What I learned
Yes, you can remove rust from metal by soaking it in energy drink. When I first came across this tip a few weeks ago, I was incredulous, thinking it seemed like an old wives’ tale designed to scare you off drinking sugary beverages. But I gave it a shot.
First, I unearthed a rusty old chain from my garage—I think it might have been left by the previous owners, dating it to about the Pleistocene era. This chain was rusty as hundred-year-old oil barrel, with orange patches covering its links. I placed it in a disposable paint-tray liner and covered it with two cans of regular Monster Energy drink. The disposable tray turned out to be a great call, since the energy drink’s erosion of the rust and sludge left me with a disgusting vat of greenish-black ooze. Do not use a container you can’t throw away afterwards.
I left this simmering morass in my basement for two-and-a-half days, which was the maximum amount of time I could stand the stench of energy drink permeating my home’s entire lower floor. (Even my dog, who rolls in dead worms, didn’t want to go near it.) I watched as bubbles in the energy drink seemed to literally scrub away at the surface of the chain. After a few hours, though, the liquid became too black and opaque for me to watch what was transpiring below its murky surface.
I finally removed the chain and dumped the gross liquid down the drain. Good riddance. After a rinse under tap water, the chain looked really good! A solid 90 percent of the rust was gone from its surface, and the links moved and bended much more freely than they had before. The experiment was a success, despite my skepticism. Now that we’ve talked about what energy drinks can do to rust—imagine what it does to the inside of your body. Bon appetit!
I originally came across this tip via YouTube channel BeatTheBush, a channel about financial advice and money-saving hacks. Because I am a skeptic, though, I had to try it for myself.
Why did this work? I’m no chemist, but I have a hunch it has to do with citric acid, the fourth ingredient listed on Monster Energy’s label. Citric acid is known to be a good cleaning agent for bathrooms and hard surfaces, and its low pH of just 2.2 means it erodes many substances, including, apparently, rust. This means that other beverages high in citric acid just might yield similar results.