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Bar Keepers Friend FAQ

Check here for answers to common questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about any of Bar Keepers Friend products? We’ve got answers! Check out our frequently asked questions here.

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, feel free to contact us.

  • General Questions
  • Product Application
  • Product Safety
  • Technical Questions

Is there any reason other than convenience to use the BKF Soft Cleanser instead of the powder?

The choice to use the powdered Cleanser or the liquid Soft Cleanser is subjective and is, in large part, determined by:

  • What is being cleaned;
  • Is it restorative cleaning (i.e. badly neglected & in need of deep-cleaning) or is it more of a routine cleaning situation;
  • Is the ease of rinsing a factor?

If it is routine lighter-duty cleaning, then the liquid Soft Cleanser is usually more than sufficient. If a more restorative, deep-clean is needed; then the BKF Cleanser (powder) is likely the better choice. Bottom line: They’re not intended to be identical products. The powder offers the versatility of varying its “strength,” by the amount of water added;  stronger or weaker. The Soft Cleanser is in effect “pre-diluted” or “ready-to-use” for a variety of (but not all) tasks, especially the more routine cleaning tasks.

Are Bar Keepers Friend products tested on animals?

Bar Keepers Friend does not animal-test in the manufacture of our products.

Is Bar Keepers Friend kosher?

BKF is not currently a certified kosher product. In the past, BKF has been certified as kosher, and some earlier packaging had the kosher symbol. The BKF product has not significantly changed since that time.

Is there an expiration date on Bar Keepers Friend cleaning products?

The active ingredients in BKF do not expire. However, storage in a humid environment will cause the powder to solidify, so try to keep open containers of BKF in a dry environment.

Why aren’t the directions printed larger on the container?

There is limited space on our can, so the text is as large as the amount of space allows. If you need more information, please visit the product section of our website.

Why doesn’t Bar Keepers Friend powder come with a lid?

The contents of BKF do not expire or degrade when stored in a dry environment. To offer our customers the best value possible, we chose not to add an expensive lid when it is not required for most users. A helpful tip for those who may want to cover their can of BKF if stored under the sink or in a humid environment is to cover the top of the can with a sandwich bag (a rubber band can be used to make an air-tight seal if necessary).

How is Bar Keepers Friend different from Comet & Ajax?

BKF is an acidic cleaner, whereas most other powdered cleansers are alkaline (bleach-based). Acidic cleansers are more effective against mineral deposits and rust stains and are also recommended by most stainless steel product manufacturers over bleach-based cleansers.

What is the difference between Bar Keepers Friend Cookware Cleanser and original Cleanser?

Where can I buy Bar Keepers Friend?

BKF products are readily available from many local retailers throughout North America and in select global markets. Please use the product locator on our website to find a retailer near you.

Can I use BKF on quartz?

We are recommended by many manufacturers and installers of quartz countertops, primarily for stain removal abilities rather than use as a general-purpose cleaner. NOTE: We have a Granite & Stone Cleaner & Polish for daily, general-purpose cleaning of quartz, granite, marble, etc., which comes in convenient, easy-to-use spray bottles.

Can I use BKF on wood?

We do not recommend either BKF Cleanser (powder), BKF Soft Cleanser (cream liquid) or BKF MORE SprayFoam (liquid spray) on wood surfaces.

Can I use BKF on marble?

We do not recommend BKF Cleanser (powder), BKF Soft Cleanser (cream liquid) or BKF MORE Spray + Foam (liquid spray) on marble surfaces. To clean marble and other polished stone, we recommend BKF Granite & Stone Cleaner & Polish.

Can I put Bar Keepers Friend in my dishwasher?

BKF is not formulated to work with the dishwashing process – do not add it to the automatic dispenser in your dishwasher. However, it can be used to spot-clean the interior of dishwashers with stainless steel tubs and inner doors. Run a quick rinse cycle with the dishwasher empty after spot-cleaning with BKF.

Can I clean concrete with Bar Keepers Friend?

BKF is formulated to work on non-porous surfaces. Concrete is highly porous – BKF is not formulated or recommended for use on concrete. However, our Granite & Stone Cleaner & Polish is safe to use on natural (sealed) stone.

What is the best way to use Bar Keepers Friend?

