BKF cleaning a Stainless surface

Bar Keepers Friend: The Secret to a Spotless Home

Keeping a pristine home doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right tools and products, you can achieve a sparkling clean space without spending hours scrubbing away. I’m going to let you in on my secret weapon sitting front and center in my household cleaning cupboard. It’s Bar Keepers Friend. 

BKF cleaning a Stainless surface

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into what Bar Keepers Friend is, its safety profile, ease of use, versatility, cost, caution, and whether it’s the right choice for you.

What is Bar Keepers Friend?

Bar Keepers Friend is a versatile cleaning product that has been trusted by homeowners for over a century. Developed in 1882 by a chemist in Indianapolis, Indiana, this cleaning powder was initially formulated to clean and polish brass and copper surfaces in bars and taverns, hence its name.

The key ingredient in Bar Keepers Friend is oxalic acid, a powerful compound that effectively breaks down stubborn stains, rust, and mineral deposits. This acid is what gives Bar Keepers Friend its remarkable cleaning capabilities, allowing it to tackle a wide range of surfaces and stains with ease.

Is It nontoxic?

One of the most appealing aspects of Bar Keepers Friend is its relatively non-toxic nature. While oxalic acid is a potent cleaner, it is generally considered safe for household use when used as directed. However, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and avoid prolonged contact with the skin or ingestion of the product.

As with any cleaning product, it’s wise to keep Bar Keepers Friend out of reach of children and pets and to use it in well-ventilated areas to minimize exposure to fumes.

How easy is it to Use?

Bar Keepers Friend is simple and easy to use. To clean with Bar Keepers Friend, simply wet the surface you wish to clean, sprinkle the powder over the area, and gently scrub with a sponge or cloth. For tougher stains, you may need to let the product sit for a few minutes before rinsing it away.

Whether you’re tackling a grimy stovetop, a stained porcelain sink, or tarnished stainless steel appliances, Bar Keepers Friend makes quick work of even the most stubborn messes. Its fine powder consistency allows for precise application and targeted cleaning, making it suitable for a variety of surfaces and materials.

What can it clean?

Bar Keepers Friend is incredibly versatile and can be used to clean a wide range of surfaces and materials throughout your home. From kitchen appliances and cookware to bathroom fixtures and outdoor furniture, there’s almost nothing that Bar Keepers Friend can’t tackle.

Here are just a few of the many surfaces and materials that Bar Keepers Friend can clean effectively:

  • Stainless steel
  • Porcelain
  • Ceramic
  • Glass
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Chrome
  • Tile
  • Grout
  • Fiberglass
  • And more!

Whether you’re dealing with rust, mineral deposits, soap scum, or baked-on grease, Bar Keepers Friend is up to the task.

How much does it cost?

One of the most attractive aspects of Bar Keepers Friend is its affordability. This cleaning product is budget-friendly and cost-effective, available in powder and liquid forms. A typical container of Bar Keepers Friend powder costs just $2 – $3 and can last for months, depending on how frequently you use it and the size of your household.

Liquid formulations are also available for those who prefer a more convenient application method. While slightly more expensive than the powder version, Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser offers the same powerful cleaning performance in a ready-to-use formula.

Is Bar Keepers Friend Right for You?

Now that we’ve explored the various aspects of Bar Keepers Friend, you may be wondering whether it’s the right choice for your cleaning needs. Here are a few factors to consider:

Cleaning Preferences: If you prefer a versatile, multi-purpose cleaner that can tackle a wide range of stains and surfaces, Bar Keepers Friend is an excellent option.

Safety Concerns: If you have young children or pets in the home, you may have reservations about using a product that contains oxalic acid. While generally safe when used as directed, it’s essential to take appropriate precautions and store Bar Keepers Friend out of reach of curious hands and paws.

Budget: If you’re looking for an affordable cleaning solution that delivers exceptional results without breaking the bank, Bar Keepers Friend is hard to beat.

Environmental Impact: If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your cleaning products, you’ll be pleased to know that Bar Keepers Friend is biodegradable and does not contain phosphates or chlorine bleach.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, Bar Keepers Friend is a powerhouse cleaning product that offers exceptional performance, versatility, and affordability. Whether you’re tackling tough stains in the kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor living space, Bar Keepers Friend is up to the task. While it’s essential to use caution and follow safety guidelines when using any cleaning product, Bar Keepers Friend’s relatively non-toxic nature makes it a popular choice for homeowners looking to maintain a spotless home without harsh chemicals.

With its long-standing reputation for effectiveness and its gentle yet potent formula, Bar Keepers Friend has earned its place as a staple in countless households around the world. From tackling everyday messes to restoring surfaces to their former glory, this humble cleaning product continues to impress users with its remarkable results.

If you’re tired of wrestling with stubborn stains and unsightly buildup, why not give Bar Keepers Friend a chance to work its magic in your home? With its unbeatable combination of affordability, versatility, and effectiveness, it just might be the secret weapon you’ve been searching for to achieve a spotless, sparkling-clean home. Say goodbye to grime and hello to a cleaner, happier living space with Bar Keepers Friend in your cleaning arsenal!




BKF Cleanser is available in most supermarkets, Walmart, Target, and online at Amazon. Check around! You’ll also find BKF Soft Cleanser, BKF MORE, Bar Keepers Friend All Purpose Power Cream products in many retail outlets. On occasion (read: rarely), I see BKF at dollar stores.


Bonus: BKF History

Bar Keepers Friend has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. It was initially developed in 1882 by a chemist in Indianapolis, Indiana, named George William Hoffman. Hoffman was tasked with creating a cleaning product that could effectively remove stains and tarnish from the metal surfaces found in bars and taverns.

Drawing upon his expertise in chemistry, Hoffman formulated a potent cleaning powder that featured oxalic acid as its key ingredient. This powerful compound proved highly effective at breaking down stubborn stains, rust, and mineral deposits without causing damage to the underlying metal surfaces.

Hoffman’s creation quickly gained popularity among barkeepers and tavern owners, who appreciated its ability to restore the luster and shine to their brass and copper fixtures. As word of its effectiveness spread, Bar Keepers Friend soon found its way into households across the country, where it was used to clean a wide range of surfaces and materials.


EverydayCheapskate™ is reader-supported. We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program as well as other affiliate advertising programs, designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and other affiliated sites. Thanks!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

More from Everyday Cheapskate

a homemade frittata in a cast iron skillet
house guest room bright white walls light window houseplant bed
DIY dusting spray womans hand wiping dusty wood surface with yellow towel
mothers day brunch overhead view scones bread fruit coffee
a fiddle leaf fig whose leaves are made out of dollar bills in a midcentury home low risk investment
companion planting calendula and tomato plants
midcentury modern bathroom clean bathroom
laptop with chalkboard with hot deals april 2024 piece of chalk best deals

Please keep your comments positive, encouraging, helpful, brief,
and on-topic in keeping with EC Commenting Guidelines

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Caught yourself reading all the way 'til the end? Why not share with a friend.

2 replies
  1. Debbie L says:

    We just remodeled & I was told by my granite guy that you do not want to use BarsKeeper on it OR the porcelain sink. He said that it will dull & remove the finish on it. FYI. Love your column!!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *