How to Clean With Bar Keepers Friend

Written by lisa miller
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The cleaning product Bar Keepers Friend is an all-purpose cleaner and polish that can be used on a number of household surfaces, including porcelain, stainless steel, fibreglass, tile, copper, brass, ceramic and glass. The product is often used to remove difficult stains, such as rust, lime and general discolouration. Bar Keepers Friend cleans via a mild abrasive and oxalic acid, and comes in both liquid and powder form.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Latex gloves
  • Wet cloth

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    General Cleaning

  1. 1

    Put on a pair of latex gloves before you begin cleaning.

  2. 2

    Perform a spot test to ensure that the product will not scratch -- especially in the case of older porcelain -- or discolour your surface. To do this apply a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend in a hidden spot, rinse by placing the surface under running water or wiping down with a clean, wet cloth, then check for signs of damage. If you see damage, do not use Bar Keepers Friend on the item.

  3. 3

    Sprinkle the Bar Keepers Friend powder onto a wet cloth. One shake of the container usually provides enough powder for small areas; for larger areas you may need to coat the cloth entirely. The exact amount of product to use will vary depending on the size of the surface you are cleaning. Rub gently with the cloth until the stain begins to lift or the discolouration begins to disappear.

  4. 4

    Rinse with clean water. Repeat the process as necessary until the stain or discolouration is gone.

    Removing Difficult Stains

  1. 1

    Put on a pair of latex gloves and perform a spot test as described in Step 2 above.

  2. 2

    Use a formula of approximately one part water to five parts Bar Keepers Friend to make a paste. The amount of paste to make will vary depending on the size of the surface you are cleaning, but you should make enough to completely cover the surface.

  3. 3

    Spread the paste onto the surface and allow it to sit for up to one minute. Do not let the paste sit for longer than one minute.

  4. 4

    Rub the stain with a damp cloth until the stain begins to lift, then rinse the surface immediately by placing it under running water or by wiping with a clean, wet cloth. You may have to scrub the surface with some force, depending on the severity of the stain and the type of surface you are cleaning. Use caution when cleaning potentially delicate surfaces such as plastic, porcelain and glass.

  5. 5

    Repeat as necessary until the stain has been removed completely.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are using the liquid form of Bar Keepers Friend, apply the product directly to stains. There is no need to use a wet cloth or to make a paste.
  • If you are cleaning metal, porcelain or plastic surfaces, make sure the surface is wet before you apply Bar Keepers Friend powder.
  • Never mix Bar Keepers Friend with any other cleaning products.
  • Avoid using the product on precious metals (gold and silver), pewter, anodised aluminium, marble and any lacquered metal.

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