Health Uses for Cream of Tartar

Updated April 17, 2017

Cream of tartar is the common name for potassium hydrogen tartrate, an acid salt that is used in cooking. Typically stored in kitchens with other household spices, cream of tartar is a natural ingredient used after grapes have fermented to wine. In addition to being used to stabilise egg white foams, and as a major ingredient in baking powder, there are few health uses for cream of tartar.


Combine sugar, sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar to make an exfoliant. The consistency of the mixture should resemble wet sand. Adjust the ingredients until the desired consistency is reached. Apply in small, circular motions to wet skin while in the shower and rinse.

Household Cleaner

For a natural cleaner that is free of chemicals, mix cream of tartar with lemon juice to form a paste. Apply to copper and brass pots. Mix cream of tartar with 3-percent hydrogen peroxide to clean mineral stains from kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

Bug Repellent

A product that combines sulphur, cream of tartar and wafers are sold by the Red Arrow company as Lemon and Cream Tartar w/Sulphur Wafers. When eaten, the wafers are said to prevent bug bites and ticks.

Discontinued Uses

According to, cream of tartar was a common staple on the list of supplies purchased by the expedition crew, as noted in journals from 1803. Cream of tartar was an ingredient in laxatives, and tartar emetic was used to induce vomiting. None of these health uses for cream of tartar are recommended today.

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About the Author

Karen Nehama is a former chef and restaurant manager, currently serving as editor of a food review and recipe website. With expertise as a youth adviser, she is also a consultant for a teen advice column.