The Coca-Cola Cleaning Hack You'll Likely Want To Avoid And Why

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There is something oh-so-satisfying about a good DIY cleaning hack that takes little effort, costs even less, and yields wonderful results. Coca-Cola is one product that can be used to clean the brass and silver laying around our homes with just a simple soak and some scrubbing. As metal is exposed to oxygen, it begins to tarnish from the chemical compound oxide. The acidic nature of Coca-Cola counteracts oxide and breaks down that build-up. However, not all metals will benefit from this cleaning method, pewter being one of them.

As a softer and more malleable metal, pewter cannot withstand the high acidity in Coca-Cola. Pewter is primarily comprised of tin with a mix of other metals and takes on a blueish-gray hue. It is more affordable than silver, yet just as gorgeous, making it a beloved metal for everything from teapots and trays to rings and necklaces. Despite how similar pewter seems to silver, it is crucial to take different approaches to their cleansing and use a gentler solution than Coca-Cola on your pewter items.

Avoid using Coca-Cola on pewter

There are a surprising number of ways to use Coca-Cola around the house, and it's a well-known cleaning hack for our silver jewelry, dinnerware, and antiques. The soda's carbonation and acidic levels help remove the build-up that metal accumulates over time. By soaking silver in a bowl of Coca-Cola and then scrubbing to remove the tarnish, you'll find your silver clean and looking good as new. However, this home remedy should be avoided when cleaning your pewter, which may look like silver but has distinctive differences that make Coca-Cola damaging to the material. Pewter is a much softer metal than silver, causing the acidity that cleans the latter to damage and break down the former.

If your pewter items are in need of good cleaning and polishing, avoid soaking them in Coca-Cola. Instead, to successfully clean pewter, rub it with a soft microfiber cloth and a solution of warm water and dish soap. Once you have it cleaned, create a polishing paste from white vinegar and all-purpose flour. Like the soda, store-bought polish for silver will be too harsh on the pewter's surface, so take advantage of this affordable DIY polish that can easily be crafted at home. Let the paste sit for half an hour before rinsing and drying. It's essential to avoid scrubbing pewter to keep its finish in pristine condition. Some commercial polishes you can purchase, if desired, include brands like Brasso and Hagerty on Amazon.