Why Coke Cleans Rusted Metal, Coca-Cola Says 'It's All Natural' -- Turns Out It's True

Chances are you've seen many videos circulating the web about Coke's ability to clean even the most stuck-on, stubborn dirt and rust. Have you wondered "why"? Right in front of your eyes, it's been on the bottle's label the entire time.

Interestingly, Coca-Cola released a document entitled, "What's In Coca-Cola: A Briefing On Our Ingredients." In this document, the company focuses and definitely "drives home" the concept that its ingredients are all-natural -- containing no artificial flavoring or any preservatives "since 1886."

That's a heavy and reputable claim to make and maintain, yes? It turns out, the company is telling the truth. You may ask: "But Coke cleans all kinds of stuff. How could this be 'all-natural'?"

Well, a common, public misunderstanding is that "all-natural" means the same thing as "all-organic." They're not the same. A glass bottle can be all-natural but cannot be all-organic. A paved road can be all-natural but not all-organic. Likewise, foods and beverages that contain harsh chemical compounds can also be deemed all-natural because of their existence in nature.

For instance, hydrochloric acid -- the highly-corrosive liquid state of hydrogen chloride -- is all-natural. In marketing, wording is everything.

If you were to read Coke's ingredients from the bottle, it reads as follows.

"Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, caffeine."
Caught it? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, phosphoric acid is an active ingredient in "America's soda." Why on this planet would this be in something consumers daily ingest?

Well, in the document, Coca-Cola states the following.

"Phosphorus is a mineral found widely in nature and plays an important role in how our bodies get energy. It is a major component of bones and teeth."

"Phosphoric acid, which contains phosphorus, is used to add a tangy taste to some colas. You can find phosphorus in milk, cheese, meat, bread, bran, breakfast cereals, eggs, nuts, fish,100 percent juice, juice drinks, soy-based beverages, soft drinks, low-calorie soft drinks and sports drinks..."

"... A glass (250 mL) of Coca-Cola provides 43 mg of phosphorus. By comparison, the same amount of milk has about 208 mg of phosphorus, one cup of cooked chicken (140 grams) has about 230 mg of phosphorus, and one cup of cooked white rice (150 grams) has about 90 mg of phosphorus."

Public, have you seen or heard of milk, cooked chicken or white rice as cleaning the dirtiest metals you can find? Such a statement may be deserving of the "Kanye look."

Kanye West Look

The chemical element, phosphorus, is in the human body and is essential. The company is correct. However, phosphoric acid is not phosphorus-alone. This is a chemical compound and is actually counterproductive for and towards energy.

As a related example, humans breathe oxygen, yes? Humans breathe "molecular oxygen," but there are different types of oxygen. But humans can die from ozone, which is a form of oxygen.

Well, likewise, phosphorus is not equivalent to phosphoric acid. Phosphorus equals "P," naturally occuring in humans. Phosphoric acid equals "H3PO4," not naturally occuring in humans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a different result for phosphoric acid, contrary to Coca-Cola's anecdote.

"Strong caustics, most metals [Note: Readily reacts with metals to form flammable hydrogen gas. DO NOT MIX WITH SOLUTIONS CONTAINING BLEACH OR AMMONIA.]... (if swallowed) Medical attention immediately."
Phosphoric Acid CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As can be seen from the warning, this ingredient — used in Coke — readily reacts with metals. However, Coca-Cola maintains that it's used to "add taste." Who knew acid would taste so good? This is another statement that may be deserving of the Kanye look.

Yet, this additive is surely an all-natural substance. The company is being truthful.

Trivia: Did you know that, if you leave a tooth in a glass of Coke for a few days, it will completely dissolve?

And even if it weren't phosphoric acid, in the company's document, it lists another of its all-naturals: carbon dioxide. Supposedly, carbon dioxide is poisonous to humans if inhaled or ingested. Biologically, humans exchange it with plant life for oxygen. If the exchange fails, people die. This is how humans can suffocate in a sealed area. The amount of carbon dioxide exhaled begins to overtake the amount of oxygen inhaled, until there is nothing left but carbon dioxide within the area. Thus, nothing else safe to inhale. So why are consumers allowed to drink it?

Here is what Coca-Cola says about it.

"The distinctive sparkling quality and Coke's bubbling effect when poured into a glass comes from the carbon dioxide -- the natural gas we breathe out and what plants take in -- is pushed into the liquid under pressure."

"Naturally carbonated waters have been consumed for centuries, but it wasn't until halfway through the 19th century that the carbonation process became commercialized and sparkling beverages started to appear around the world. Today, the Coca-Cola Company and other beverage makers use equipment to push carbon dioxide into liquid. The sparkling water enhances the appeal of many drinks and adds to the thirst-quenching, pleasant sensation of both soft drinks and mineral waters."

"The carbonation that puts the fizz in sparkling beverages does not contain calories, as it is made up of carbon and oxygen only. As such, carbonation does not contribute to weight gain. Further, carbonation does not cause cellulite."

Coca Cola Screenshot
The Coca-Cola Company

That's awesome news, right? Of course. Bye-bye cellulite.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says nothing about cellulite reduction. It offers this about carbon dioxide.

"In solid form, carbon dioxide is known as dry ice. At room temperature, CO2 can also exist as a liquid if kept in a closed system at an elevated pressure. Liquid CO2 has a gas-like consistency and a low surface tension allowing it to function as a very effective cleaning medium when combined with detergents."
Fancy that. It's a very effective cleaning medium that can exist in liquid form when kept in a pressurized environment. Like a soda bottle?

So, by Coca-Cola's words, that's all the "fizz" from the video -- and also the extreme pressure from within the bottle. The CDC, in its Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, adds to the EPA's claims.

Carbon Dioxide Screenshot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It says that dusts of various metals are "ignitable and explosive when suspended in carbon dioxide." So it, too, is highly reactive to metal, just like phosphoric acid. That's two metal-reactive cleaning agents in one bottle.

This is how Coke cleans metal.

Moreover, according to Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences, it states that the human body contains small amounts of magnesium. Magnesium happens to be one of the CDC's mentioned-metals.

From the fact sheet, the CDC states that the carbon dioxide targets the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. This goes back to suffocating and dying.

The CDC also states that the leading cause of deaths in America is heart disease, and the third-leading causes are chronic lower respiratory diseases. Surely, this is coincidence -- given that in 2013, Coca-Cola Classic (not to mention all the other variations) had the highest volume in America, at 2.32 billion "all-natural" gallons.

Have you found your name yet?

Coke Name Image

The data presents in black and white: facts versus "public statements."

What are your thoughts? How many Cokes do you consume in a week?

[Feature Video via YouTube, Featured Image via Google]