How to Save Money » Simple Living

Cream of Tartar – 17 Uses That Will Blow Your Mind

Cream of Tartar – 17 Uses That Will Blow Your Mind

Cream of tartar is one of those magic items that no one really talks about because they’re too busy reminding everyone how great baking soda and white vinegar are.

But this is one pantry staple that should not be forgotten – and not just because of it’s many culinary applications. No, cream of tartar is much, much more than that. You can use it for so many things other than cooking.

Here are 17 of them:

1. Clean your tub: Make a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Apply to stains, let it dry, wipe off and rinse clean.

2. Remove ink stains from clothing: Create a paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice. Apply to garment and allow to sit for 1-2 hours. Wash in your washing machine as usual.

3. Clean your burner pans: Mix equal parts cream of tartar and white vinegar and apply to your burner pans. Allow to sit for 15 minutes and then scrub clean.

4. Create household cleaner: Mix equal parts cream of tartar and white vinegar. You can clean most surfaces in your home with this cleaner.

5. Great stain remover: Mix 1 cream of tartar with 1/2 cup glycerin and add to a spray bottle. Use on laundry items as needed.

6. Clean your grout: Create a paste of cream of tartar and white vinegar to remove mold and mildew from your grout.

7. Clean your copper: Mix 2 tablespoons cream of tartar with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, rub all over your copper and wipe clean.

8. Clean your stove oven: Mix cream of tartar and white vinegar to make a paste, and apply to the inside of your oven. Allow to sit for about 3 hours and then wipe clean.

9. Remove ring around shirt collars: Apply cream of tartar directly to the ring. Rub it in and the ring should disappear.

10. Remove stains from porcelain sinks: Mix equal parts cream of tartar and white vinegar. Rub onto stain, wipe away and rinse clean.

11. Clean your stainless steel appliances: Mix cream of tartar with a bit of water to polish your appliances.

12. Remove scratches on dishes: Create a thick paste of cream of tartar and water, apply to your dishes, wipe away and rinse clean.

13. Clean your coffee pot: Sprinkle 3 teaspoons of cream of tartar into your coffee pot and fill with water. Heat, wipe clean and rinse.

14. Get rid of ants: Sprinkle cream of tartar in the area that you often get ants, to keep them away.

15. Clean stains from mugs: Put a small amount of cream of tartar and a few drops of water into your mug, let it sit for about 30 seconds, scrub and rinse clean.

16. Have brighter vegetables: Add about half a teaspoon of cream of tartar to boiling veggies. This will help to preserve their color.

17. Clean your drain: Mix 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup salt, and 1 tablespoon cream of tartar. Pour into your drain and then add 1 cup of water. Allow to sit for about 60 seconds and then wash it all down.

Are you convinced yet?

This very inexpensive, fine white powder is fantastic. If you’re looking for a more natural cleaner around your home – cream of tartar is one thing you should always have on hand (along with baking soda and white vinegar, of course!).

Have you used cream of tartar as a cleaning agent in your home?


  1. Maxine

    Holy geez!! Who knew cream of tartar was good for all this stuff? I’m totally going to pick some up and try it out now! We have some gross mugs and porcelain sinks which could stand to be cleaner!

  2. jody

    I find that cream of tartar is expensive 😉 But good to know all fo these things. Also it makes homemade playdough soft and pliable…

  3. Laura

    It makes awesome soft playdoh that lasts weeks when stored properly!

  4. Jennifer

    It’s too bad that there are no great coupons out there for the more natural way of cleaning like cream of tarter. I agree it’s expensive stuff! It seems when people get their great coupon deals a lot of seems to compromise of ‘fake food’ and chemical based cleaning agents…and they stock up on them too. Maybe one day manufacturers will help promote the more natural methods of cleaning with better promotions. =)

    • sally

      You can find cream of tartar at Bulk Barn. Buy it when Bulk Barn has their $3 off $10 coupon in their flyer or on their website. This coupon comes up regularly.

