10 Things to Clean with Bar Keepers Friend That Have Nothing to Do with a Bar

There's a reason they say, "once tried, always used." Bar Keepers Friend can help you clean your home inside and out.

Photo: Bar Keepers Friend via Facebook

We’ve all bought more specialty sprays, scrubs and sponges than we care to admit—all in the name of cleaning the dirtiest and trickiest spots in our home. Foaming washes and special formulas might tame some of our grime (though in some cases, they can make it worse!), but sometimes you have to rely on the classics for a good, deep clean.

That’s where Bar Keepers Friend, the powdered cleanser that’s been shining up homes since 1882, comes in! This unassuming product doesn’t offer any outrageous claims or fancy packaging, but what it lacks in pizazz, it makes up in cleaning power. Perfect for nonporous surfaces, like stainless steel, porcelain, ceramic and more, this cleanser can help make nearly every inch of your home sparkle. Oh, and we forgot the best part: It costs less than $3!

1. Stovetops

Bar Keepers Friend is ideal for kitchen surfaces like stainless steel, ceramic, glass and even Corian countertops. Use it on your ceramic or stainless-steel cooktop to get those greasy, hard-to-clean stains gone. Use just a light sprinkling of this powder, a spritz of water and a little elbow grease, and Bar Keepers Friend can have your stove shining in minutes.

2. Sinks

If your sink suddenly looks drab next to your freshly polished stove, you can give it a pick-me-up with a quick scrub of this product. Using just a dishcloth and some of the cleansing powder, you’ll make greasy rings and unsavory marks vanish. Just give it a good rinse when you’re through!

3. Pots, pans and bakeware

No more pots with blackened bottoms! The exterior of your pots and pans will shine with a quick application of Bar Keepers Friend and a gentle scrubbing (just be sure not to scrub the nonstick surface of your pans with this product). This method also works on grimy glass and ceramic bakeware–even your vintage Pyrex (just test it on an inconspicuous area, like the bottom of the dish, first).

With your pans and bakeware freshly cleaned, you’re ready to throw a great dinner party (go vintage as a nod to this old-school cleaner).

4. Dishwashers

When all is cooked and devoured and the piled plates are waiting by the sink, it’s time for the dishwasher to take over. Ensure that every dish gets a good clean by starting with a clean machine. Remove residual food scraps and debris, then clean the inner surfaces with Bar Keepers Friend and a damp sponge before putting it through a quick rinse cycle.

5. Faucets

Got a dingy faucet in your kitchen or bath? Just mix a little powder with water and wipe with a soft or microfiber cloth (we can’t get enough of them!).

6. Tile

For porcelain and ceramic tile, you can’t beat a good scrub with this product. Using a soft scrub brush and the cleansing powder, you can clean away grime and grit fast.

And let’s not forget the grout! For stained grout, make a paste of this product and water and scrub away. For real neat freaks (guilty), a toothbrush works wonders here!

7. Bathtubs

If you have an old-school porcelain tub at home, this product is an absolute must! Scrubbing the tub with a paste of the powder and water can rescue even the dirtiest of tubs (really)! Be prepared with a good scrub brush and plenty of elbow grease. You’ll be amazed at how easily stubborn rust stains lift away. For a bit of extra clean, rinse with water and then a bit of vinegar (and then water again).

(Don’t forget, vinegar is another incredible and cheap cleaning solution–we’ve got some tips on how to use it at home.)

For tubs that only need a regular cleaning, forego the paste and sprinkle on Bar Keepers Friend, add a bit of water and scrub with a soft brush or rag. (Use it on the sink and toilet too.)

8. Shower doors

If you have glass shower doors riddled with soap scum, worry no more. Sprinkle some Bar Keepers Friend on a wet sponge and wipe over your doors. For stubborn scum, let this solution sit on the surface for a minute and then wipe clean.

9. Grills

Taking things outdoors, try Bar Keepers Friend on the grate of your grill (one of the hardest to clean surfaces we can find). Make a paste of the product with a bit of water and use a scrub brush to clean the grate. Give this a thorough rinse when you are done and it’ll look good as new! Then you’re ready for throwing some fresh corn (and much much more) on the barbecue.

10. Outdoor furniture and so much more

If you have a metal patio set, keep a container of this powder on hand. A good scrub can lift away unsightly stains and rust, keeping your furniture looking good as new.

And don’t stop there! Use Bar Keepers Friend to clean up your metal mailbox, plant stands, aluminum siding–even your boat.

As you can tell, the cleaning options are vast, and we love this product’s ability to shine up our dirtiest surfaces. It should be said, though, that it’s not suitable for gold, silver or stone. You can find out more about what surfaces you can clean and avoid with this all-purpose product on their website.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.