Once upon a time, there were two soft drink brand giants that were iconic to marketers and consumers alike. They became aspirational metaphors, evoking feelings and images of freedom, eternal youth, joy, friendship, and even patriotism while cleverly designed advertisement plots unfolded before our eyes on our televisions. But not anymore.
Now, these brands are almost at par with tobacco companies – evil villains on a secret mission to make Americans fat and unhealthy.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi are now nicknamed ‘chemical cocktails’ that literally kill you slowly. They have been found to eradicate the stomach lining and destroy your metabolism because their high levels of acidity match those of a battery acid. This, in turn, is linked with diseases like stroke, cardiac arrest, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
But did you know these pesticide infused soft drinks make for great cleaning hacks? Don’t believe us? We have research to back it up!
Coca-Cola And Pepsi Are Loaded With Pesticides
In 2003, a New Delhi-based environmental group called Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) released data that exposed commonly consumed soft drinks for containing levels of pesticides that greatly exceeded the proposed Indian safety standards.1
The CSE analyzed 12 soft drink samples and noted that all these samples contained trace amounts of multiple toxic pesticides and insecticides. Some of these were:
- Lindane: used both as an agricultural insecticide and as a pharmaceutical treatment for lice and scabies2 [ ref]Mazurek, Constance M., and Nancy P. Lee. “How to manage head lice.” Western Journal of Medicine 172, no. 5 (2000): 342.[/ref]
- Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT): known for being an agricultural and household pesticide3
- Malathion: an insecticide widely used in agriculture, public recreation areas, residential landscaping, and in public health pest control programs like mosquito eradication.4 5
- Chlorpyrifos: a pesticide widely used on animals, crops, and buildings6
What makes this even more alarming is that fact that the chlorpyrifos levels present in the soft drinks far exceeded the maximum permissible total pesticide limit declared by the European Economic Commission (EEC) by 42 times, malathion by 87 times, and lindane by 21 times. It was also concluded that the concentration of these toxic chemicals in Coca-Cola exceed the EEC limit by 45 times and in Pepsi by 37 times.
Researchers have pointed out that the ingestion of these chemicals could lead to birth deformities, various types of cancer, and severe damage to the reproductive, immune, and central nervous system.
Not only that, the CSE also discovered that municipal water supplies containing a lot of poisonous chemicals such as arsenic, estrone, fluoride, chlorine, atrazine, and sulfamethoxazole are used to manufacture over 95% of the soft drinks in America. It is also disturbing to know that that there is a lack of strict regulations for the huge soft drinks market to monitor the safety of the ingredients used.
Hence Proved: Soft Drinks Make Great Household Cleaners!
In response to the study conducted above, several Indian states proceeded to ban sales of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Naturally, this information made headlines in both national and international news, placing the reputation of these soft drink giants at stake. However, that doesn’t mean these drinks are completely useless. Take those bottles of drinking soda out of your fridge and stash them in your cleaning cabinet instead. Here are some ways in which these can come in handy:
1. To Beat Stubborn Stains
Don’t waste your money on expensive stain removers. Instead, take some of your drinking soda and mix it with the detergent in the wash. Thanks to the carbonic and phosphoric acid content in the carbonated drink, your clothes will not just come out stain-free but also deodorized!
2. To Fight Rust
Dip any rust-ridden object into a tumbler full of fresh carbonated drinking soda for a few hours. Take a piece of cloth and try to rub the rust away. The phosphoric acid levels in the drink will trigger an effective corrosion process. As a result, the rust will start loosening itself and can easily be taken off from the affected object.
3. To Remove Gum
Nothing can be more alarming than finding a wad of chewing gum stuck to your precious hair. If you thought an unwanted haircut is your only solution to this problem, think again! All you need to do is pour some carbonated drinking soda on the gum and let it sit for a few minutes. You’ll notice the gum will stick less and will be easier for you to pick off your hair.
4. To Clean Windows
Carbonated drinking sodas contain a high amount of citric acid that makes them efficient window cleaners. Pour out some of the drinking soda onto a rag and clean your windows as you would with any other regular window cleaner. Then rinse the windows with another piece of rag soaked in water. Say hello to sparkling clean, spotless windows!
5. To Slay Bugs
It is no rocket science to us humans that carbonated drinks are great bug-killers since they contain such high levels of pesticides and insecticides. But this fact obviously remains unknown to those pests and insects that invade our lovely homes, who rush to lap up this sweet, fizzy drink. Mix some carbonated soda with water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spraying this over ant hills and cockroaches in your cupboard is the fastest way to kill them. Just make sure to wash these areas of your house properly with soap water afterward to get rid of the stickiness.
6. To Neutralize Pain
If you’ve recently been bitten by a bug or stung by a bee or a jellyfish, don’t panic. To get rid of the pain in a matter of seconds, pour some carbonated soda directly onto the affected area. The chemicals in the soda get to work instantly to neutralize the pain, rendering drinks like Coca-Cola as effective as anti-sting lotions!
|↑1||Analysis of pesticide residues in soft drinks. Centre for Science and Environment.|
|↑2||Blair, Aaron, Kenneth P. Cantor, and Shelia Hoar Zahm. “Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and agricultural use of the insecticide lindane.” American journal of industrial medicine 33, no. 1 (1998): 82-87.|
|↑3||Sadasivaiah, Shobha, Yeşim Tozan, and Joel G. Breman. “Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) for indoor residual spraying in Africa: how can it be used for malaria control?.” The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 77, no. 6_Suppl (2007): 249-263.|
|↑4||Bonner, Matthew R., Joseph Coble, Aaron Blair, Laura E. Beane Freeman, Jane A. Hoppin, Dale P. Sandler, and Michael CR Alavanja. “Malathion exposure and the incidence of cancer in the agricultural health study.” American journal of epidemiology 166, no. 9 (2007): 1023-1034.|
|↑5||Pretty, Jules, and Zareen Pervez Bharucha. “Integrated pest management for sustainable intensification of agriculture in Asia and Africa.” Insects 6, no. 1 (2015): 152-182.|
|↑6||Solomon, Keith R., W. Martin Williams, Donald Mackay, John Purdy, Jeffrey M. Giddings, and John P. Giesy. “Properties and uses of chlorpyrifos in the United States.” In Ecological Risk Assessment for Chlorpyrifos in Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems in the United States, pp. 13-34. Springer International Publishing, 2014.|