We all know how important it is to keep our kitchen surfaces clean. Those surfaces are subject to abuse from the mineral deposits from water, baked on food, grease and countless other stains.
A product for the kitchen, and effective in many other household areas that need cleaning, is Bar Keepers Friend.
Despite its name, this line of cleaning products is not just for bar keepers. The different types of hard surface cleansers tackle rust, food, mineral deposits and other stubborn stains. The products are gentle, bleach-free and make cleaning a breeze.
But how to choose which product is right for you? We’ll run through the different options, explain how, when and where to use the products, and answer all your burning questions about this kitchen wonder.
Bar Keepers Friend Uses
Bar Keepers Friend makes several products that specialize in cleaning up different messes.
Bar Keepers Friend All-Purpose Cleaner & Polish
The all-purpose cleaner and polish is a non-abrasive powder and, like all Bar Keepers Friend products, it does not have bleach.
It has the scrubbing action of a powder that can remove rust and hard water stains, but is gentle enough for multiple surfaces throughout the home or in an industrial setting.
This All Purpose cleaner can be used on granite, chrome, fiberglass, laminated and non-porous countertops, cement, ceramic tile, grout and imitation marble. For granite, you will want to dilute it and make a paste.
BAR KEEPERS FRIEND Soft Cleanser Liquid
The Soft Cleanser Liquid is a tough product that is non-abrasive. It is especially good for gas-range surfaces, leaving them sparkling. This cleaner will also bring rusty items back to their original shine and remove rust and tarnish from copper and brass.
Embarrassed about the state of your kitchen cookware or cooktops? This soft cleanser liquid will take care of it, and can be also be used on ceramic stovetops, stainless steel appliances and pots and pans, as well as copper pans. It’s safe on chrome, porcelain, ceramic and fiberglass surfaces.
What about those nasty lime stains in the bathroom? Yes, you can use this product on those, as well as water stains and marks. Use it to scrub down bathroom tiles, the bathtub, and to clean grout.
There are a few things you should not use this product with – gold, silver, pewter, marble, lacquered metals, or anodized aluminum.
Bar Keepers Friend MORE Dual Action Nozzle Spray and Foam Cleaner
This cleaner is as effective as the others but with a gentler, non-abrasive formulation. It’s ideal for those hard-to-reach places because you can hold the bottle at any angle – even upside down – and spray it where you need it.
Open the nozzle flap to choose the spray option or close it for the foam application. The clinging foam penetrates even the greasiest, toughest stains and mineral deposits and is also great on rust stains.
The Spray and Foam Cleaner was designed to eliminate the toughest stains on delicate surfaces, including mineral deposits in the bathroom.
So, get to work using this in the kitchen – on sinks, appliances, backsplashes, faucets and other fixtures. In the bathroom it’s great for sinks, tubs, showers, faucets, tiles, grout and toilets.
You can even use it outside to remove rust stains, clean grills, siding and sporting equipment. If you want to try it on your vehicle, it’s suggested you test it on a small area first.
Do not use this on gold, silver, polished stone such as marble or granite, lacquered, painted, or mirrored surfaces.
It’s also recommended that you test on a small area before cleaning fiberglass, plastics, anodized aluminum, or brushed metal surfaces, because some ingredients may etch or dull delicate surfaces.
Bar Keepers Friend COOKWARE Cleanser and Polish Powder
This product is a non-abrasive powder that specializes in polishing and shining stainless steel, ceramic, porcelain, aluminum and copper cookware. It will eliminate fingerprints, dirt, oil, smudges and spots, and leave a shiny finish on any stainless steel surface.
Slightly different than the all-purpose cleaner, it is a finer powder which is designed to be “friendly” to stainless steel, to ensure it stays scratch-free. It also contains extra active ingredients for degreasing – in particular, for pots and pans.
SEE ALSO: Best Stainless Steel Cleaner
Bar Keepers Friend Multipurpose Ceramic and Glass Cooktop Cleaner
Designed specifically for cooktops, this cleaner has a citric acid-based formulation that removes hardened food residue without scratching glossy surfaces.
