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Although Coke does have a high citric acid content it is the acid neutralizer that is responsible for cleaning battery terminals. Baking soda solution will clean as good or better in most cases. The powdery substance that builds on the terminals is acid from the battery that evaporates and is drawn to the terminals by static charge I believe is the term while being charged by the alternator. It is not advisable to clean battery terminals this way how ever since the acid neutralizer can get inside the battery and neutralize the acid inside the battery and kill the battery or shorten it's life. Battery terminal cleaner brushes are cheap and easy to use and a lot less messy. P.S. I have tried other brands of soda pop and Coke is the only one that has any effect on battery acid.