Cream of Tartar

Cream Of Tartar

bathbombs citric and shea butter
Bath Bombs, Citric, Shea butter

Cream Of Tartar, also known by the chemical name Potassium Bitartrate, is found in a wide variety of foods and even in bath products. It has the chemical formula KC4H5O6.

Cream of tartar is a byproduct of winemaking.

It  is usually found in food uses. But another popular use that’s emerged in the last few years, is using it in bath bombs and bubble bars, as a hardener.

Bath Bomb recipe using cream of tartar as a hardener

Here’s a typical Bath Bomb recipe using cream of tartar as a hardener:

2.5 Lb Sodium Bicarbonate

1 Lb fine free flowing Citric Acid

6 Oz Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA) powder * For the best foam ever

2 Oz Corn starch

2 Oz Kaolin Clay

6 Oz Cream of tartar * in more humid areas bump up to 8 Oz

4 Oz Almond Oil  (some prefer Avocado oil )

1 Oz Polysorbate 80 (some use PEG 40 castor oil as the foaming emulsifier sub for polysorbate 80)

2 Oz of 2 of these – you choose from: Shea butter, Cocoa Butter, Mango butter (melted)

A favorite fragrance or Essential oil – (as needed) 1/2 oz to 2 Oz. A few of our favorites are Avobath fragrance oil, Lovespell fragrance oil, and Eucalyptus and Spearmint.

Colorant(s) Like mica powders, and /  or Batch cerified dyes or lakes – amount varies


Gather: 2 large mixing bowls, a wire whisk, rubber gloves, a face mask, wax paper, blow dryer or craft heat gun.

Make sure you have a large open space to spread the wax paper so that the bombs are sitting level and can air “cure”.

Mix the ingredients in a well-ventilated area, and always use safety gear like gloves and masks .

Part A: Mix together the pre-measured Citric Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, SLSA, Cream of Tartar, kaolin clay, and Cornstarch together until well blended. When you think you have it blended well – mix it a little longer. (Work in a well-ventilated area).- optional Sodium Alginate

Part B: Slowly add almond oil and Polysorbate 80 in to the dry ingredients – until well mixed. Gently melt your shea and cocoa butter. Add the melted shea,  cocoa butter to the “Part A” . Put your gloved hand into the mixture and smooth out any lumps that may form. Mixture should resemble ground cornmeal. At this point, if you want different colors and fragrances separate the mixture into different bowls and add fragrance oil till you reach the desired level of fragrance. You can also add colorant (mica ) now if you wish.

Take the 2 sides of the mold and scoop as much mixture into the mold as possible and squeeze the 2 sides together. Hold the mold in one hand while very gently squeezing the top of the mold. It should slide right off. Gently turn ball over into hand and gently squeeze the other side of the mold till bomb pops out into hand. Carefully lay the bomb onto the wax paper and let it “cure” for 2-3 days in a dehumidified area.

After your foaming bath bombs have cured and are nice and solid, it’s time to shrink wrap them. Unfold the shrinkwrap and cut out in to 8 x 8 inch squares. Place the bomb in the middle and pull one edge of the wrap up and over the ball while working your way around the ball. Hold the wrap down with one finger and apply the hair dryer or heat gun to the wrap working you way around the ball until it shrinks the wrap and the wrap adheres to the ball. Make sure you heat the entire ball. Lastly – properly label the product and affix the label to the bath bomb

Packaging Suggestions: Keep the bath bombs only in the clear wrap, or be creative and wrap the bath bombs in pretty fabric or sheer material with a bow These make wonderful gifts and will stay fresh for at least 6-9 months if stored properly.

* Makes about 13 to 15 bath bombs depending on how tightly you pack molds.

bath bombs


Common uses for cream of tartar in food

Cooking is the most common application for cream of tartar. It’s an ingredient in Baking powder, activating the sodium bicarbonate. It’s also used as a sodium-free salt substitutes, in combination with potassium chloride.

Some other common uses for cream of tartar in food preparation are:

  • Stabilizing egg whites, – increasing their heat tolerance and volume
  • Thickening and Anti-Caking
  • Stabilizing whipped cream, to maintain texture and volume – like in a meringue
  • Preventing sugar syrups from crystallizing
  • Reducing discoloration of boiled vegetables
  • Mix your own baking powder, combine 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.

Other uses for cream of tartar

Cream of tartar  also finds some uses in cleaning around the house. It can be mixed with a simple acidic liquid like lemon juice or white vinegar. This will a paste-like cleaning agent for metals such as brass, aluminum or copper.

Cream of Tartar can also be mixed with water for other cleaning jobs- like removing light stains from porcelain. DON’T make the mistake of mixing vinegar and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). These react and neutralize each other, creating carbon dioxide and a sodium acetate solution (it foams like crazy).

When cream of tartar is mixed into a paste with hydrogen peroxide it can be used to clean rust from tools, like hand files. After mixing, apply the paste and let it sit for a few hours. Then wash it off with with a baking soda and water solution to neutralize it. Rinse again with water, and allow to dry. Afterwards add a light application of oil to protect the tools from further rusting.

In days gone by, Cream of tartar was often used in traditional dyeing where the complexing action of the tartrate ions were used to adjust the solubility and hydrolysis of mordant salts such as tin chloride and alum

INCI: Potassium Bitartrate



Here are two popular places to buy top quality cream of tartar online  Cream of tartar also offers cream of tartar 

To help you find other quality ingredients, citric acid, sodium bicarbonate sodium alginate, cream of tartar and others, we have put together posts on our blog Check here for information about Cream of tartar, Unrefined Shea butter  Citric Acid , Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Alginate

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