Will Cream of Tartar Whiten Teeth?

by Ellice Lin

Every year, Americans spend millions of dollars on products to whiten their teeth. However, teeth whitening paste can be made at home in a simple and less costly way. Cream of tartar, also known as potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartrate, is an ingredient in many teeth whitening products and can be found in most kitchens.

Cream of Tartar Properties

Cream of tartar is an ingredient in baking powders that works as a leavening agent. When combined with baking soda, its acidity activates baking powder. It has antimicrobial properties, and can be used for cleaning brass and copper cookware, removing stains from sinks and bathtubs, and many other household applications.

Tooth-Whitening Paste

To make your own tooth-whitening paste, mix the following together: 1 tsp. cream of tartar; 2 tsp. baking soda, a pinch of salt and 1 cup of water. Puree 3 to 6 ripe strawberries and brush them onto your teeth; let sit for 5 minutes before brushing with the cream of tartar and baking soda paste. Rinse thoroughly with water. The mixture should be used no more frequently than every two weeks, due to the abrasive nature of baking soda.

Best Results

For best results, brush your teeth regularly, and avoid products that stain teeth--such as coffee, tea and tobacco products.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Ellice Lin graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She continued her education and earned a master's degree from Rice University. She is an environmental consultant writing air quality reports in Southern California.