Does Cream Of Tartar Go Bad – How Long Does Cream Of Tartar Last After Expiration?

Does Cream Of Tartar Go Bad: Do you remember the last time you bought a packet of cream of tartar? Probably not, because unless you’re a baking enthusiast, a single pack of cream of tartar lasts a long time.

And after a few years of storage, you might wonder: what is the shelf life of the cream of tartar? Does the cream of tartar expire? and so on. If that’s the case, just sit back and read our article to get all the details on the cream of tartar’s storage, usage, shelf life, potency, and much more. Let’s get started!

Does Cream Of Tartar Go Bad

What is Cream of Tartar?

Cream of tartar is a white powder that is used as a leavening agent in the baking process. Unlike its name, cream of tartar is not a dairy product.

Cream of tartar (or potassium bitartrate by its scientific name) is made from tartaric acid, which is a byproduct of the winemaking process. It’s collected from reddish-brown crystals left behind by wine casks. After a refining process, the cream gets its white color. Cream of tartar is a go-to ingredient for making fabulous cakes and pastries with an airy texture.

Does Cream of Tartar Go Bad?

Yes, with time and moisture, the cream of tartar loses its potency and becomes useless in baking. Although the cream can be used beyond the best-by date, changes in its taste, smell, and texture can indicate deterioration of quality.

How to Store Cream of Tartar?

Since you only need a teaspoon or two of the cream of tartar at a time, you may have put the rest away. You can store cream of tartar the same way you store baking soda and baking powder. This means as long as you keep your cream of tartar in an airtight container and away from light, heat, and moisture, it should remain good to use.

Tips to Store Cream of Tartar

  • It’s recommended to store your opened box of cream of tartar in an airtight container.
  • Store the cream of tartar in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and any heat source.
  • It’s a must to keep the cream of tartar container away from moisture.
  • The pantry or kitchen cabinet provides suitable storage space for the cream of tartar.

Cream of tartar can draw moisture from the air. Therefore, if you open the packet, it’s advised to transfer the cream of tartar to a glass jar that can be kept tightly sealed. The jar will protect the cream from moisture, any strong odors, or anything else, for that matter.

Check out the article How Long Does Whipped Cream Last and know the shelf life of the cream and tips to store it effectively.

How Long Does Cream of Tartar Last?

Most cans and boxes of cream of tartar don’t have an expiration date, but they usually have a “best-by” date on them. This date is quite useful because it tells you if you need to check its potency before using it.

If you want to utilize the full potency of the cream of tartar, you should use it on or before the best-by date indicated on the package. However, if there are no visible signs of deterioration, you can still use your cream of tartar up to six months past its best-by date.

Type Pantry
Cream of tartar (unopened or opened) Best-by + 6 months


How Long Does Cream of Tartar Last

Even if the best-by date is not mentioned on the pack, you can safely assume that the powder can be used until it loses its potency, texture, white color, or acidic smell. Cream of tartar comes in a powdered form, so as long as it doesn’t come in contact with water, it most probably won’t go bad.

As posted by most manufacturers for this item, the longest the cream of tartar can be kept safe for use is approximately four years.

How to Tell If Cream of Tartar Is Bad?

As a general rule, unless moisture gets into the container, cream of tartar doesn’t spoil. If only a small amount of moisture finds its way into the jar, it probably won’t make it grow mold. You can get rid of small clumps by running the powder through a spice grinder or by using a mortar and pestle.

The following are signs of spoilage of the cream of tartar

  • Formation of solid lumps: If a lot of moisture gets into the jar, the cream of tartar will go bad. If the powder has turned into a solid lump, or if there is any mold growth on the surface, it’s a clear indication of quality deterioration.
  • Color Change: If the cream of tartar has changed color or there are some dark spots here and there, it’s time to dump the pack.
  • Bad Smell: It’s not a good sign if the cream of tartar no longer has a slightly acidic smell. An off-odor is a sure sign that you should discard the cream of tartar.

Even if everything about the powder looks to be okay, text the potency before using it after prolonged storage. This way, you can make sure that old cream of tartar won’t ruin the dish you’re making, and you won’t have to start from scratch.

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Interesting Facts About Cream of Tartar

Let’s look at some interesting facts and multiple uses of the cream of tartar:

  • Contrary to its name, cream of tartar isn’t a dairy product but rather a fine, white powder with the scientific name potassium bitartrate.
  • Cream of tartar can also be used as a leavening agent in baking. Simply mix a little baking soda and cream of tartar together, and your leavening agent is ready to use!
  • You can use a little bit of cream of tartar to help vegetables retain their vibrant colors when they are boiled.
  • You can combine the cream of tartar with water and this mix can be used to give your aluminum and stainless steel pots a magnificent shine.

FAQs on Does Cream of Tartar Go Bad

1. Can expired cream of tartar be useful?

Yes, you can use expired cream of tartar to clean around the house. Mix the cream with vinegar to scrub your sink, tub, or dishwasher. It can also be used for polishing your stainless steel or metal equipment.

2. Does cream of tartar have any taste?

Yes, if you taste a tiny bit of the cream of tartar, you’ll get an acidic flavor on your tongue. When used in food, the cream of tartar gives a slightly lemony flavor, somewhat akin to buttermilk.

3. Does cream of tartar thicken things?

Yes, a little bit of cream of tartar can be added to various liquids, like soups, sauces, or puddings, to make them thicker without altering the taste.

4. What can be used in place of cream of tartar?

A good substitute for cream of tartar in baking is 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice for every 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar.

Wrapping Up

Hope we’ve cleared all your doubts regarding the cream of tartar. So, use the cream of tartar and bake yourself some tasty delights. Keep checking out our latest blogs on Can Cream Cheese Go Bad and stay updated with interesting wellness content.

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