dry cream of tartar

10 Uses for Cream of Tartar in Cleaning

Cream of tartar is an ingredient that can be found in many household baking cupboards, as it comes in very useful for stabilising whipped egg whites, preventing sugar crystals, and effectively activating bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). 

The best part of having it in your cupboard is that, as with a few of our other baking staples, cream of tartar can also come in very handy as a cleaning product. 

There are various uses for cream of tartar, but this list will cover the ten most helpful ways to utilise this ingredient in your cleaning routine. 


1. Removing Rust Stains

rusty can opener and scissor

This easy-to-access ingredient is actually an incredibly useful agent in removing rust stains, which can often seem like an impossible task. 

This magical rust remover does require one more ingredient though, it needs to be mixed with hydrogen peroxide until it creates a paste. You will then need to spread the paste onto the affected areas of your rusty utensil, whether it be a can opener or a pair of scissors. 

Finally, leave the paste to sit on the rust stain for at least a few hours before you wipe it off, and hopefully see the rust slide right off with the mixture. 


2. Cleaning Stainless Steel

stainless steel toaster

When it comes to stainless steel you won’t need anything else besides your cream of tartar to bring back that shine. Simply add a little of the cream of tartar powder to a wet cloth and thoroughly wipe the stainless steel of your dulled appliance. 


3. Bringing Colour Back to Aluminium Pots

Aluminium Pots

This technique is also useful for aluminium pots and pans, especially when they’ve lost their shine. 

You can make a paste by mixing the cream of tartar with either hydrogen peroxide or water before rubbing it into the affected areas of your pot or pan using a sponge or microfiber cloth.

In addition, if you don’t have any hydrogen peroxide you can also try making your paste with vinegar instead.


4. Stain Remover

cream of tartar as stain remover

Cream of tartar is also an excellent stain remover. It can brighten your whites if you add a teaspoon of it to a bucket and soak the garments before you run them through your machine. 

In addition, it can efficiently tackle food stains, sweat stains, and even tea stains. For those particularly stubborn stains, you would benefit from making a paste with the cream of tartar and water or even lemon juice before rubbing the paste directly onto the stain. 

Leave the mixture on the garment and allow it to soak in for up to two hours before you rinse it and run it through your washing machine as usual. 


5. Restoring Porcelain

porcelain bath and sink

If the porcelain in your bath or sink is starting to look dull or stained, then cream of tartar will come to the rescue. 

Mix a tablespoon of cream of tartar with an equal amount of vinegar until the substance resembles a paste and then work the mixture onto the stain and rub as you would while cleaning normally. 

When the stain has had time to lift, wipe away the paste and rinse the porcelain. 


6. Cleaning the Inside of Coffee Cups/Pots

dirty coffee cup

The inside of mugs and coffee pots can become visibly stained over time. It can be frustrating to look into your favourite mug as you fill it and see the stains, but not know the easiest way to clean and return it to its former glory. 

Sprinkle a little cream of tartar into the wet mug/pot and let it sit along the sides for 30 seconds to a minute before you scrub the inside and rinse it clean. No more annoying stains!


7. Natural Ant Repellent

cream of tartar as natural ant repellent

Ants can become quite the pest, especially if they’ve begun invading your house (and your sugar dish)! If you hate the idea of using harsh chemicals to kill or deter these little creatures, try buying some cream of tartar instead.

All you will need to do is investigate exactly how the ants are getting into your home and once you’re certain you have their point of entry, you can sprinkle a line of cream of tartar across the whole area. 

The ants will not cross the line of powder, meaning your pest problem will be solved! Repeat this process if they find other entry points into the house. 


8. Mixing with Vinegar as a Substitute for Bleach

vinegar and cream of tartar for cleaning

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly household cleaner, as well as an option that is easier on your wallet, you can use cream of tartar as a bleach alternative. 

Simply mix equal parts cream of tartar and vinegar together and use it with a cloth to wipe down your surfaces and kill any germs lingering there. 


9. Copper and Brass Cleaner

cleaning brass

To easily clean your copper and brass items, mix cream of tartar with some lemon juice or with white vinegar until it forms a paste and then spread the paste all over the copper or brass items with a cloth, leaving them shiny and clean. 


10. Buffing Out Scratches from Dishes

wiping plates

Scratch marks on your favourite plates can be both frustrating and disappointing, but there is a solution to easily eliminate them! 

Sprinkle a fair amount of cream of tartar over the surface of your plate or bowl and then add a little water before rubbing the whole surface with a wet cloth. 

Leave the mixture to sit for a few minutes and then scrub it again, making sure the paste went into all the little scratches. Finally, wash the dish as you would usually, with soap and water. 


Final Thoughts

Cream of tartar is an easy-to-source household ingredient that has a surprisingly diverse number of uses. 

If you’re looking to save money or be more environmentally conscious, using ingredients that you can already find in your cupboards is the best way to go!