Local colloquialisms always have interested me. I enjoy reading through the online articles that quiz readers on their understanding of local terms. Although I have lived in Hawaii for nine years and now consider it home, my Cleveland vernacular still sneaks up from time to time.

I call slippers “flip-flops” and use the word “pop” instead of “soda.” My friend from the South refers to the bubbly beverage as Coke, which I never understood. To me, Coke is a specific type of pop: the dark brown classic kind. For my dad, there is only one type: Pepsi, so it is the only word he needs to use.

My dad has been a Pepsi addict for as long as I can remember. I personally do not drink it, but always have a stash on hand for when he comes to visit. Luckily, I have found out that there are many uses for the cola that have nothing to do with drinking. If you find yourself with some extra dark brown carbonated beverage on hand (referred to here on out as cola or coke), consider some of these alternative uses:

Remove oil stains from your driveway or garage. Pour the coke over the stains, using enough to cover them completely. The amount you use will depend on how large the stains are. Let it sit overnight. Next, using rags or towels, blot the area thoroughly and then rinse with a hose.

Clean the toilet. Pour a can of coke into your toilet bowl and allow it to sit for one hour. The soda will eat through the stains. Scrub with a stiff toilet brush, then flush to rinse.

Freshen up your baking trays, pots and pans. Add enough coke to create a thin layer on the bottom of the pan. Place it on the stove or in the oven on low heat for one hour. Then, wash the item as usual. Any black bits or burnt-on residue should come off easily.

Compost more quickly. Pour a can of coke over your compost pile. This will help to speed up the process of decaying the material.

Remove rust. Soak rusty pieces, such as screws, nails or bolts, in coke overnight. Then, follow up by scrubbing with a stiff brush. If you have larger metal pieces, fill a small bag with the coke and tie that around the piece instead. Another option: drench a towel with the coke and let that sit on the object.

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