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Ask the Registered Dietitian: Can I Use Coke to Unclog My Feeding Tube?

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Shield HealthCare
07/12/13  7:14 PM PST
Can I Use Coke to Unclog My Feeding Tube?

Can I use Coke to unclog my feeding tube? It’s not recommend by registered dietitians. Soda and juice are acidic and can react with any formula left in the tube, making the clog worse.

Research shows that the best way to resolve a feeding tube clog is to use warm water and a “push-pull” motion with a 60-mL syringe.

Prevent clogs by frequently flushing your tube with water, especially before and after every use.

You may hear from others that they have had success with using Coke, or other types of sodas, when clearing a clog in their tube, but water is the only method recommended by registered dietitians.

You can also find a video and an article with instructions about how to unclog a feeding tube.

Check out these links for more information and resources about feeding tubes:

You can find more support for tube feeding at the Oley Foundation or the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation.