Quirky Thursday-Removing Stains with Coke

The Experiment Provoker
The Experiment Provoker

Several weeks ago a pink highlighter leaked in the pocket of my white scrub coat.  I immediately took it off and was putting cold water on it in a sink at the clinic where I work when up walks my boss, a guy in his early-mid thirties, also an RN, with his stain tip.  Coke.  “It’s an acid after all”, he stated, like he was saying ‘duh, you should know this with all of your nursing education’.

Being the chemical-avoider that I am, I was planning on using soda water when I got home, something which I have been doing for about six months with varying results. When the stain is really bad, after the soda water, I spray on Shout (the triple acting laundry stain remover), but of course this leaves me feeling a little guilty.  I know deep down that I am not green enough, although I am making progress.  And that counts mega large, right.

Anyway, it sparked an idea.  How about an experiment!

On Purpose Stains to Old Sheet Strips
On Purpose Stains to Old Sheet Strips

Interestingly, I noticed after I applied all of the stain products that I accidentally sort of made faces!  Totally random, not planned.


So, I applied yellow mustard (the bangs), then dark chocolate and light chocolate (the eyes), red wine (the nose), and blue, pink, & orange highlighter stripes (a grim or perplexed mouth; I cannot decide which).

I then let the stains set on top of my warm dryer for about one hour. Next I soaked the 4 different strips in the 4 stain removing solutions for 1 hour as follows:

Coke: Thoroughly saturated the cloth

OxyClean: 2 lines in cup provided in 4 cups of tap water, thoroughly saturated the cloth

Shout: Full strength, thoroughly saturated cloth

Mineral Water: Thoroughly saturated cloth (I thought I had soda water, but did not.  A quick look on the internet substantiated my guess that mineral water and soda water would have the same or close to the same results, allowing me to continue this experiment with confidence.)

Soaking in Stain Removing Solutions
Soaking in Stain Removing Solutions

I must make a few comments at this point.  First of all, Shout has a very strong odor and I felt headachy every time I went into the kitchen where they were soaking. Then I rinsed each item individually and washed them together in the washing machine on hot with my normal detergent. I am hoping that Shout does not work the best because I never want to buy it again.  I am seeing that my logic is a little faulty here so I better add that I may never buy it again anyway.  Secondly, when you do experiments it is always a good idea to predict what you think might happen.  Being such a compliant person, I am predicting that OxyClean will have the best results because quite a few people I know swear by the stuff.  That is not very scientific, but…

Okay, so here are the results:


Stain remover results
Stain remover results

The winner: Oxyclean!

6 thoughts on “Quirky Thursday-Removing Stains with Coke

  1. When I use Shout, I always scrub it on the stain to break down the enzymes first then soak for at least 15 minutes…it is my favorite stain remover. I have never noticed the odor and the owner of my dry cleaning shop says: If you have a stain on ” dry cleaning only” garments… Don’t touch it.. Take it to her…they almost always get it out!

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