Does Coke Clean Toilets? (We Show You Exactly How to Do It)

Does Coke Clean Toilets

Using coke to clean your toilet may seem like a bizarre idea. But, given the potent acidity of Coke, it’s so crazy it might just work. So, if you’re in a pinch, can you use coke to clean your toilet? Or will this be damaging?

The acidity in Coke does, in fact, help clean a toilet.  It may help remove some solid waste and can help reduce staining.  That being said, it will not replace a disinfectant.  You’ll still need an additional cleaning product for germs and hard-to-remove stains.

There is a great debate throughout the US whether or not the term “Coke” refers to the brand Coca-Cola or if it’s a catch-all term for soda.  For the sake of clarity in this article, “Coke” will always refer to the brand. So please don’t send us angry letters.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

When you need to get your toilet, or any other area in your home, cleaned fast, mixing Coke with other common household products can up their cleaning potential!

Try one of these great add-ins next time you’re cleaning:

Baking Soda – combines with the acids in Coke to boost the cleaning power.

Vinegar – combine with baking soda to form a powerful cleaning trifecta!

Toothpaste – The mild abrasiveness of toothpaste makes cleaning anything a breeze!


While Coke is mainly known for being a refreshing beverage, there have been several viral hacks lately that show you how you can clean with this drink.  To start off, we’ll be discussing the science behind why Coke makes a pretty decent cleaner!

Does Coke Actually Clean Toilets?

Coke won’t replace your disinfectant, but it can help you clean stains from your toilet.  Due to the acidity in Coke, it works to break down limescale and other hard water residues from your toilet bowl.  

Apply it directly to hard water spots to get the most out of your Coke.  You may need to use a paper towel dampened with Coke, depending on the placement of the stain. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes, then scrub lightly to remove the debris fully. 

What Does Pouring Coke Down the Toilet Do?

Pouring Coke down the toilet can help remove rust and hard-water stains. In addition, due to Coke’s mild acidity, it can actually help break down limescale and other stains and keep your toilet shiny.  

Of course, Coke can’t actually replace a disinfectant for day-to-day use, but that doesn’t mean it’s not handy to have around!  It can help lift those tough stains without extra scrubbing effort on your part. 

Why Use Coke to Clean a Toilet?

If you have tough limescale build-up, using Coke to clean your toilet can be a cheap way to break it down.  Instead of using an expensive, caustic chemical-based cleaner, just pour a cup of Coke into your bowl, let it sit for 30 minutes, scrub and flush.

You should find that one round of Coke will break down most, if not all, of the debris in your toilet.  However, if it’s not completely gone, you can simply repeat the above steps, allowing the Coke to sit for at least half an hour before scrubbing it with your toilet brush.

Does Coca-Cola Clean a Toilet?

If applied correctly, Coca-Cola can clean your toilet.  Coke works well to break down hard water and limescale, as well as other build-ups in the bowl of your toilet.  Allowing Coke to sit on these stains for half an hour before scrubbing can help soften and break down dirt.

If you have stains on the outside of your toilet or high enough in the bowl that the Coke won’t naturally settle there, you can soak paper towels in Coke and set them on the stains.  Allow the paper towels to sit for at least half an hour before attempting to scrub the stains away. 

Why Put Coke in a Toilet?

You can put Coke in a toilet bowl to help break down stains, limescale, and other debris caused by hard water.  The acidity in Coke actually helps to soften all that grime so that you can easily scrub it away. 

Because of the mild acidity in Coke, it functions as a descaling agent in your toilet.  This means it’s a useful tool to help remove hard water and limescale buildup from your toilet, as well as any other areas of your home that may have this kind of build-up.

What Happens When You Pour Coke Into the Toilet?

When you pour Coke into a toilet, the mild acidity that makes Coke tasty gets to work on any dirt and debris in the bowl.  The Coke breaks down the dirt and stains to make it easier to scrub them clean. 

