For as long as I can remember, whenever anyone in the family had an upset stomach, indigestion or even a hangover, my mom would always suggest drinking club soda.
The tasteless carbonated drink is also one of the main ingredients in a lot of my family's drinks, including my grandmother's delicious punch.
While club soda has been a part of our family's kitchen for decades, we never really thought to incorporate it into other areas of our home.
There are a lot of things you can do with the carbonated drink beside sip it. The carbon dioxide and the minerals in the liquid make it really effective to use for a number of things. From polishing jewelry to shucking oysters, here are 11 clever uses for club soda that you probably never knew about but will make your life a lot easier.
1. Make fluffy pancakes
You know how they add beer to fish and chips batter? It's the same idea here. The airiness of carbonated drinks, like club soda, will make your pancakes fluffier without adding flavor. The tiny air bubbles expand when you cook the pancakes to make them lighter.
The secret is to ditch the milk or flat water your pancake recipe calls for and substitute it with club soda.
2. Get rid of rust
If you've got rusty screws, nuts, bolts, and metal tools, just let them soak in club soda for around five minutes. If the items can't be soaked, dampen a towel with the fizzy liquid and wrap it around the rusty areas. The carbon dioxide in the drink is what breaks down the rust and make the items look as good as new.
3. Clean carpet spills
No matter how hard you try to keep the carpets in your home clean, there will always be an accidental spill that renders your efforts futile. If you have children or pets, then your carpet has also most likely been peed on.
When your carpet gets stained by wine, coffee, or pee, just soak up the excess liquid with a towel, then pour some of the carbonated liquid onto it. Wait for a few minutes before you wipe or scrub the stain away.
4. Remove bird droppings
There's a lot of dust and gunk that end up on a car's windshield, and while the wiper fluid does a decent job, the results aren't always pristine.
The next time you spot tree sap, bird poop or other stains on your car's windshield, spray a generous amount of club soda on it, then wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth. You can also spray your wiper blades with the fizzy liquid to reduce streaking on rainy days.
5. Remove fabric stains
Not only is laundry one of the most annoying chores, it can also get expensive quickly. In addition to the detergent, many people also purchase dryer sheets, fabric softeners, and stain removers.
The good news is that there are alternatives to these pricey products. Before you spend money on a stain remover, do a spot treatment with club soda and salt.
Sprinkle salt on the stain then pour club soda over it and let it sit for a few hours or overnight before adding it to the load.
6. Grow your garden
When it comes to gardening any tip that helps your plants thrive is welcomed, regardless of how green your thumb is. If you want your garden to flourish better this season, try watering the soil around your plants with club soda.
Club soda contains phosphate and minerals that promote healthy plant growth. A study by researchers at University of Colorado Boulder found that plants were given club soda grew 170% more than plants that were fed plain tap water.
7. Clean cast iron cookware
Using cast iron cookware can be a little bit intimidating at first, especially when you hear people talking about "seasoning" their skillets. However, once you get the hang of it, you'll never go back to using a regular pan.
Since these pans are non-stick, you want to avoid scrubbing the bottom. An easy way to get food residue off the pan is to add club soda into it while it's still warm, then use a non-abrasive sponge to wash it all off.
8. Fix chlorine-dyed hair
For those of you who love to swim, but hate the effect of chlorine on your locks, this is a solution you will be swearing by from now on.
If your hair is looking a little green after spending time in a pool, apply some club soda to your mane so it can recover its natural color, according to Dr. Oz.
An added bonus is that club soda is great for taming frizz, and if you have color-treated hair, the carbonated drink will also make it appear less dull and brassy.
9. Polish precious gems
If you have precious baubles sitting in your jewelry box, it's time to bring them out and polish them with club soda. The liquid will get rid of smudges, grime, and return shine to gemstones like diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.
Soak the dirty jewelry in club soda and add a few drops of liquid dish soap to it. Let it sit for five minutes or longer depending on how badly they need to be cleaned. Remove the pieces from the solution and pat dry with a soft, clean cloth.
10. Preserve newspapers
As soon as newspapers start to age, they turn yellow and over time, the print will also fade. If there's an important newspaper story you want to hang on to, the best thing to do is to preserve the clipping.
Mix four cups of club soda to one capful of milk of magnesia and let it sit for eight hours or overnight. Next, soak the newspaper in the mixture for about an hour, then blot dry.
11. Shuck oysters
If you're having a hard time getting an oyster to open up, soak it in club soda before trying again. It should be much easier to shuck after that.
Although my family never tried these while I was growing up, I now use most of them in my own home, and I love how well it works.