Oxalic acid is actually a chemical found in, of all things, rhubarb.
That makes Bar Keepers Friend (or BKF to those of us who use it a lot) different than some cleansing powders which rely on bleach to help them clean, and/or contain abrasives. BKF does not have either abrasives or bleach in it, but boy, it sure can clean.
This stuff has been around for a long time, and has been manufactured in Indiana since the 1880s. Despite it being around for a long time for some reason lots of people don't yet know about it, and often, unfortunately, it can be a bit hard to find in stores, especially outside the Midwest.
I actually grew up using this product in my own house, in the powdered version. The first uses of this product I knew about were in the garage, since it was my Dad who used it. However, as I've gotten older I've learned all kinds of great uses for Bar Keepers Friend, plus you lovely readers have told me even more.
Below you'll find a compilation of some of the best uses and reviews of this product I've received from readers, or that I know about from using it myself.
To start you out though, here's a couple more general reviews and praises of this product sent in to me by other readers.
A reader, Roxana, says: "I have used this for years. It is the best on pots and pans and stainless sinks. I prefer the powder form, it seems to be most effective. If you need liquid, you can turn this into a paste or liquid. One product, one hundred uses."
Further, another reader, Allie, told me this story:
"I moved into a 1970's house about a year ago. When I started to clean things out and move my stuff in, I found a can of Bar Keepers Friend powder in the bathroom.
At first I didn't think much of it and thought this stuff is too old to use. Well, later that night I cooked dinner for my family. Sauce was everywhere and it got all over the stove-top and counter.
Later that night I decided to clean up the kitchen. I didn't have anything to clean up this mess. I remembered the cleaning powder I found in the bathroom. I went down the hall and grabbed it. Came back and started using it on the stove-top.
It's funny that the name of this stuff is called Bar Keepers Friend, now I know why.
Below I've collected a number of uses for this product. If you've got your own you'd like added to this or another page of the site please share your general purpose cleaner reviews here, or read others that have already been submitted by others.
Lara sent in the photo above saying, "We recently bought a house. The white porcelain kitchen sink was really scratched and dingy. The 'before' using BKF is the left. The 'after' is the right side. I was very pleased with the results! It's good stuff!"
Thanks for sharing this use and awesome photo Lara!
You're certainly not the only person who has told me about the magic that is BKF for porcelain. In fact, another reader used it to clean her dingy vintage porcelain sink as well, and as you can see from the before and after pictures on the right, it did a great job for her too!
Cleaning Stainless Steel Pots With Bar Keepers Friend Powder
Momw4kids shared these pictures of the bottom of an All Clad stainless steel pan which she cleaned with Bar Keepers Friend.
As you can see, this pan looks like many pots and pans which have been used a lot, and put under heat, especially if you've got a gas stove top.
Normal scrubbing just won't budge these types of stains, so that's where BFK came in.
She explained her technique for cleaning the pots as follows: "I used the rough side of a Scotch Brite No Scratch (blue) sponge. I rinsed the pan with water, so that a little water remained, then sprinkled Bar Keepers on surface, then used swirl motions to clean. Repeated the process several times."
Once she'd finished using this product there were just a few spots left.
Please also note that while the original BKF obviously works for cleaning pots and pans, there is also a BKF Cookware Cleanser & Polish designed specifically to clean both stainless steel and copper cookware. Click the link to see reviews of this product, plus before and after pictures sharing results.
Gail Moore shared a before and after picture of how this product worked on her fiberglass sink, as both a cleaner and rust stain remover.
As you can see it was quite stained from rusty well water on the right hand side.
The left hand side had already been cleaned with the BKF.
She explained her technique for using this product was as follows: "I used a Scotchbrite regular green scrubber lightly rubbing the Bar Keeper's around and round."
Everyone knows how easily fiberglass can get scratched, so I checked to make sure this product would be safe for it, and it is advertised as being safe, and non-scratching for this surface! That means it could be used on your fiberglass bathtubs, showers, sinks, etc.
Barkeepers Friend Powder Is A Great Secret I Stumbled Upon
Billie shared a secret she learned about a great cleaning product, Bar Keepers Friend.
Bar Keepers Friend is a great secret I stumbled upon. One of my roommates, a few years ago, was using it and offered me some to clean the gunk off our outside patio chairs. It worked so fast and so good, I loved it.
I had never heard of it before. It is great for anything that is stuck on just about anything.
I use it in my kitchen every week. In addition, I have used it to scrub any and everything from my bathroom and utility sinks, counters, tubs and showers, refrigerator-in and out, microwave, on any metal or stainless steel, most plastics, my deck chairs and patio or lawn furniture, our jaccuzi, fan blades, and even to scrub my plastic flip flops and the outside of my white leather top tennis shoes.
It does not scratch, but you do have to be a bit careful of the pressure you apply when using on some plastics or something fragile, such as my leather uppers on my tennis shoes.
Scuff marks are easily removed, as is just about anything dirty.
Bar Keepers Friend is very inexpensive; much cheaper than most other name brands. It is sometimes hard to find, so you have to look for it. Usually the stores I shop at have it, but it is never in a big fancy display, which is why I say you have to really look for it.
But, this stuff is so great and time saving. Seriously, do yourself a favor and get some.
Thanks so much Billie for sharing your review of this product. As you can see, I've got several glowing reviews of it.
If anyone else has tried Bar Keepers Friend I would love to hear what you've cleaned with it. You can share your reviews here, for this or any other general purpose cleaner.
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.