Club soda, that bubbly constituent of Tom Collinses and ice cream sodas, is made up of water, carbon dioxide, and minerals like sodium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate. (Seltzer water has the same fizz of carbonation that club soda has, but lacks the minerals contained in club soda.) The same bubbles and minerals that make club soda so refreshing have other uses around the home—they help break up food particles, dirt, and rust, and can make some of your favorite foods even tastier. Here’s why you should always keep a few extra bottles of club soda on hand.
Deodorize Pet Stains in Carpet
Pet accidents can leave a lingering smell on your carpeted surfaces, even after the mess has been cleaned up. To neutralize the odor, pour some club soda on the soiled spot and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Blot the area dry with a paper towel, and you’ll forget Fido ever mussed the rug.
Polish Chrome Fixtures
Try wiping your chrome bathroom fixtures with a little club soda poured onto a cloth. The fizzy drink will break up the soap scum and other gunk—and won't leave unsightly water spots, either.
Related: 11 Bathroom Hazards that Harm Your Home and Health
Loosen a Rusty Screw
If you’ve got a rusty screw that won’t budge, pour a little club soda on it and let it sit for a few minutes. Try to turn the screw again. The fizz should have loosened up some of the built-up rust, allowing the screw to turn more easily so you won't have to struggle with your screwdriver.
Make Scrubbing Easier
After you've finished cooking dinner, pour a little club soda into any still-warm pots and pans that have stuck-on food residue. The soda will break up food particles, making the gunk much easier to scrape away.
Related: 9 Ways You’re Loading the Dishwasher Wrong
Soften Stains on Porcelain
Coffee and tea can leave ugly discolorations in your mugs. To banish the brown marks, fill your cup with club soda before you go to bed. The minerals will soften the stains so you’ll be able to gently scrub the cup clean in the morning.
Banish Grease on Clothing
Loosen up a grease stain in double-knit fabrics by pouring a small amount of club soda onto the spot and gently scrubbing it. Then launder the item in the washer with a regular load, and say goodbye to any trace of oil residue.
Related: 9 Smart Hacks for Laundry Day
Shine Stainless Steel
With a bit of club soda, you can polish any stainless steel appliance. Simply pour club soda into a spray bottle, spritz the appliance's surface, then rub it with a soft cloth. Follow up by rinsing with warm water and wiping completely dry.
Clean Your Windshield
Your car windshield endures lots of abuse from mud, road salt, bug splatters, and bird droppings. Keep a spray bottle filled with club soda in your car, and use it to clean your windshield whenever the gunk accumulates. The carbonated fizz in club soda breaks up the dirt, speeding up the cleaning process.
Related: The 10 Best Accessories You Can Buy for Your Car
Make Your Mirrors Sparkle
Say farewell to smudges, smears, and splatters on your mirrors by filling a spray bottle of club soda instead of glass cleaner for a streak-free, odorless shine.
Give Your Plants a Boost
Club soda gets its fizz from carbon dioxide, which escapes as a gas after the can or bottle is opened, causing the soda to go flat. When your soda loses its sparkle, don't just dump it out. Instead, use it to water your houseplants to give the soil a bit of a mineral boost, leaving you with healthy and fast-growing greenery.
Related: 7 Ways to Buy Yourself a Green Thumb for Under $40
Help Your Hair
Club soda can help your hair in two surprising ways: Those with frizzy hair can tame their manes by rinsing with club soda, rather than conditioner, after shampooing. Blondes whose hair turns green after swimming can simply rinse in some club soda to bring back the blonde.
Save Important News
To keep sentimental newspaper clippings from cracking and fading, simply soak them in a mixture of club soda and milk of magnesia. Combine a quart or so of club soda with 2 tablespoons of milk of magnesia, and let the mixture rest overnight. Pour the liquid into a shallow baking dish and leave the newspaper to soak for an hour or two before drying it on a clean towel. (Test your mixture on some unimportant papers, of course, before tackling family heirlooms.)
Add Sparkle to Gems
If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, club soda should be her favorite drink. Soaking precious gems in club soda can make them shinier and dislodge dirt from the crevices of jewelry settings. Dunk your diamonds in club soda for a few hours (or overnight), buff them with a clean rag, and you’re good as gold.
Fluff Up Foods
Many bubbes swear that adding a little club soda or seltzer to matzo balls makes the balls fluffier—floaters, they call them, not sinkers. These grandmas know what they’re talking about! The carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks provides the same lift to pancakes, waffles, and tempura batter.
Unclog a Drain
You may have heard that baking soda and vinegar, followed by boiling water, can unclog a slow drain. The combination of club soda mixed with salt can break up gunk and grease, too! Mix 2 tablespoons of salt and a couple cups of club soda before pouring into your sink. Allow the mixture to work its magic for a few minutes before flushing the drain with boiling water.
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