It’s ideal for ceramic cooktops, induction cooktops, glass cooktops, ceramic dinnerware and serving ware – to buff out utensil marks – and metal cookware and serving ware.
Don’t use it on gold or silver, polished stone such as marble or granite, lacquered, painted, or mirrored surfaces.
Bar Keepers Friend Ingredients
The makers of Bar Keepers Friend don’t publish the entire ingredient list of their products because they are “trade secrets.” Instead, they post Safety Data Sheets on their website and continuously update those.
One of the key ingredients they do disclose is oxalic acid, a rust and mineral deposit remover. Oxalic acid is naturally found in many vegetables, such as rhubarb, chives and parsley.
The oxalic acid used in Bar Keepers Friend is produced by industrial suppliers – generally from plant and vegetation waste. It does not contain chlorine or any caustic ingredients.
Bar Keepers Friend Powder vs Liquid
The powder products made by Bar Keepers Friend contain more abrasive than the liquid cleaners. The company recommends choosing one of the powder products for jobs that require additional scrubbing power, and using the Soft Cleanser or the non-abrasive Spray and Foam for more delicate jobs.
Many people prefer the cleaning ability of a powder, because it does have a bit of abrasive “scrubbing” feel to it. With the powder, you can also add some water and turn it into a paste for cleaning. Others prefer the softer, liquid version, which can be more convenient than the powder.
With the liquid, you simply apply the product, scrub gently, rinse thoroughly and dry well. When using the powder, there is an additional step – wet the surface, sprinkle the product on, scrub gently, rinse thoroughly and dry well.
So, it may be a personal preference when choosing between a powder or liquid.
Who Is The Bar Keepers Friend For?
These are great products for those who don’t like a harsh cleaner. Because they use a plant-based solution and no bleach, they don’t have the harsh smells of other cleaners.
They are also great for those who don’t want a cupboard packed full of different cleaning solutions.
They really are ideal for so many surfaces that you can use them in virtually every area of your home, including the hard-to-clean rooms like the kitchen and bathroom, as well as in your garage and outside.
Bar Keepers Friend may not be ideal for people who like more specialized cleaners, such as a product designed specifically for bathrooms, or one made for their specific type of cookware. Also, Bar Keepers Friend is not a disinfectant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use Bar Keepers Friend On Glass?
Yes. Use just a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend and then rinse thoroughly. A white film may be left behind if it is not rinsed completely. The abrasive in the cleaner will not scratch glass when it’s properly used.
Is Bar Keepers Friend Abrasive?
All the products except the Spray and Foam have abrasive particles. The powder products contain more abrasive than the liquid. The plant-based abrasives are safe on a wide variety of surfaces.
Is Bar Keepers Friend Toxic?
While oxalic acid can be harmful if ingested in large amounts, there is no danger as long as you use Bar Keepers Friend as instructed. It is safe to use on food preparation and serving surfaces and on cookware. It’s important to make sure everything is rinsed thoroughly.
What Happens If Bar Keepers Friend Left On Too Long?
It’s recommended that the product be left on for a maximum of one minute. This is especially important for metal surfaces – leaving it on too long could cause discoloration.
On surfaces like plastic or porcelain, it may be necessary to leave on longer to get it clean, but test that on an inconspicuous area first.
Are There Any Bar Keepers Friend Side Effects To Worry About?
Like any cleaning product, you do not want to ingest or inhale this cleaner. While it isn’t harmful to the skin during casual use, it could irritate sensitive skin and will sting on an open wound, so you should consider using gloves when cleaning.
One of the great things about Bar Keepers Friend’s products is the multitude of uses for them around the house. Whichever product you choose, you should get great results.
If you want to get a specific cleaner, you can choose the cooktop cleaner, for instance, or the cookware cleaner. Many chefs swear by these products to get their cookware looking brand new when nothing else will.
But the Bar Keepers Friend multi-purpose powder, liquid or spray will allow you to clean the kitchen, bathroom, garage, and even outdoors. You’ll no doubt appreciate using a product that doesn’t have bleach – a harsh product with an irritant odor.