12 Surprising Uses for Bar Keepers Friend

You may have heard of Bar Keepers Friend before- but do you know that it's one of the most versatile cleaning products on the market for your home? Getting the most out of the fantastic cleaning product that is Bar Keepers Friend is about more than just being creative and resourceful. Being able to use Bar Keepers Friend products to their fullest potential means that you'll save money and clean your home more effectively.

The Bar Keepers Friend motto is "Once tried, always used," and we find that to be true.

Many years ago, I worked as a cocktail server and bartender at a beach bar in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. The bar owner always had cases of Bar Keepers Friend and told us to use it for everything. I was amazed. I had never seen this product before and my family never used it when I was growing up. Since my days as a bartender, I have grown to use Bar Keepers Friend for much of my household cleaning and a even a few other surprising uses.

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What Is Bar Keepers Friend?

If you have never heard of this amazing product, you are in for a treat. In 1882, in the midst of the Gilded Age in America, Chemist George William Hoffman developed Bar Keepers Friend Powdered Cleanser in Indianapolis. He discovered the powerful ingredients quite by accident. While cleaning up after cooking rhubarb, he realized that the oxalic acid in the rhubarb was a natural cleaning ingredient. The powder was originally sold to bars, and the logo represents the swinging doors of an old-time saloon. There are very few products available today that have remained mostly unchanged for 140+ years, but Bar Keepers Friend is one. 

Creative Uses For Bar Keepers Friend

Today, Bar Keepers Friend offers a wide variety of household cleaning products, including cooktop cleaner, coffee maker cleaner, granite cleaner, foaming spray, stainless steel cleaner, and even toilet bowl cleaner. But, for the purpose of this article, we are sticking to the cleaning wonder of the original powder Bar Keepers Friend cleanser. There are likely hundreds of uses for this magical cleaner, but here are my favorite twelve uses.

Restore Pots and Pans

Are your pots and pans in need of some attention? Have you given up on those dark marks that appear on stainless pans and seem impossible to scrub off? We felt the same way until we discovered Bar Keepers Friend. Not only is it tough on dirt and grime, but it is gentle enough to not scratch or damage your cookware. Here is the process we use to restore pots and pans to their original luster:

  1. Combine Bar Keepers Friend powder with a bit of water to form a thick paste. 
  2. Apply the paste to the surface of the pan and let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. With a scrubbing sponge, scrub the pan until the grime is gone.
  4. Rinse the pan with water and dry and polish with a towel.
shiny, clean pots and pans on a cooktop

Buff Out Scratches in Your Vehicle

If you notice a few scratches in your vehicle paint, Bar Keepers Friend can be used to buff them out. 

Mix the powder with water to create a paste and using a gentle, circular motion, apply the paste to the scratched area. 

Buff the paste gently with a soft microfiber towel until the scratch fades away. 

This method can fix small scratched and keep them from getting worse over time. You can also use this method to remove brake dust from wheels, and carbon buildup from exhaust pipes. 

shiny vehicle

Clean Your Sinks

If your kitchen, bathroom, or utility sinks are stained or discolored, Bar Keepers Friend can help to remove multiple types of stains and restore your sink to like-new. It can even remove stubborn water marks from fixtures. 

Mix Bar Keepers Friend powder with water and use a cloth or sponge to apply. Let the paste sit for a few minutes, give a light scrub, and then rinse with water. Sinks will look like new again.

shiny kitchen sink

Remove Rust and Build Up On Cutlery

Have you noticed that your cutlery isn't as shiny as it once was? Maybe you see a few small rust spots on your knives? Water spots, grease build-up, and rust can be unsightly on your cutlery and also reduce their lifespan. 

Every few months or when you notice your cutlery looks dull, sprinkle some Bar Keepers Friend onto the cutlery and give them a good scrub with a sponge. Rinse away the cleaner along with the built-up grease, and you will be left with brilliantly shiny cutlery.

kitchen cutlery

Remove Scratches From Ceramic Dishes

Noticing scratches on your dishware can be frustrating. The scratches can be unsightly and even begin to discolor. Bar Keepers Friend can help with scratches on dishes, also. 

