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Life Hacks

Lift Stubborn Grime From Old Jewelry — And 13 Other Brilliant Uses for Club Soda

It's perfect for cleaning stainless steel without leaving any spots — and so much more!

Sure, club soda is refreshing when you give it a splash of cranberry juice, a squeeze of lime or mix it into a cocktail, but this carbonated beverage has many more uses that have nothing to do with quenching your thirst. Indeed, if you’ve got a bottle or two of club soda tucked away in your pantry or fridge, your life is about to get a whole lot easier! From making festive desserts and removing grime to polishing chrome and warding off pet accidents, club soda can be surprisingly helpful. Below you’ll find 14 uses for club soda to save you time and money.  

1. Club soda makes pancakes extra fluffy

stack of fluffy pancakes; genius uses for club soda
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Whether you’re feeding the family, serving brunch to guests or enjoying a tasty breakfast solo, the secret to serving up the fluffiest of pancakes? Substituting the water or milk required in your favorite pancake recipe with club soda! The soda’s tiny bubbles will hold their shape in the batter to yield extra-fluffy flapjacks every time. (Click through to our sister site for a recipe for brown sugar syrup to make your pancakes even more delicious!)

2. It makes it easy to save a newspaper clipping

 A little one in your life got featured in the local paper and you want to scrapbook the clipping. The trick to preserving it: Dissolve a milk of magnesia tablet in 1 liter of club soda and refrigerate overnight. The next day, stir well, then soak the clipping in the solution for 1 hour. The ingredients will safely and gently deactivate the paper’s acids so it doesn’t yellow later.

3. Club soda freshens a dog’s coat

white dog in grass
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“If you have a pet with white fur, you might notice that, over time, their fur can begin to look a bit dull or yellowed, especially around the paws or face,” says veterinarian Sara Ochoa, vet contributor to Hound Games. To the rescue: club soda! After you give your pup a wash with your regular, pet-friendly shampoo, do a final rinse with unflavored club soda. “The carbonation can help lift away any remaining residue from the shampoo or dirt, giving the coat an extra shine,” Ochoa explains. “It’s essential that the soda is thoroughly rinsed out afterward. While it may not replace professional grooming treatments, it’s a fun, fizzy experiment that can yield beautiful results.” (After your dog’s bath, treat him to a pupsicle with these easy recipes!)

4. It greens up fading houseplants

houseplants in white and yellow planters
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Houseplant looking less than lush? Club soda can help. Just let the water go flat first (the carbon dioxide will stunt a plant’s growth), then pour into the pot. Minerals like sodium citrate and disodium phosphate enrich the soil, encouraging healthy, green growth.

5. Club soda wipes away prints from stainless steel

Your new stainless steel refrigerator looks great—if only it weren’t always covered in smudges! The low-cost way to get the appliance sparkling again: Dampen a soft, clean cloth with club soda and use it to buff the surface. Wipe dry with another clean cloth. Carbonated molecules in the soft drink will fizz away the grime without leaving behind any spots.

6. It gets a rusty screw to turn

Argh! You finally found time to replace the towel bar in your bathroom, but one of the screw is rusted and it won’t budge. The quick save: Pour club soda on the hardware and let it sit for 5 minutes, then twist again with the screwdriver. Carbon dioxide in the soda reacts with rust to bubble it away, so you can turn the screw with ease.

7. Club soda helps old jewelry look new again

Two hands polishing an engagement ring, which is one of the uses of club soda
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The gold necklace Mom handed down to you has lost most of its shine. Instead of running to the store for jewelry cleaner, grab some club soda! “Soaking diamonds and other precious gems in club soda for 30 minutes or more gives them a good sheen, and overnight gives them the best look,” explains Dustin Lemick, CEO of BriteCo Jewelry Insurance. Add the jewelry piece to a bowl of 5 oz. of club soda, let soak, then rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth. The carbonation loosens built-up dirt and oils so your pieces shine once again.

8. It calms an upset stomach

Ouch! That slice of pizza was pure heaven last night, but you woke up with a sour stomach as a result. Get instant relief by sipping on a little club soda. The sodium bicarbonate (the same ingredient in Alka Seltzer!) in the soft drink can help neutralize stomach acid while the carbonation will encourage burping to relieve pressure in the stomach. You’ll be feeling better in a flash.

9. Club soda lifts tea stains from mugs

clean teacup—brilliant uses for club soda
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A hot cup of tea is your go-to drink on chilly days. The only problem? The tannins in the tea usually leave a noticeable brown tinge on the inside of your white mug. Rather than waste time endlessly trying to scrub it away, try this hands-off trick: Pour club soda into the mug and let it sit overnight. The acids in the soda will dissolve the stain so it can be rinsed away with water in the morning.

10. It adds dazzle to Jell-o

The next time you whip up Jell-o, jazz it up with the help of club soda. To do: Simply swap club soda for cold water when you dissolve the gelatin powder. The carbonation will add eye-catching bubbles to your dessert and give it a fizzy kick. Bonus: Use flavored club soda for even more “wow.” (Click through to our sister site for 13 more Jell-o recipes!)

11. Club soda polishes dull chrome for pennies

woman cleaning a faucet with club soda
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When you’re giving your bathroom faucet a polish, skip tap water, which can leave unsightly spots. Instead, soak a rag in club soda and use it to buff. The carbonated molecules will flawlessly dissolve dirt and grime for spiffy, streak-free results.

12. It removes stuck-on food from pans

Cooking steak in a cast-iron pan gives it a delicious flavor, but cleaning the cookware can be a hassle. To make the job easier, pour some club soda in the pan while it’s still warm and let it soak while you enjoy your meal. Carbon dioxide in the beverage helps soften food particles so you can wash them off after dinner. 

13. Club soda revives wilted vegetables

You hate when you pick up lettuce from the grocery store only for it to wilt before you can enjoy it.“If your leafy greens or veggies look saggy, soak them in cold club soda to rejuvenate them,” shares Ruiz Asri, Editor of Honest Food Talks, a website focused on kitchen hacks and food trends. “The carbonation in the soda is believed to penetrate the cell walls of the vegetables, reviving their crispness.”

14. It deodorizes a pet stain

Eek! Buster had an accident on the carpet and you worry that he’ll go there again. To break the cycle without shelling out for pricey sprays, simply saturate the area with club soda. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then blot with paper towels. Minerals in the drink deodorize the spot so Buster won’t sniff it out.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.


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