  5. Heather R

    I have only tried making playdoh with it and I’m definitely using your suggestion of using it to get rid of ants. I had heard babypowder worked for that and when I tried it didn’t work at all.

  6. Mary

    But really – can’t baking soda do most of that stuff? I don’t want to go out and buy something else when something that I already buy does it very well. the only different thing would be for Play-Doh.

  7. Debbie

    Yeah…maybe if you can find a peg bag of Cream of Tartar or are able to find it cheap at a bulk store. That little can of Cream of Tartar is expensive. Maybe a bakery supply would be willing to sell a 5 lb box at a reasonable price.

  8. janelle

    I find that baking soda is much less expensive and great for cleaning lots of things. Vinegar is also another item I use all the time… great for cleaning, baking and very inexpensive at Superstore.

  9. Angela

    Was there something else? My mind wasn’t blown…

  10. Samantha

    Inexpensive my butt! I just bought a small container and it cost me 5$!

    • C

      That’s because you’re doing it wrong, Samantha. Don’t buy spices in jars or containers at the grocery store, ever. They’re twice the price of bulk or more. Try Bulk Barn. They sell stuff like bulk yeast at 1/5 the regular price of jars.

  11. Inga

    Great idea to try Bulk Barn with coupon. I’m a kindergarten teacher making my own play dough, and the little can of Cream of Tartar is too expensive.

  12. Brad

    I do not mean to be offensive but this list is really not 17 things but rather 3 or 4.

    1) Mix cream of Tartar with an acid like vinegar or lemon juice as a cleaning agent.

    2) Mix cream of Tartar with water for a milder cleaning agent.

    3) Use cream of Tartar to keep away ants.

    4) Mix cream of Tartar with baking soda and salt to clean a drain.

    Cream of Tartar is an acid and you are mixing it with more acid to make a stronger acid and of course acid will clean things.

    The last one you are mixing it with a base and creating an exothermic reaction like using drain cleaner. What the purpose of the salt is is beyond me. Most likely it is not needed unless it is simply to bulk it up and force the reaction down instead of up.

  13. KERRY

    Can Cream of Tatar be used as a drink with the lemon juice, to balance out your blood in the body?

  14. stephanie

    As others have pointed out, practically everything on this list can be done with baking soda, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. All three are much, much cheaper than cream of tartar.

  15. Veronica

    I have tried it, I buy mine at Target “Archer Farms brand”, 4 OZ for less than $4.00

  16. holly

    Also great at getting rid of cankers. Dab a bit on the canker sore (may sting depending how bad the sore is). I use to get them all the time and as soon as one showed up I’d use this and it would heal by the next day.

  17. Ginny

    Thank you for these great homemade cleaning recipes!

  18. Ginny

    Fortunately, I’ve had a large container of COT since forever and its still good to use in baked goods. Back then, it was on sale for 2.99 at a supermarket. That’s my kinda bargain. Now that I know it can be used for cleaning, I’ll be looking for any size that’s on sale or buying in bulk like a couple of people suggested.

    COT really does work on burner pans. I tried it and I’m so in love with this stuff. I’m gonna see how well it cleans my oven.

  19. Mary

    Why does everyone have to be so rude….Not one person said things like, I tried that, have you tried baking soda, THANK YOU FOR THE IDEAS. Also, you could just not leave any comment.

    There is a lot to be said about consideration.

  20. Joni pilmaier

    I’ve never seen such rude remarks to someone just trying to be helpful. Shame on you!

  21. JD

    Amen Sister!!!!!! I find this article wonderful & informative thank you for taking the time to give us this information!

  22. judy hammond

    If you get leg cramps just a little under your tongue will help…it is potassium in powder form

  23. Rebecca

    I have heard that cream of tartar is gentle enough to clean china and other antique dishes. Make a paste with water and rub gently with a soft cloth. I have never tried it myself so proceed with caution.


