Cream of tartar is one of those mysterious ingredients that you keep in a cupboard for that once-a-year occasion that you actually need it for a recipe. But most of the time, it simply stays in the cupboard because you don’t really know of any other ways to use it. But that is about to change, because today’s post is all about discovering the many surprising uses for cream of tartar that you might not know about! :-)
What Is Cream Of Tartar?
But first, let’s address the most important question here, which is: “What is cream of tartar?” This acidic white powder is actually a byproduct of the winemaking process. It is typically used in baking to stabilize eggs and creams, as well as add volume and thickness to the final product.
Apart from baking, the acidic nature of cream of tartar also makes it an excellent non-toxic cleaning agent, among other things! So let’s get right to it, and explore 13 surprising new uses for cream of tartar around the house!
13 Surprising Uses For Cream Of Tartar
1. Deter Ants
Use cream of tartar to deter ants from their gathering places on your driveway or sidewalks. All you have to do is sprinkle a bit of the powder around the areas where they congregate.
2. Stain Remover
Add enough lemon juice to a small dish of cream of tartar to make a paste, then apply the paste to clothing or carpet stains. Let it sit for an hour or two, then either machine wash the item or blot the item clean with a damp cloth. (This works particularly well on ink stains!)
3. All-Purpose Kitchen Cleaner
Make a paste of cream of tartar and a bit of white vinegar to make a great all-purpose kitchen cleaner. Use it to clean burner pans, grout lines, ovens, sinks, and even to remove mold and mildew. Store the mixture in a squeeze bottle for easy application.
4. Erase Collar Stains
Makeup, lotion, sunscreen, and other products often leave behind oily residues on shirt collars. To remove those oily stains, dampen the collar area with water, then sprinkle some cream of tartar over the area. Rub the powder into the stain with an old toothbrush, then launder the shirt as usual.
5. Restore Scratched Dishes
Make a paste of cream of tartar and water and use it to scrub away scratches or stains on your dishes. Simply apply the paste, scrub with your fingers or a sponge, and rinse with water.
(Note: Barkeepers Friend is typically the most effective tool for this job. However, I think this tip could really come in handy if you’re in a pinch and happen to have cream of tartar on hand!)
6. Coffee Pot Cleaner
Clean stains and old coffee residue out of your coffee pot by sprinkling cream of tartar inside. Add boiling water to fill the pot, let the water cool to room temperature, then rinse well.
7. Make Baking Powder
Make your own baking powder at home is as simple as mixing 1 part baking soda with 2 parts cream of tartar. As an added bonus, the resulting baking powder is fully gluten free, unlike some brands you’ll find in stores.
8. Shine Stainless Steel
Clean and shine your stainless steel appliances! Add 1 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of cream of tartar to a small bowl and mix well. Dip a sponge into the mixture, scrub your stainless steel, then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Buff with a dry microfiber cloth until it reaches your desired shininess! ;-)
9. Remove Rust
You can remove rust from metal by mixing up 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and just enough hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Apply the mixture to a rust spot, let it sit for 30 minutes, then wipe the surface clean.
10. Clean Up Copper
Clean up and brighten copper pots and pans by mixing up 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Rub the mixture onto the copper surface, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
11. Egg White Stabilizer (a Meringue Must-Have)
When you’re making meringue, add 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar for every 2 egg whites in your recipe. The acid from the cream of tartar helps to stabilize the egg whites and add volume to the finished product.
12. Pretreat Whites
Keep your white clothes and linens extra bright with this simple soak! Fill your sink or a bucket with lukewarm water, and add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar for every quart of water you’re using. Soak your whites in this solution for a half hour or so before laundering them as usual.
13. Toilet Touchups
Could your toilet bowl use a quick touchup? Sprinkle cream of tartar around the inside of the toilet bowl, then give it a quick scrub with your toilet brush. Flush to rinse.
Do you have any cream of tartar tips or tricks that aren’t included here?