Wet the surface to be cleaned, and then apply a small amount of the BKF product to the surface. With a damp cloth or rag, apply an appropriate amount of pressure and clean the area. Make sure to rinse the surface thoroughly after. Please see either the package or the product section of our website for more cleaning information.  Always consult any manufacturer care section if available for proper cleaning procedures.

How long should I leave Bar Keepers Friend on a surface?

We recommend you leave BKF on for no longer than ONE MINUTE. This is especially important for metal surfaces as it could cause discoloration. For surfaces such as plastic or porcelain, contact for longer than a minute may be necessary, but test in an inconspicuous area first.

Can I clean the front of my stainless steel appliances with Bar Keepers Friend?

Many manufacturers apply a clear protective layer to appliances to repel fingerprints. The abrasive in BKF Cleanser may harm this protective layer, but our Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish is safe to use on appliances.

Can I clean the inside of my oven with Bar Keepers Friend?

BKF requires thorough rinsing, which is difficult in non-drained, enclosed spaces such as an oven or microwave interior – so it is not recommended. Use BKF to clean areas that can be easily rinsed, such as the inside of an oven door.

Can I use Bar Keepers Friend to clean glass?

Absolutely. The key is to use as small an amount of BKF as the project allows and rinse thoroughly. The micro-abrasive particles may temporarily leave a white film if not rinsed completely. The abrasive used in BKF will not scratch glass or porcelain when properly used.

Is Bar Keepers Friend septic system safe?

BKF is totally septic system safe when used in normal daily applications.

Is it safe to clean the dishes and cookware with Bar Keepers Friend?

Yes – when properly used, BKF is safe to use on food preparation and serving surfaces. In fact, BKF carries an NSF registration and can be found in many commercial kitchens. Make sure any surface that will come in contact with food is properly rinsed to remove any residue and abrasive prior to use.

Why aren’t the ingredients listed on the can or bottle?

BKF is distributed throughout North America and several other global markets. With the regional differences in ingredient reporting standards and the limited space available on our label, we have instead posted Safety Data Sheets on our website, and continuously update them to reflect national standards.

Should I wear gloves when cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend powder?

BKF is not harmful to the skin during casual use. However, gloves are recommended for prolonged use or sensitive skin. The oxalic acid in BKF is mild, but it may irritate sensitive skin and will sting in any open wound (similar to lemon juice on a cut).

Why is my Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser hard at the bottom?

Previous formulations of BKF Soft Cleanser had settling issues over time. We have improved the formula to help resist settling.

Does Bar Keepers Friend disinfect?

BKF is not a disinfectant.

Is Bar Keepers Friend effective against COVID-19?

Bar Keepers Friends is NOT effective against COVID-19. We make NO disinfectant claims for any of our products. 

However, our products – specifically our Cleanser, Soft Cleanser, MORE Spray+Foam, Cookware Cleanser & Polish, and Multipurpose Cooktop Cleaner – are excellent cleaners, and are capable of removing the really tough, dirt, grime, soils, mineral build-ups and/or rust stains prior to applying a disinfect to hard, non-porous (& non-stone) surfaces.

For more information regarding the current health crisis, visit CDC.gov/coronavirus.

Is Bar Keepers Friend abrasive?

There are abrasive particles in all BKF products except for MORE Spray + Foam. The powder products contain more abrasive than the pre-diluted Soft Cleanser. For jobs that require additional scrubbing power, use one of our powder products. For more delicate jobs, consider the mildly abrasive Soft Cleanser, or the non-abrasive MORE Spray + Foam.

Does Bar Keepers Friend contain chlorine?

BKF does not contain chlorine or any caustic ingredients.

What is oxalic acid?

Oxalic acid is an excellent rust and mineral deposit remover that is naturally found in many vegetables, such as rhubarb, chives, and parsley. The oxalic acid used in BKF comes from industrial suppliers and is generally produced from plant/vegetation waste. While oxalic acid can be harmful if ingested in large amounts, there is no danger in using BKF as instructed.

What are the ingredients in Bar Keepers Friend powder?

Safety Data Sheets are available on our website for review; some of the ingredients are trade secrets. If you have specific concerns, please contact us and we will be glad to answer your questions.

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