4 Ways To Use That Jar Of Cream Of Tartar

It's been in your pantry for years, here's how to use it up.

Cream of tartar

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So you bought a jar of cream of tartar, now what? Maybe it was for that one time you made snickerdoodles, but now it just takes up space on your spice rack. Don't just let it slowly lose potency in the back of the pantry, put it to good use! The acidic powder is good for more than just cookies and meringues. Not unlike baking soda, it has uses beyond baking, from cleaning to homemade playdough. A tiny jar of cream of tartar is a multipurpose product that you shouldn't toss out before giving these kitchen tricks a try.

Ways to Use Cream of Tartar

There's a ton you can do with this ingredient, but here are a few of our favorite ways to use it.

Make Homemade Playdough

If you have little ones in the house, use cream of tartar to make homemade playdough. The cream of tartar helps make the dough elastic and keeps it from becoming too dry or crumbly. It also acts as a preservative, so the kids can keep playing with their playdough for months.

Related: How To Make Homemade Playdough

Clean with It

It turns out the cream of tartar is a pretty great multi-use cleaning product. It can be used with water to form a paste for scrubbing stainless steel and aluminum pans or with vinegar to clean copper or brass, according to The Kitchn. The acidic powder can breakdown tough cooked-on marks and black spots, while also shining up the metal.

Cream of tartar can also help remove rust, buff out scratches or stains on dishes (like coffee rings in your favorite mug), and remove stains from fabrics and linens. You can use it to brighten different fabrics too. Try soaking your white sheets, towels, or napkins that are looking a little lackluster in a solution of 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar per quart of water. Let them sit overnight in the mixture and then wash as usual. When it comes to cleaning, it seems there's little cream of tartar can't do!

Brighten Up Veggies

A generous pinch of cream of tartar helps lower the pH of water when blanching or boiling veggies, and that can help your vegetables retain their bright color after cooking. Next time you're blanching broccoli or green beans give this kitchen hack a try to avoid pale and dull vegetable sides.

Get Rid of Ants

Nobody likes when these little guys sneak into your kitchen, but according to the Farmers' Almanac, sprinkling a line of cream of tartar by doors or other entry points can help keep them at bay. Ants don't like the acidic powder and won't cross over it to enter your home.

Related: What Is Cream of Tartar?

The Best Thing About Cream of Tartar?

It never expires! As long it's stored in a cool, dry place, cream of tartar won't go bad. It can become less potent over time, but in these applications (i.e nothing precise like baking), that's totally fine! Keep cream of tartar on hand for tackling those tough stains on pots and pans, or for the next time you have an ant attack.

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