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Thread: Cream of Tartar to make acid rinse?

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    Gypsy Witch in Training Madame J's Avatar
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    Default Cream of Tartar to make acid rinse?

    Hey, I was wondering if any of you chemist-types knew how I would make a hair rinse using cream of tartar instead of vinegar? I'm out of vinegar, but I also never took chemistry, so I'm unable to figure out how to make a similar-acidity solution using the tartaric acid that comes out of a solution of cream of tartar in water. Wikipedia says that a saturated solution of potassium bitartrate (cream of tartar) has a pH of about 3.55, but I don't know how much cream of tartar in how much water makes a saturated solution.

    Any help?

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    Procrastinatrix Anje's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cream of Tartar to make acid rinse?

    The wikipedia page has that too. 133 g/100ml (20°C). Though I don't think you want so low a pH as 3.5, so don't make a saturated solution.

    Alternatively, I'd be more inclined to make a solution with citric acid, lemon juice, or another fruit juice like apple or orange. Just make sure you rinse out the fruit juices, since I expect they'd be a bit sticky.
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    Gypsy Witch in Training Madame J's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cream of Tartar to make acid rinse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anje View Post
    The wikipedia page has that too. 133 g/100ml (20C). Though I don't think you want so low a pH as 3.5, so don't make a saturated solution.

    Alternatively, I'd be more inclined to make a solution with citric acid, lemon juice, or another fruit juice like apple or orange. Just make sure you rinse out the fruit juices, since I expect they'd be a bit sticky.
    Right, but if I make a saturated solution, I could then treat that similar to the vinegar I normally use to make a rinse (i.e., dilute it in a similar proportion).

    Oh, and I don't have any acidic juices on hand; I'm looking for some way to avoid going to the store.

    Thanks.

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    On a Diplomatic Mission Intransigentia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cream of Tartar to make acid rinse?

    You'll know the solution is saturated when you've stirred in your powder and stirred and stirred and stirred, and there's some that just won't dissolve.

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    Procrastinatrix Anje's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cream of Tartar to make acid rinse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Madame J View Post
    Right, but if I make a saturated solution, I could then treat that similar to the vinegar I normally use to make a rinse (i.e., dilute it in a similar proportion).
    That's actually going to depend on the dissociation of the acid. Potassium tartrate has a lot of buffering capacity, which makes me suspect that it's going to go to a pH that's not much higher even in a substantially weaker solution. Whereas, acetic acid (vinegar) is also a weak acid, but it's monoprotic and will behave somewhat differently is solution. It's been ages since I've done this chem stuff though, so hopefully someone else will come in and correct this to something more accurate than I'll give you off-the-cuff.

    ETA: How about tea? Plain old black tea has a pH around 6ish. I wouldn't do it regularly, since I'm sure the tannins would eventually cause buildup, but it might delay a store trip for a few days. I'm pretty sure chamomile tea is also acidic. And most powder drink mixes are, like koolaid and crystal light (though I'd suggest sticking with a pale color!).
    Last edited by Anje; January 12th, 2011 at 03:07 PM.
    Lady Physis, Lorekeeper of Nature in the Order of the Long Haired Knights
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