How to Clean Aluminum Pans with Cream Of Tartar (2 Easy Ways)

Cream of tartar is a dry white powder that is generally used in baking recipes. A single pinch of the cream of tartar can make a huge difference in the texture of your baked goods.

You probably already know that it is a must-have ingredient for making delicious meringue-pies, meringue cookies that melt in your mouth, and some of the best angel food cakes.

It can also be used as a substitute for baking soda. However, did you know that the cream of tartar also doubles as a powerful cleaning agent?

The cream of tartar works like a charm for cleaning various surfaces.

This is especially true for aluminum pans. So, if you are not a fan of using strong cleaning agents or expensive cleaners, the cream of tartar is your best bet when it comes to removing the gunk from aluminum pans.

Without further ado – scroll down to take a look at how to clean aluminum pans with cream of tartar.

How to Clean Aluminum Pans with Cream of Tartar?

Got a grungy aluminum with stuck-on gunk? No worries – the cream of tartar is all you need to make your pan look as good as new.

Here are a few ways to use the cream of tartar for cleaning aluminum pans.

The Paste Method: Remove Baked-On Food and Stains

This method works perfectly to remove gunk and stains at the bottom or sides of the pan.

It may take a few tries to get the results that you want – but in the end, your aluminum pan will look as good as new.

Here’s how you can get rid of stubborn baked-on foods and stains on aluminum pans with cream of tartar.

  1. Make Cream of Tartar Cleaning Mixture: To scrub away gunk and bleach stains, the first thing you need to do is make the cleaning mixture using the cream of tartar. While you can use it alone on its own, it is best to make this powerful cleaning mixture for effective cleaning. To make this super powerful cleaning agent, simply add vinegar to the cream of tartar. Mix them in equal parts to make a paste. You can adjust the consistency of the paste but make sure that it is not too runny as that may diminish the scrubbing effect.
  2. Apply on the Pan: Once your cleaning mixture is ready. Apply it on the affected areas of the pan. Use a piece of rag for this purpose. Let it sit on the pan for at least an hour. However, for best results, it is advisable to let it sit overnight. Both vinegar and cream of tartar will work to loosen the food stuck on the surface of the pan. At the same time, the mild bleaching properties of the cream of tartar will work to get rid of the baked-on stains.
  3. Scrub and Clean: Keep in mind that you may require some elbow grease to scrub the pan clean. However, avoid using very hard or abrasive materials to scrub. It is best to use the same piece of cloth you used earlier to apply the paste. Scrub for a few minutes to see the results.
  4. Repeat If Required: If you are not satisfied with the cleaning, repeat the process a few times and you’ll get the desired results. Once you are done, make sure to wash the pan thoroughly with soap and cold water before using it again for cooking.

The Boil Method: Removing Burnt Food from the Bottom of the Pan

Have you ever made the forgetful mistake of leaving the pan on the heat for too long?

If you have, you probably already know how hard it can get to remove scorched food remnants inside the pan, especially when it is stuck at the bottom.

The good news is that cream of tartar is the perfect solution to this problem. Here’s how you can use cream of tartar to get rid of burnt food from the bottom of the pan in just a few seconds!

  1. Make the Cleaning Solution: Vinegar and cream of tartar is a powerful combination when it comes to removing stubborn gunk and remains. So, combine the two to make your cleaning agent. Pour around 2 cups of vinegar in the pan and add 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar to it. Mix thoroughly with a spoon.
  2. Place the Pan on the Heat: Once the solution is ready, place the pan on the stove and turn on the heat. Make sure that you prepare enough solution to cover the affected area of the pan completely. Bring the solution to a boil. Leave it on the stove for at least another 10 minutes before taking it off.
  3. Let It Cool and Clean: Let the solution sit in the pan until it is cooled. The scorched food will become loose. This will make it easy for you to scrub it. Once the solution has cooled enough, discard it carefully. Use a piece of cloth or a sponge to scrub the affected areas. Burnt food should come off easily.
  4. Repeat the Process If Required: Repeat the process if you are unable to get the desired results in the first go. For especially thick and stubborn buildup, let the solution boil for a few extra minutes. However, keep an eye on it at all times. Once you have successfully removed every bit of scorched food from the pan, wash it thoroughly with soap and water. Your pan will be as good as new!

Tips for Cleaning Aluminum Pans

Keeping your aluminum pans in tip-top condition is easier than you may have imagined.

Check out some easy-to-follow tips that can help you keep your aluminum pans clean and shiny.

  • If you are out of cream of tartar, you can use baking soda instead. It is the perfect replacement for the cream of tartar and will get the job done. Simply make a paste of water and baking soda and use it in the same way as the vinegar and cream of tartar paste!
  • Want to make your aluminum pans extra shiny? Then boil apple peels in it! Simply fill the pan with water and place a handful of apple peels in it. Bring the water to boil. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about half an hour. Pour out the water and peels and scrub the pan to get rid of the scorched food and stains.
  • If you are planning to clean all your aluminum pots in one go, mix one-part water with one part vinegar to make a solution. Wipe it all on your pans and pots to bring out a shine in them. Use a soft cloth to rub and buff.
  • If your aluminum pans often discolor quickly, you are probably washing them wrong. It is best to avoid washing them in a dishwasher. Also, don’t let them soak in soapy water for extended periods as that can lead to discoloration as well.
  • When cleaning your aluminum pans, it is advisable to use a steel-wool soap pad to remove food. It will make scrubbing and cleaning much easier.
  • If your aluminum pan has discolored, you can reverse the discoloration with the cream of tartar in just a few simple steps. Fill your pan with water and add one tablespoon of cream of tartar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in it. Bring the water to boil. Then turn the heat down and let it simmer for a few minutes. Complete the process by scouring the pan. This should work to remove interior discoloration. Repeat the process if required.

Other Cleaning Purposes of Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar is a powerful cleaning agent, which is why you can use this same mixture to clean most other surfaces around the kitchen.

Apart from metal pots and pans, you can use leftover vinegar-cream of tartar paste to clean ceramic or glass cookware.

You can also put it to use to get rid of spill stains on the stove’s burner. Here are a few other ways you can use cream of tartar around the house.

  • Cream of tartar is the ideal ingredient to make an acidic yet gentle scrub. For this reason, it is the perfect cleaner for stainless steel pans, pots, and other surfaces.
  • Cream of tartar works extremely well for copper pots. All you need to do is combine cream of tartar with lemon juice or vinegar to make an abrasive paste. Use this paste to shine up your copper pots!
  • Scratches can take away the appeal of your dishes. However, if you have scratch marks on well-used dishes, you can reverse the damage using the cream of tartar. Sprinkle powdered cream of tartar on the surface of the dish. Then add one teaspoon of water and rub gently with a wet cloth. Let the dishes sit for a few minutes before washing with soap and water. This should buff out the scratch marks!

The Bottom Line

Cream of tartar is more versatile than you may have imagined. In fact, it may be one of the best cleaning agents that you may have in your pantry.

Now that you know how to use cream of tartar to clean your aluminum pans and other pots, make sure you make the most of it and keep your kitchen utensils in tip-top condition!

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