    Is it possible to mix it with water and drink to keep mosquitoes from biting me? I remember when I was little, my mother gave me Creme of Tarter tablets.

  25. Michele Victor

    Thank you for all the hints. Had serious water stains in my bath and with a little elbow grease and cream of tartar, i now have a new tub.

  26. Wanda

    I wanted to say that I cleaned with baking soda/vinegar,and then with the COT. Well COT cleaned whole lot better .

  27. William Hill

    COT (Cream of Tartar) will also do the Following:
    1. 1 teaspoon orally will within an hour stop kidney stone pain & will dissolve the stones within 2 to 3 days. I had as many as 7 to 10 protein kidney stones and was always in terrible pain. I take 1 teaspoon of COT every month just to make sure I don’t have anymore kidney stones.

  28. A. Beatty

    Moma used to give us kids about 1/4 teaspoon internally for breakouts (rashes). It worked too. Still use a bit occasionally.

  29. Carol

    Places like ‘Smart and Final’ or ‘Cash and Carry’ or other stores that sell to businesses and the public should have this in their spices/herbs section. I just bought a 24oz container for $19 so ‘some people’ can use their baking soda and we will use our CoT. So there!

  30. Joe

    my wife is cleaning junky. We have a tub in our guest bath room that she has tried to clean with several cleaning items. She was telling a sale associate at Home depot about the tub. He suggested cream of tartar mix.. Wow what a difference. Try it,
    it works.

  31. Trudy

    Also good with smoking cessation programs – take 1 tsp nightly for 7 nights, in OJ, and it helps to flush the nicotine out of your system faster.

  32. Sherry Connery

    Well, you may not believe this, but… CREAM OF TARTER, is fabulous on getting rid of canker sores. Just dab your finger under the faucet. and put it in the cream of tarter jar. Put it directly on cancer sores, mouth sores, it is the best ever

  33. Nancy

    From an Amish cookbook –household tips pages:

    Windows (WOO HOO!!): FORGET NEWSPAPER POLISHING (unless you just swear by it).






    Personally, I have always squeegee the bulk of water off, followed by a paper towel dry, then I use cut up old Terry towel rags and polish. Sounds hideously like hard labor — and that used to be so. Not anymore with this recipe. By the way, we live in the mountains and suffer massive flies in the warm months —fly specks and they can be horrible to remove. This recipe has taken the pain out of that.

  34. Hope Dixon

    Cream of Tarter is great to help stop smoking, its supposed to help you quit within eight days, but it varies by person, 1tsp. of cream of tarter with 8 ounces of orange juice for eight days…

  35. Chris K

    For 30+ yrs one of the bathroom sinks in my house has brown stains. I’ve tried so many things to get it out but nothing worked although some lightened the stain. One night I read an article like this one and decided to try COT (but I didn’t write down the instructions). So I took out my COT can (which is over 35 yrs old), sprinkled it on the stain, left the bathroom and forgot all about it. Hours later I went back into the bathroom, discovered the COT was still in the sink, got a wet paper towel, and proceeded to wipe out the COT. Guess what?! The stain was totally gone with absolutely no elbow grease used! I will definitely use this tip more often and try some of the others as well. I’ll post again if it helps me stop smoking! Fingers crossed …

  36. Lorene Davis

    Thank you for the information, I’m going to go buy some now.

  37. Cheryl

    I heard recently that taking cream of tartar in a drink ( water, OJ, etc.) will keep any biting insect including ticks, fleas, flying insects, from biting because of a certain odor that is repulsive to the pests keeps them away. there must be something to that !

  38. Llewellyn HUNT

    During the 1940s sties in the eyes were common and also what were known as veldsores. My father’s remedy for sties was a teaspoonfull of Cream of tartar in a glass of orange juice. For me this worked like a miracle

  39. Joan

    If you get iron stains on clothing/linens boil on stove in water wit COT. and of course, mock apple pie….my kids favourite.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*