Of course, even though it’s good for debris, it’s not so good for germs. So if you’re still worried about what kind of unseen things are climbing around the outside or the handle of your toilet, we recommend getting yourself some disinfectant spray and wipes just to be safe. 

Why Should You Put Coke in the Toilet?

You should put Coke in the toilet because it’s a cheap and easy solution to most hard water buildup and limescale stains.  When left to sit on the stains, the acidity in Coke helps soften the debris and makes them easier to remove.

Simply pour a cup or so of Coke into your toilet, allow it to sit for about half an hour, then scrub and flush.  Your hard water stains should come away easily using your toilet brush. Of course, depending on the severity of the stain, you may have to do this more than once.

How to Use Coke to Clean a Toilet

Now that we’ve discussed some of the more well-known cleaning hacks featuring Coke, we want to talk about how to apply it correctly so you get the most out of each bottle. However, we understand you might be getting thirsty by now, so we’ll wait if you want to grab a soda!

How Long Do You Let Coke Sit in a Toilet?

You only need to let Coke sit in a toilet for about half an hour if you’re trying to use it to clean.  The acid in Coke will start working right away to break down debris and build-up. You can let it sit for longer, but we don’t recommend leaving it for more than an hour. 

Sometimes, tough stains will take more than one treatment to fully clear.  If you still see a stain after leaving the Coke to sit for an hour, you can do a second round of cleaning. 

However, if the stain is still there after that, you may need a tough solution, such as a bleach cleaner

How Long Should You Leave Coke in the Toilet?

You should only leave Coke sitting in a toilet for half an hour.  That provides it enough time to break down grime but won’t stain your toilet or corrode it.  After half an hour, scrub it, then flush.  

If you can still see hard water stains or build-up, do the second round of cleaning.  You can also soak paper towels in Coke and lay them directly on the staining, depending on where the stains are located. 

How Much Coke Does It Take to Clean a Toilet?

You only need a cup of Coke when using it to clean a toilet.  Open a can or a bottle of Coke and either measure out a cup or just estimate while pouring it into the bowl.  If you add more, it won’t hurt your toilet. 

Allow the cup of Coke to sit on the stains for half an hour, then scrub the stain before flushing.  If you still can see the staining after the first treatment, you will need to do a second round of soaking, scrubbing, and flushing. 

Does Coca-Cola Remove Limescale From Toilets?

Coca-cola does help remove limescale from a toilet.  Because Coke has an acidic PH level, it helps break down limescale and soften the debris.  After allowing the limescale build-up to soak in Coke, you should be able to scrub it away easily. 

Of course, this is the everyday build-up we’re referring to.  If you have an especially neglected toilet, you may have to pull out heavy-duty cleaners, including a pumice brush and bleach, in order to get your toilet fully clean again.

Coke Combinations

Sure, Coke can do some good on its own, but once you combine it with other products, the cleaning power kicks up a notch.  We’re discussing the best cleaning combos right now.  Which is your favorite?

Can You Clean a Toilet With Coke and Toothpaste?

You can clean your toilet with Coke and toothpaste.  Because of the acidity in Coke and the mild abrasive qualities of toothpaste, together, they can help break down debris in your toilet and elsewhere in the home. 

Start by pouring Coke onto a paper towel and placing the towel over the areas of the toilet that need to be cleaned.  After half an hour, remove the paper towels and scrub the area with toothpaste

The same chemicals in toothpaste that help clean your teeth will help remove debris in the toilet. Then, just flush to rid yourself of that debris. 

Can You Clean a Toilet With Coke and Baking Soda?

It is possible to clean a toilet with Coke and baking soda.  The acidity of Coke, when mixed with baking soda, causes a chemical reaction.  The baking soda will bubble up and release carbon dioxide, helping to break down any debris in your toilet.

To clean a toilet using baking soda and Coke, try doing this:

  1. Mix ¼ cup baking soda with ½ cup vinegar in a half-gallon of water.
  2. Apply your baking soda/vinegar mixture to the stains in your toilet.
  3. Allow mixture to sit for an hour, then scrub.
  4. Before flushing, dump a cup of Coke into the bowl.  
  5. Flush and repeat the process if necessary. 

