This Pantry Staple Is The Secret Ingredient To Cleaning Your Stainless Steel Appliances

We bet that right next to your baking soda and baking powder is a little tub of cream of tartar. It's a white powder made from tartaric acid, a type of acid derived from leftover wine dregs. For those of us who don't bake regularly, we may have bought a jar of it for one special blow-out dessert, like lemon meringue pie, and now it's sitting unused in the cabinet. While its main job is to help stabilize certain ingredients while cooking, it turns out cream of tartar has a side hustle. It does double duty as a fantastic cleaner for stainless steel appliances, sinks, and pots.

We love using cleaners that swirl down the drain and into waterways with the least amount of harm possible. Some commercial stainless steel cleaners have noxious chemicals in them that can irritate the respiratory system when we're overexposed to them, and they smell horrendous. Cream of tartar is a terrific natural alternative, and for sparkling results, you might want to pair it with a microfiber cloth.

Here's what you do

Get your petite tub out of the cupboard, unless you're running an illegal bakery out of your kitchen, and then by all means, pull out your restaurant-sized Regal Cream of Tartar — 5 pound jar. You will need muscles, filtered water, preferably a microfiber, and an overwhelming will to clean all your sink/refrigerator/pots in one go. Filtered water is recommended to avoid cleaning the steel with hard water, which can deposit lime spots.

Dampen your microfiber, sprinkle it with cream of tartar, then go to town. Much like wood, if you look closely, stainless steel also has a grain. Instead of wiping in haphazard circles, for best results, rub in the direction of the grain and not against it. Rinse with a separate cloth moistened with filtered water. Now, in case you also need to sanitize it, should you disinfect your stainless steel sink with bleach? Spoiler alert: No, never. Instead, make a paste using distilled white vinegar and cream of tartar, rub, and rinse. Buff to a sheen with olive oil.