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8 Surprising Uses for Cream of Tartar

8 Surprising Uses for Cream of Tartar


You might not realize it, but you probably have one of the most versatile cleaning agents sitting on your spice rack. Cream of tartar, chemically known as potassium bitartrate, is typically used in baking. What would snickerdoodles be without it? But that’s not all cream of tartar is good for — not by a long shot! From zapping ink stains to making toys, read on for some of the most surprising uses for cream of tartar.

Tip: Look for cream of tartar at craft stores, or online, for better deals than you would get in your supermarket’s baking aisle.



1. Clean Aluminum Cookware. If your pots and pans are looking a little worse for the wear, try cleaning them with a paste of cream of tartar and water. Apply on the stains and wash as usual.

2. Clean Your Bathroom. Stained tub, sink or toilet? Don’t reach for harsh commercial cleaners. Instead, make a thick paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the stain. Let the paste dry fully before wiping clean.

3. Clean Stainless Steel and Other Metal Appliances. Polish your stainless steel and small metal appliances with a paste of water and cream of tartar.


More Great Uses.

4. DIY Baking Powder. If you’ve run out of baking powder, combine 1 part baking soda with 2 parts cream of tartar — it’s pretty much the same thing as baking powder. This is an especially good trick for people on gluten-free diets; many commercial baking powders contain gluten.

5. DIY “Play-Dough.” Do the little ones in your life love sculpting with Play-dough? Make your own with this great no-cook recipe.

6. Remove Clothing Spots. Cream of tartar is a fantastic alternative to harmful bleach. Make a paste out of cream of tartar and lemon juice and apply to the stain. Let it soak for about 20 minutes and then throw it in the wash.

7. Rehab Scratched Dishes. Make your dishes good as new by rubbing a paste of water and cream of tartar onto the scratch marks. Rinse clean.

8. Repel Ants. A paste made of cream of tartar and vinegar works wonders for repelling ants around the house.

See Also:
51 Uses for Baking Soda
How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit

Read more: Basics, Beauty, Bed & Bath, Desserts, Fashion, Food, Green, Health & Safety, Home, Household Hints, Natural Pest Control, Nature, Non-Toxic Cleaning, Pests, Surprising uses for ...

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
11:51PM PDT on Mar 26, 2015

Useful tips.Thanks for sharing

12:40AM PST on Feb 7, 2015

Thank you!

7:57PM PST on Dec 30, 2014

TY for the great ideas and info!

6:11PM PST on Nov 23, 2014

I use my crock pot (slow cooker) a lot. It saves me tons of time. But cleaning it is a chore and half. This works fast and better than the dishwasher. Rinse the crock then add 1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar and hot water to the baked-on food line. Let set 30 min or longer. Drain and wipe it out. Spotless.

4:44AM PST on Nov 3, 2014

useful tips. ty

4:29AM PDT on Aug 23, 2014

I wonder if this is any better as a gentle abrasive than baking soda?

1:45PM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

Thank you

12:50AM PDT on Jun 29, 2014

thanks for the tips

10:01AM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

We have the black ants and the fire ants all a round the clothes line have to moving.

2:26AM PDT on Jun 23, 2014

Of course you can repel ants when you mix it with vinegar, as vinegar repel ants. Any vinegar will do – but many think apple cider vinegar works best. Pour your vinegar into the bottle with an equal amount of water and spray. I'm not certain what you do with the paste mention here, probably use the vinegar to clean it up (and protect from ants a second time).

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