When was the last time you used that tub of cream of tartar you have hiding amongst your baking supplies? Besides cooking, cream of tartar has many other unexpected uses that make it a must-have product for everything from cleaning to beauty remedies.
Ready to explore the magic of cream of tartar? Let's get started!
First, a little bit about cream of tartar...
Cream of tartar is actually a byproduct of wine-making - we know, who'd have thought it? It's an acidic salt that is traditionally used in baking recipes, acting as a stabiliser for whipped eggs whites.
If you're a baker, you've no doubt added it to your meringues or soufflés before - it's what enables the egg whites to increase in size, resulting in that lovely soft, fluffy texture. It also helps to whiten baked goods to give a really polished, professional final result.
But that's where talk of baking ends for today. Check out the other ways cream of tartar can be useful below for some cool surprises!
Household uses for cream of tartar
1. Stain removal
Stain removers can be expensive. Why spend when you can make your own product that's just as effective?
Cream of tartar has some wonderful cleaning properties and mixed with glycerine, makes a great stain remover.
TRY IT: Mix 3 tsp cream of tartar with glycerine and apply to stains before laundering as usual.
2. Clean filthy pans
Washing up liquid just not doing it? If you've got a really dirty pan that you're struggling to get clean, cream of tartar could be the answer.
Cream of tartar is acidic, which helps to soften and loosen burnt on food, making your pans easier to clean.
TRY IT: Mix equal parts cream of tartar and vinegar (for extra acidity!) and apply to your pans with a cloth. Scrub, and the food should easily come away.
3. Deter ants
When faced with an attack of ants, it's natural to reach for harsh chemicals, but there's really no need...
...what if we told you that there are many natural, less-toxic ways to deter ants, one of which is cream of tartar.
TRY IT: Locate the ants' entry point and pour a line of cream tartar along it. The ants will not cross it and your home will be bug-free in no time.
Discover more natural ways to get rid of ants in our other article.
4. Get whiter whites
Frustrated with whites that don't stay white? Start using cream of tartar in your laundry routine and you'll never have to put up with yellowed or greying whites again.
TRY IT: Soak clothes in a tub of water along with 1 tbsp cream of tartar for 2 hours before laundering as usual.
5. Remove rust
Rust doesn't just happen on outdoor furniture. Condensation and moisture can lead to rust spots on toasters, coffee makers and even the fridge.
If you've found some unsightly crusty brown patches, cream of tartar could help you remove them.
TRY IT: Mix cream of tartar with water until a thick paste is formed. Apply to rusty areas, leave for a minute then scrub with a toothbrush to remove.
6. Toilet cleaner
Our toilets take a real beating, so it's no wonder they start to look grubby pretty quickly. If yours gets discoloured between cleans or your toilet cleaner happens to stain the bowl, cream of tartar will help it look fresh again.
TRY IT: Sprinkle cream of tartar around the edge of the toilet bowl, leave to sit for 30 seconds, then scrub with your toilet brush before flushing.
7. Keep veggies colourful
Boiled veggies can often end up looking, well, boiled to death!
In the same way that cream of tartar helps to keep cake mixtures ultra-white, it can also help your veggies retain their vibrant colour.
TRY IT: Add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar to a pot of water before boiling vegetables to help keep them bright.
8. Clear drains
Clogged drains can be the result of many things - hair, foreign objects or even just toilet paper. Before you call out the professionals, it's worth trying a few home remedies to get your pipes clear again.
Cream of tartar along with a few other everyday ingredients will blast through dirt and grime and get your pipes clear.
TRY IT: Mix 1 tbsp cream of tartar, 4 tbsp bicarbonate of soda and 4 tbsp salt and pour down the drain. Follow this immediately with 2 litres of boiling water, then rinse with cold water.
Health & beauty uses for cream of tartar
9. Heartburn remedy
Heartburn can be extremely unpleasant, so it's best to act fast when you feel symptoms starting to arise. Cream of tartar along with bicarbonate of soda can provide effective relief by neutralising the acid that causes heartburn.
TRY IT: Add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and 1/2 tsp baking soda to a glass of water and mix well. Take 1-2tsp of the solution, depending on the severity of your heartburn.
10. Treat acne
A more unusual use for cream of tartar is treating acne. Many people claim to have experienced a vast improvement in the appearance of their skin after ingesting cream of tartar regularly.
TRY IT: Add 1 tbsp cream of tartar to a glass of water, juice or cup of tea and drink. Repeat daily.
11. Cure gallstones
When chemicals such as fats and minerals in your bile harden, gallstones occur. Some people claim to have experienced amazing effects from using cream of tartar to treat their condition.
TRY IT: Mix the juice of 6 lemons, 3 tbsp Epsom salts, 3 tsp cream of tartar into 1 litre of water and drink throughout the day.
12. Treat a UTI
Think you may have a urinary tract infection? There's no need to worry - UTIs are surprisingly common. Cream of tartar can be used to help kill off bacteria, by changing the pH of your urine so they are unable to survive.
TRY IT: Add 1 tsp cream of tartar and 1 tbsp lemon juice to a cup of warm water. Mix well, drink and repeat daily.
13. Treat arthritis with cream of tartar
If you're a fan of using home remedies to medicate, you may be interested in this natural solution that uses cream of tartar to treat arthritis.
TRY IT: Find this arthritis-combatting recipe over at Eric Bakker. You'll need oranges, lemons, grapefruits, cream of tartar, Epsom salts and water.
14. Lower high blood pressure
Cream of tartar is just the common name for this cupboard staple - it's scientifically known as potassium hydrogen tartrate - the potassium is what lends itself to treating high blood pressure.
When the body is low in potassium, sodium accumulates in the body tissues, increasing blood pressure. Cream of tartar can help to counteract this deficiency.
TRY IT: Mix 1tsp of cream of tartar in a glass of water and drink slowly.
Fun ways to use cream of tartar
15. Make baking soda
Your cupcakes won't get very far without baking soda! If you're all out but have cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda, you can DIY your own.
TRY IT: Mix 1/2 tsp cream of tartar with 1/4 bicarbonate of soda to make the equivalent of 1 tsp baking powder.
16. DIY bath bombs
There's nothing like pampering yourself with a warm bath, some candles, and a bath bomb. Bath bombs are single use, and given the price, often seem pretty excessive.
Why not try making your own to get the luxury experience without the price tag?
TRY IT: Watch the video above to find out how to make your very own gorgeous bath bombs. They're so pretty and smell amazing too!
17. Homemade Playdough
All out of Playdough? Or, at least, any that isn't as hard as a rock? Make your own!
Homemade Playdough is surprisingly easy to make and so much cheaper than the shop-bought version.
TRY IT: Head on over to Best Recipes to try their 5-ingredients recipe and stop wasting money on Playdough today!
Woah! Who knew there were so many uses for cream of tartar? Do you have any of your own to add? Let us know in the comments below.