Should You Clean a Toilet With Coke or Vinegar?

You can use both Coke and vinegar to help remove stains.  Coke can be used on its own to assist in removing hard water stains and limescale build-up.  You can also mix baking soda and vinegar and apply them before the Coke to boost its cleaning ability. 

By mixing baking soda and vinegar together and allowing that mixture to sit on the stain for an hour before scrubbing, you can make it easier for the Coke to come in and dissolve stains and build up.

But, of course, you may need to scrub some either way. 

Does Diet Coke Clean a Toilet as Well as Regular Coke?

Diet Coke works just as well to clean a toilet as regular Coke.  Because both types contain the same types of carbonation and acids, you shouldn’t notice any major difference in cleaning ability. 

Both regular and diet Coke contain food-grade phosphoric acid, which is one of the reasons it cleans so well.  This acid is what gives Coke that tangy taste. 

It’s also a common preservative to ensure long shelf life.

Does Coke Zero Clean Toilets?

You can definitely use Coke Zero to clean your toilet. Both Coke and Coke Zero contain food-grade phosphoric acid, which is the main component that allows Coke to help break down any dirt and debris in your toilet. 

In fact, no matter the brand or type of cola, as long as it contains phosphoric acid.  This acid sticks to dirt and debris and softens and breaks it down, making it easier to scrub away while cleaning your toilet. 

Does Cheap Cola Clean Toilets?

You can use cheap cola to clean a toilet.  Between the carbonation and the acids involved in the preservation of cola, it should work just as well as the name brands in removing debris from your toilet bowl.

In fact, cheap cola should work perfectly as a cheap way to remove limescale build-up from your toilet bowl.

Unfortunately, if the stains are very old or very bad, you may have to resort to using a bleach-based cleaner instead. 

How to Clean With Expired Coke?

You can clean with expired Coke exactly how you would with new Coke, as long as it is sealed until you use it to clean.  If, however, your Coke is flat, you may not be able to use it at all.  Without carbonation, it won’t clean as effectively. 

Because cleaning with Coke relies on both carbonation and phosphoric acid to clean, you end up with a less effective solution when you take one of those ingredients away.

So if your Coke is flat and expired, it might be time to grab some toilet bowl cleaner instead. 

You might also enjoy our post on Can Toilet Bowl Cleaner Kill You?

Related Questions

Can You Clean a Toilet With Dr. Pepper?

You can clean a toilet with Dr. Pepper.  Start by pouring a cup of Dr. Pepper into the bowl, making sure you cover under the rim and allow it to flow into the bowl.  Allow that to sit for half an hour, then scrub and flush. 

You should notice that the limescale and debris in your toilet came away easier due to the acids and carbonation in the Dr. Pepper. However, if there is still debris, you may need to perform the cleaning a second time to remove the dirt fully. 

What Can You Clean With Coke?

Anything that’s metal or non-porous can be cleaned with Coke. For example, you can leave rust-covered materials soaking in Coke overnight for them to be good as new.  You can also use Coke to clean kettles and cookware that have gotten stained.

Simply boil two cups of Coke in your kettle or other cookware.  Allow it to cool to the point where you can handle it without risking burns, then scrub away any lingering debris until your cookware looks brand new again!

Can Coke Clean Showers?

You can use Coke to clean a few parts of your shower! For example, you can soak your limescale-crusted showerhead in Coke overnight, then rinse for a showerhead that might as well be new again. 

You can also soak paper towels in Coke and place them in your shower or tub wherever you have limescale or hard water build-up. 

Allow the stains to sit covered for at least half an hour, then scrub to remove the gross stains. 

Final Thoughts

While Coke is a delicious drink, who knew it had so many other uses? 

Next time you’re worried about hard water stains and other unsightly splotches, we hope you reach for the right cleaning products and your bathroom is sparkling in no time!

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