Mix Bar Keepers Friend with water to form a paste, apply the paste to the scratches and allow to sit for a few minutes. Use a sponge to work the paste into the scratches until they are less visible. Rinse and admire your scratch-free dishware.  

dishes in a bubbly sink

Remove Stains From Tumblers

If you are like me and love to drink your coffee and tea from an insulated plastic tumbler, you may be frustrated with the stains that are left behind. Tervis Tumblers are my favorite because they keep my coffee and tea warm for hours and they are so pretty- but, they are clear and get stained easily. Scrubbing and soaking with soapy water and even white vinegar didn't remove the stubborn coffee stains. 

Mix the Bar Keepers Friend powder with a small amount of water and apply it to the inside of the tumbler, Let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with a scrubbing sponge. Rinse the cleaner away to reveal your crystal clear tumbler with no more coffee stains. 

Tervis Tumbler cleaned with Bar Keepers Friend

Clean Stubborn Bathroom Stains

The bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in the house, and it can also be one of the messiest. Whether you have a bathtub or a shower, keeping it sparkly clean can be a challenge.

Bar Keepers Friend is a great product to use to remove soap scum, hard water stains, calcium deposits, and other build-ups from your bathtub, shower, sink, or toilet. We recommend testing it on an inconspicuous area first to make sure that it doesn't damage the surface.

To use Bar Keepers Friend on bathroom surfaces, simply mix it with water to create a paste and then apply it to the surface. Leave it to sit for a few minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water. You'll be amazed at how clean your bathroom will look after one cleaning with this versatile product.

clean white bathtub

Clean Your Dishwasher

If you're like most people, your dishwasher is one of the most heavily used appliances in your home. It's important to keep it clean and functioning properly, and Bar Keepers Friend can help.

To clean your dishwasher, start by mixing a tablespoon of Bar Keepers Friend with a cup of water. Then, using a sponge or cloth, scrub the interior of the dishwasher. Be sure to pay special attention to the areas where food or grease tends to accumulate.

If your dishwasher has a built-in filter, remove it and clean it separately. Once you've scrubbed the entire dishwasher, rinse it thoroughly with water. 

This simple process will help keep your dishwasher running smoothly and ensure that your dishes come out clean and sparkling every time!

woman standing at a clean dishwasher

Refresh Your Sneakers

Sneakerheads will love this trick to clean their white sneakers. If your sneakers are scuffed or looking a bit yellow and dingy, freshen them up with Bar Keepers Friend. 

Mix a small amount of water with the cleansing powder to form a paste. Use a damp sponge to apply the paste, spreading it from top to bottom. Wipe the paste into the sneaker in a circular motion. Allow it to sit, and then come back and detail the shoes a bit with a small nail brush or toothbrush. Rinse the sneaker under water and allow to air dry.

Once your sneakers are clean, keep them clean by using drop front shoe boxes

fresh pair of white Nike sneakers

Remove Sticky Labels

I love reusing candle jars, but I struggle to remove the candle jar label and the sticky residue left behind. I also get annoyed when I purchase a picture frame, and the sticky price tag label is on the glass of the frame. Once I discovered that Bar Keepers Friend easily removes these stubborn sticky labels, I don't stress about them anymore.

Mix the powder cleanser with some water to form a paste. Wipe the paste on the label and let it sit for a minute or two. Then, wipe off with a paper towel or sponge. If any glue residue is left, apply a bit more cleanser. So simple.

cluster of lighted candles

Shine Musical Instruments

If you play a brass instrument, you know the importance of keeping it shiny. 

Once a month, use a micro cloth and a paste of Bar Keepers Friend and water and gently polish the instrument. Wipe clean with damp paper towels and then buff with a clean, dry micro towel. 

Your fellow musicians will ask you how your instrument keeps its sparkly shine.

shiny musical instruments

Polish Your Tools

Whether your tools are wrenches, gardening tools, or bartending tools, polish them to a bright luster with Bar Keepers Friend.

Use the cleanser/water paste to remove grease, rust, hard water spots, and any other build-up. Apply the paste and use an aggressive scrub pad or wire brush to scrub all the surfaces. Rinse with water. Restore the shine of stainless steel so that you can take pride in your tools. 

shiny wrench and fittings

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