This Cleaning Powder Was Invented in the 1880s. It Still Keeps My Kitchen Gear Looking New.

Sinks. Faucets. Stove-burner drip pans. I’ve shined all of them with Bar Keepers Friend.

Just a sprinkle of powder and a brisk scrub with a sponge removes a lot of the dulling grime that accumulates on chrome steel within the kitchen and loo.

Oxalic acid is Bar Keepers Friend’s secret sauce. This compound, which naturally happens in lots of vegatables and fruits, works wonders, shining up metallic and eradicating rust.

Of course, yow will discover different abrasives which might be good cleaners. Wirecutter’s kitchen workforce extremely recommends baking soda for stained pots and pans, for instance.

But Bar Keepers Friend is what they suggest for harder chores resembling cleansing ovens and eradicating the seasoning from a baking sheet.

The directions suggest that you just sprinkle the powder on a moist floor after which gently rub with a moist sponge or material. Most crucially, you’re alleged to wipe or rinse off the combination not more than a minute after making use of it. Otherwise, it might trigger discoloration or scratch the floor.

I usually observe these guidelines, however I’m going rogue when cleansing particularly soiled pans. Wirecutter’s kitchen workforce and I’ve each discovered that it takes much more scrubbing to completely take away baked-on oil and scorch marks.

We have but to come across any injury, possible as a result of we’re utilizing cookware produced from high-quality chrome steel. But don’t fear in case your chrome steel isn’t as sturdy—so long as you’re following the instructions, Bar Keepers Friend will nonetheless work wonders. The firm has ideas for dealing with actually scorched pans, too. (BKF additionally sells a specialised cookware powder for eradicating stains and burnt-on meals, however we haven’t examined it.)

For any floor that you just’re cleansing, the corporate recommends testing an not easily seen spot first and sporting gloves when working, because the oxalic acid can irritate pores and skin.

The mild rub that the container recommends may appear counterintuitive whenever you’re cleansing a extremely soiled floor, however I’ve discovered that mild, fast scrubbing is usually simpler than making use of a ton of stress.

In a current take a look at, senior editor Marguerite Preston and updates author Abigail Bailey pitted baking soda in opposition to Bar Keepers Friend and located that the latter was far simpler at eradicating baked-on oil and scorch marks.

For three steady minutes, we scrubbed the 2 quadrants on the left with baking soda and the 2 on the precise with Bar Keepers Friend. BKF eliminated extra baked-on oil, significantly up the perimeters of the inside. Photo: Marguerite Preston

And though each abrasive cleaners can scrub off stains and scratches, our kitchen workforce discovered that baking soda did not raise off the yellow patina that chrome steel develops from excessive warmth.

Bar Keepers Friend, then again, restored our take a look at pan to its shiny silver shade.

Bar Keepers Friend is especially adept at giving new life to previous issues.

I used to be reminded of this two summers in the past when I discovered an deserted enameled Le Creuset omelet pan coated in baked-on oil and burn marks. Bar Keepers Friend made it look just about new, permitting me to brag that I’d scored a $175 pan off a neighborhood giveaway desk.

A co-worker, supervising editor Joshua Lyon, achieved an analogous outcome cleansing porcelain in a 1924 cabin that he and his husband purchased in 2011.

“The kitchen’s porcelain farmhouse sink gave off dead-tooth vibes due to an total grayish tone and darkish streaks that wouldn’t come out irrespective of how arduous I scrubbed with kitchen cleaners or baking soda,” he informed me. “I thought-about changing it till we tried Bar Keepers Friend, which simply returned the sink to a gleaming white after just one utility.”

Joshua’s second “BKF miracle” occurred in his new home. Previous house owners had coated a circa-Thirties porcelain-tile toilet flooring with carpet, which left darkish adhesive stains.

“The tiles and grout aren’t glazed and are way more fragile than our previous sink, so I’d at all times been involved about utilizing something too abrasive,” he mentioned.

The porcelain-tiled space on the left was cleaned with Bar Keepers Friend, whereas a sq. the identical dimension simply to the precise was cleaned with baking soda. Bar Keepers Friend was the clear winner. Photo: Joshua Lyon

He determined to place BKF up in opposition to baking-soda paste on a small part of the ground, and the outcomes have been quick. “There’s now a sq. of white in a sea of grunge,” he mentioned. “Finishing the undertaking can be an enormous chore, as a result of I’ll have to work in small sections on account of how previous the tile is and BKF’s one-minute rule. But it’ll be price it.”

Bar Keepers Friend’s company administrator, Janet McKinley, who has labored on the firm for 47 years, informed Wirecutter affiliate workers author Ellen Airhart that she makes use of the powder to whiten the soles of tennis footwear and take away the “inexperienced yuck” off vinyl siding.

Despite all of the success, this isn’t fairy mud.

You shouldn’t use Bar Keepers Friend on delicate surfaces, resembling marble, wooden, forged iron, nonstick pans, painted surfaces, and different issues that scratch simply. This Reddit thread chronicles some mishaps, together with an organization response as to what surfaces you must keep away from.

Also, don’t apply it to your self.

McKinley recalled somebody as soon as asking her about utilizing the cleanser on their false enamel. Not advisable!

“You don’t need our product in your mouth,” she emphasised.

I’ve discovered that for significantly stained cookware, BKF nonetheless requires placing my again and arms into the scrub.

I not too long ago examined BKF on considered one of my skillets, which I’d been neglecting. Rubbing off the scorches and baked-on oil from half of the underside of the pan took a very good quarter-hour. My triceps ached.

I’ll have added a couple of extra scratches with all of that scrubbing, and I’m okay with that. I’ve scratched many chrome steel pans whereas cleansing them over time, however the scratches give them character.

And hey, my two All-Clad skillets are nonetheless going sturdy after 14 years. So is my marriage.

With correct care, all three ought to final a lifetime.

Ellen Airhart, Marguerite Preston, and Abigail Bailey contributed reporting. This article was edited by Joshua Lyon and Catherine Kast.

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