Does Cream of Tartar Go Bad? How Long Does Cream of Tartar Last?

Cream of Tartar is a great baking ingredient and can have positive health effects as well. You may have some tartar in you your cabinet and wonder, is it still good to use. Read on to find out if your powder is safe or should it be thrown out.

Quick Answer

If stored properly your cream of tartar will have a long shelf life. Cream of tartar will last about four years; rather it is stored outside, in the fridge, or frozen. As long as moisture does not get into your powder, it should be fine. However, if you get your tartar wet, it is no good.


Because Cream of tartar is a dry ingredient, it has a long shelf-life; however, some circumstances will cause it to be no good.

Does Cream of Tartar go Bad? How long Does Cream of Tartar Last?

The cream of tartar will last for years after its expiration date. Some conditions will cause the tartar to go bad. Read on to find out more.

How Long Does Cream of Tartar Last outside?

Cream of tartar can last a long time outdoors. However, moisture will ruin your tartar and should be avoided. Do not store your powder outside on a rainy day. The rainwater will disintegrate your powder. If it is humid outside bring your tartar indoors.

Pests and other bugs are bad for the cream of tartar. In addition to bugs being irritating, they can leave behind eggs and larva that can cause you to get sick.

Sunlight is bad for the tartar. It will cause the tartar to lose color and potency. Because of this, it is best to store your tartar in a shady area.

How long does Cream of Tartar Last in the Fridge?

Cream of tartar can last for years if kept properly in the fridge; however, since the fridge has a lot of moisture it is best to place the tartar in an air-tight container.

Store your tartar in an area away from other foods to prevent your powder from absorbing the flavors and smells of the other foods around it. A vegetable drawer is a great place for this.

Be mindful of the expiration date. Place the refrigeration date on the package to ensure you do not keep longer than four years.

How Long Does Cream of Tartar Last in the Freezer?

The freezer can be used to store cream of tartar. There are some things to remember when freezing your tartar. First, place a date on the package so you do not keep the tartar past four years.

Because moisture is bad for tartar, it is best to place the powder in a zip lock freezer bag. This will prevent ice and freezer burn from damaging your tartar.

Also, when placing the tartar in a freezer bag be sure to keep it in its original packaging to reduce mess. Simply, place the tartar, in its packaging, in a freezer bag, and then store it.

How to Tell if Cream of Tartar has gone bad / How to Know if Cream of Tartar is good?

After the storage of your cream of tartar, it is best to check to see if it is still good before using it. There are a few things you can check to ensure your tartar is still fresh.

Smell:  How your cream of tartar smell is a strong indicator as to whether it can be used or not. If your tartar has gone bad it will have no smell to it. Fresh cream of tartar has a light smell. If there is no odor, discard.

Appearance: Color changes are an indicator that your cream of tartar has gone bad. The tartar is white and fluffy, if your tartar has changed color or has large clumps in it, it is no good to use.

Mold:  Mold is always harmful to food and the cream of tartar is no different. Mold can cause you to get sick.  If you notice dark spots or furry growths on your tartar do not use it.

Moisture:  Moisture is bad for the cream of tartar because it will cause the tartar to clump up and lose its potency.  If you notice dew and wetness in the packaging do not eat. It is best to throw it away.

How to Store Cream of tartar?

Cream of tartar can have a long shelf life when stored properly. There are some things to remember to keep your tartar fresh during storage.

Airtight container:  Air is bad for the cream of tartar because it will cause clumps to form and the tartar to lose its potency. When storing your powder store it in an airtight container. If you want to keep the tartar in its original packaging that’s okay. Simply put the package in an airtight container and store it.

Dry Location:  Moisture is the worst thing that can happen to the cream of tartar. Because of this make sure to store your tartar in a dry location such as the pantry. This will help prevent the tartar from developing mold.

Can you Freeze Cream of Tartar? How?

Yes, cream of tartar can be frozen and can last a long time in the freezer. Here are some suggestions for freezing your tartar.

Airtight container:  Be sure to use an airtight container or a freezer bag when storing your cream of tartar in the freezer. If using a freezer bag, be sure to squeeze out the excess air before closing.

Date:  Be sure to place a date on the packaging of the freezer bag. Because it can be hard to remember how long your tartar has been frozen, date the bag.

How to Thaw Cream of Tartar?

There are a couple of different ways to thaw your tartar. Here are some tips to successfully thaw cream of tartar.

Room temperature:  Place your cream of tartar on a dry surface, such as the countertop and leave it out for about five hours.

Warm water:  Place the tartar, in its packaging, in a bowl of warm water. Be careful not to get the tartar wet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cream of Tartar

There are lumps in my Cream of Tartar, is it still safe?

Small clumps in your cream of tartar are normal and nothing to worry about. Dry ingredients, such as cream of tartar, can sometimes get hard and form clumps when exposed to air and moisture. To fix this problem, simply sift the clumps out. If the clumps are large, however, the tartar is no longer good.

My Cream of Tartar is discolored, should I use it?

Cream of tartar is pure white. If you notice your tartar has changed color that is a sign it is no longer good to use. Tartar that is discolored will have lost its potency. If your tartar is discolored, throw it away.

Wrap Up

Cream of tartar has many uses. From cleaning to cooking, this ingredient is important in any kitchen. If you enjoy the cream of tartar please leave a comment below.

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