finish.

For rusted hardware or tools, place them in a cup or bowl of Coke overnight. In the morning, you may still need to scrub with a wire brush to remove any stubborn rust stains. When finished, rinse with warm water and wipe away any remaining rust with a wash cloth.

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Photo by: Sandeep Menon/Flickr

Remove bugs from a dirty windshield

If you just so happened to drive through the mountains of North Carolina on a warm, summer night, you might need a can of Coke to help get rid of the droves of bugs that clearly targeted your windshield.

That's right, Coke can cut through those impossible-to-remove, caked-on bug remains from your car's windshield. Lightly pour Coke on the parts of your windshield you intend to clean, let it sit for a minute and wipe away with a wet washcloth.

You definitely don't want to let this sit for an extended period of time, else you risk it damaging your car's paint job. But in a pinch, Coke works wonders on bugs stuck on your windshield and bumper, if you're careful.

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Photo by: Matt Lemmon/Flickr

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