The Household Use For Tang You'd Never Expect

If you've never tasted Tang – and if you're wondering what Tang even is – its heyday harkens back to America's "Space Race" in the '60s when manned travels to the moon and beyond were of great significance. At the time, countless kids grew up dreaming of becoming astronauts. But, instead of loading up on STEM classes, kids in that era prepared for the rigors of space travel by downing this neon-colored drink, marketed as being preferred by NASA astronauts like John Glenn who chose Tang for a menu item when showcasing in-orbit eating experiments to the public (per NASA's website).

Originally debuting in 1957 via General Foods, it was meant to be a quick and easy powdered breakfast drink loaded with vitamin C and a shelf-stable alternative to orange juice, says CNN. So much so that it could survive the harsh environment of space, and thus a whole marketing campaign was born. But not everyone was a fan of the drink, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin who claimed in a 2013 interview that it "sucks." 

Tang still remains popular in some parts of the world — including one of the most popular drinks during Ramadan in the Middle East, says CNN — but if you have a bottle just sitting in your cabinet collecting dust, there's another use for Tang that doesn't involve actually drinking it. 

Tang makes a surprisingly effective toilet cleaner

Believe it or not, some intrepid domestic science pioneer (or perhaps an opportunistic mom) found out that Tang can be used as an effective toilet cleaner. We don't know who actually discovered this genius hack – TODAY included it in a list of easy DIY spring cleaning tips published in 2014, but this household tip also appeared even earlier in a 1998 SF Gate article. For all we know, the first person to come up with this use may even have been Buzz Aldrin, desperate to get rid of a lifetime supply of the beverage he so hated.

It seems all you have to do is drop some Tang in the toilet, swish it around, and flush it down — the citric acid acts as a non-toxic scrubber. TODAY suggests only needing a teaspoon to do the trick in just a few minutes, while SF Gate recommends using two tablespoons and letting it sit for an hour. No matter how long it takes to work, though, the same citric acid that gives Tang its tanginess is what will dissolve the grimy stuff that's staining the toilet bowl — and might even make it smell orangey-fresh too.