Always test a small patch of surface first to see whether it is or is not acid resistant and how it will react to a tiny bit of cream of tartar mixed with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. You don’t know whether cleaning will or will not damage the surface until you test or ask the manufacturer what will happen.
When you find out, then it’s time to think about how to clean hard water mineral deposits and stains with foods. Cream of Tartar is a milder acid than vinegar and is used to remove hard water mineral deposits from fixtures or items that are not acid resistant. But only a patch test will tell, especially if your item or surface is old or has been coated.
If you find any type of mineral deposits or rust on your kitchen or bathroom sink or on any porcelain fixtures, here are two steps to follow using cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide as a cleaning agent. You try this at your own risk, since each surface, like each person has an individual reaction to any type of cleaning compound, natural or otherwise.
Your first step is to mix a bucket with equal amounts of white vinegar and baking soda–before you make your cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide mix. The ingredients will neutralize each other, fizzing and then forming a paste. As the alkali, baking soda neutralizes the acid in the white vinegar, the action also dissolves soap scum and hard water marks. Leave the paste on for an hour and rinse.
Your second step is now to mix equal parts of cream of tartar and three percent hydrogen peroxide diluted with an equal part of water to form a paste to use as a rust remover. Leave that paste on for an hour and then rinse.
If you’re cleaning out mildew and mold from tile grout in your shower, instead mix salt and white vinegar and with a cloth soaked in the solution, wash over the mold or mildew in your tile grout. Leave on for a few hours to let the salt and vinegar solution dissolve the mildew. Then rinse. Repeat until the mildew is dissolved from the action of the salt and vinegar.
See the article, Removing Mineral Deposits from Household Surfaces. View the Web site’s “Stains at a Glance” summary. According to the publication prepared by Dr. Sandra A. Zaslow, Extension District Director, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, issued in print by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service as publication FCS-397 and WQWM-12 (February 1993), published by North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, you can use the techniques noted in the article’s instruction for removing a variety of household mineral deposits.
Cleaning Mineral Deposits from Fixtures that are Not Acid Resistant with Cream of Tartar
If your gadget or fixture is covered with mineral deposits or rust and is not acid resistant, use cream of tartar. It’s still a mild acid, but milder than vinegar or lemon juice. Acids help remove hard water deposits. Some acid cleaners help remove discoloration from aluminum, brass, bronze, and copper. Test a tiny patch on your gadget or fixture first to make sure it’s acid resistant enough to withstand even the mild acidity of cream of tartar.
Other acids remove iron rust stains. Commercial toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, metal cleaners, and kitchen and bath cleaners that remove mineral products may have synthetic, more toxic acids with strong odors.
Making An Acid Cleaner with White Vinegar or Lemon Juice and Baking Soda
White vinegar may remove hard water deposits from glass, rust stains from sinks, and tarnish from brass and copper. Another mild acid is lemon juice. White vinegar as a cleaning solution usually is a milder acid than commercial cleaning products that are labeled as acids. To solve this problem of finding an acid cleaner that contains a milder acid than most commercial acid cleaners, make your own milder acid by using white vinegar. It’s about 5 percent acetic acid. Or use lemon juice and salt to clean stains from fixtures that are acid-resistant.
To remove lime deposits on porcelain sinks, tubs, and toilets, soak disposable wipes or paper towels in distilled white vinegar. Apply the wipes or paper towels to the calcium or lime deposits around the faucet. Leave them on for an hour. The softened deposits can be removed with a few wipes of vinegar and water.
To dissolve black or manganese mineral stains, make a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Let the paste stand on the stain. Then wash the object with water and wipe dry. To clean brass, mix equal parts of lemon juice, a half-cup for example, with an equal amount of baking soda. Make a paste. Wipe the paste, let dry an hour, and rinse off. Odor is neutralized when baking soda and lemon juice are mixed.
For more info: browse my books: How to Make Basic Natural Cleaning Products from Foods, published in paperback by ASJA Press imprint, iUniverse.inc. ISBN: 978059552366. Or see some of these book excerpts on my Cleaning with Foods blog. Other helpful books on nutrition, genomics and DNA-driven genealogy rather than cleaning with foods include: How Nutrigenomics Fights Childhood Type 2 Diabetes & Weight Issues (2009) or Predictive Medicine for Rookies (2005). How to Safely Tailor Your Foods, Medicines, & Cosmetics to Your Genes (2003) or How to Interpret Family History & Ancestry DNA Test Results for Beginners (2004) or How to Open DNA-driven Genealogy Reporting & Interpreting Businesses. (2007). Check out my free audio lecture on Internet Archive, How nutrigenomics fights childhood type 2 diabetes. Photo credits: Flickr.com.