While you may not think of Coca-Cola as more than a soft drink, the ingredients in it can dissolve mineral deposits and remove rust. Coke makes an ideal agent for cleaning stubborn toilet bowls and even a clogged showerhead. If you want to use this acidic drink to clean your showerhead, here are some considerations.
Why It Works
Coca-Cola contains three acids: citric acid, tartaric acid and (most prevalently) phosphoric acid. All of these acids work together to remove rust and other deposits, but the phosphoric acid is especially useful because it contains a stronger acidic concentration than those commonly found in natural cleaning products. Other colas such as Pepsi, RC Cola and Shasta Cola contain similar ingredients and can serve the same cleaning purpose.
While other cleaning products may do a better job of restoring a shine to the showerhead, Coca-Cola can effectively unclog the head when other products fail. If you notice your showerhead dispensing water unevenly or sending water shooting in multiple directions, its pores are likely clogged. In cases like these, Coca-Cola can save the day by removing rust and buildup.
To dissolve rust and other minerals, the Coca-Cola will need time to soak the material. You can do this one of two ways. Pour the cola into a plastic bag, hold it up to the showerhead and tie the ends around the shower arm just behind the head, using twist ties. The other way is to remove the showerhead by twisting it off counterclockwise with an adjustable wrench. Put the head, nozzle side down, into a bowl or other container filled with Coke and let it soak for an hour.
After soaking, you will need to rinse the showerhead and wipe it down with a sponge or cloth. Although the acids in Coca-Cola can serve your cleaning needs, the sugar can leave you with a sticky mess. To prevent this, rinse the head with warm water and give the surface a quick scrub.
Chris Anzalone has been writing professionally since 2001. He is a former staff writer and associate editor for Opposing Views, a popular news media website that tackles issues of the day from multiple perspectives. Anzalone holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Riverside.