/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » things i love thursday: bar keeper’s friend

Another inexpensive cleaner that I cannot do without is Bar Keeper’s Friend.  Baking soda is fantastic for many things, but BKF is indispesible in a different aspect out here.

We have well water, which ordinarily isn’t a big deal.  But the joke out here is that our town’s name is Chippewa for “really bad water,” and the Europeans who settled the area weren’t wise enough to realize it before they settled.  Our water is hard (high calcium & lime) and iron-rich.  Which means that we get nice white spots on about *everything* we wash and our white things often take on a rust-coloured tinge.  😛

Enter BKF.  BKF is an inexpensive powder that isn’t quite a scouring powder but has the power of oxalic acid in it.  It was created in the late 1880s and has been used continuously since that time.  It’s a mild abrasive (very mild) and the oxalic acid removes … get this … RUST STAINS!!  😀

I use this stuff to clean my stainless steel sinks (approaching 30 yrs old at this point) and they *sparkle*.  I use it to clean the rust stains from our tub & shower, and I use it to get the rust stains out of our dishwasher.  Although on that last one, I’ve made a mental note to use less than 1/2 c. of the stuff next time – a half-cup allowed bubbles and foam to simultaneously clean our floors as it bubbled out of the dishwasher.  😮

Speaking of floors, I have tile in my kitchen, and BKF is also a great way for me to scrub the tiles without damaging them and to clean the grout without removing the sealant on it.

I also use this stuff to clean my good cookware.  The saleswoman at Williams Sonoma put me on to it – she said there was never a burned-mess that she’s created in her stainless cookware that she hasn’t been able to clean up & off with BKF.  So my cookware sparkles like it’s new – even though it’s 4 yrs old at this point.  All thanks to BKF.

Most WalMart stores carry this product for less than $2 per can.  I’m actually going to try to get rust stains out of toilet bowls this weekend with it – I’m pretty sure it’s going to do a bang-up job.  :)

For more things that others can’t do without, hop over to The Diaper Diaries! And if you’d like to link to a Things I Love Thursdays post of your own, use Mr. Linky here to do so:


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  • http://inthemomentblog.blogspot.com Kaycee

    I use BKF on my porcelain sink and glass cooktop. It is pretty amazing.