Will Coke Dissolve a Tooth? (and Other Coke Experiments)
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You’ve heard about the many supposed things you can do with Coke, all based upon the fact that it will eat away at just about everything in existence. But homeschoolers don’t like to take anyone’s word for anything. We’re all about testing the truth, and busting the myths. Therefore, a few years ago, we decided it was time to have some fun with Coke experiments. 😉
Coke experiments: can you clean your toilet with Coke?
Do you know what kind of look you get when you tell the kids, “Go pour this two liter bottle of Coke in our toilet“?
Supposedly, Coke is so terribly acidic that it will eat away at the nasty toilet stains in your bowl.
Hmmmschoolers results? False. A whole two liter bottle of Coke didn’t even fill the very bottom of the bowl, and we didn’t see any striking difference in that area after two hours in the toilet.
Where our stains really were (and I’m guessing most people’s, when they attempt to use Coke to clean their toilet) is up along the top. We left the Coke in the bowl for approximately two hours and when we’d think of it, we’d scrub along the rim of the bowl with the Coke that was in the bowl.
It did nothing. There was absolutely no difference in anything in our toilet bowl.
My oldest suggested we pour ten or twelve two liter bottles in there and somehow plug the toilet up so the Coke couldn’t get down the hole. Maybe another day, dear. When Coke is on sale.
Coke experiments: will Coke clean a penny?
The next experiment was to test whether Coke will clean or eat away at a penny.
We found nine dirty pennies (foreground) and one clean penny. (background)
We put the nine dirty pennies in a jar and added Coke. Look at it fizz!
The boys were excited, thinking with all that fizzing we’d have really clean pennies…or a pile of penny goo.
We left the pennies in the Coke for 24 hours….
24 hours later, some pennies were still dirty, and some were shiny—but a different copper color than they had been before going into the Coke.
Hmmm. Results? It kinda sorta worked. Kinda.
Coke experiments: will Coke dissolve a tooth?
Finally we did the infamous “tooth dissolved in Coke“ experiment. My oldest happened to have two baby teeth saved from quite awhile ago. (At our house, the Tooth Fairy leaves the teeth behind.) He agreed to sacrifice two of his teeth for this experiment.
I mean, who wouldn’t for the chance to see tooth goo?
One tooth went in the glass, one tooth stayed out as our control. We poured the Coke in the glass.
See the bubbles in the glass? Those are coming off the tooth that’s in there.
Oh yeah. We are so making tooth goo.
We left that tooth in the glass of Coke for one week. Undisturbed. Waiting for tooth goo.
The results? Well, they were gross, but not in a gooey way like we expected.
Talk about discolored. And yucky. But soft? Gooey? Dissolved? Cratered?
Not. At. All.
But this was a good lesson anyhow. It taught us to not believe what we hear from people who probably haven’t tried the experiment themselves.
We also thought of several different variables that might have affected these experiments, and how we could do them again differently.
- Would younger or older teeth work differently?
- Are older pennies hard to clean?
- Would a toilet filled with coke for 24 hours be cleaner?
It was hypothesis and theory central—which I would say is a successful day of science, even if the actual results were not at all what we were hoping for.