Newest Review: ... and bathroom, my white ceramic bathroom sink looks brand new once it's had a going over with Bar Keepers Friend and it leaves behind a '... more
Shouldn't that have an apostrophe in it?
Bar Keepers Friend
Member Name: azana
Bar Keepers Friend
Disadvantages: not sold everywhere
Barkeepers Friend is, for a quite unassuming little bottle (the most recent packaging is a little blue and white bottle), a really effective product. It normally costs around the £2 mark and you will find it at John Lewis, hardware stores and at some supermarkets. The front of it lists the surfaces you can use it on - a full list of which you can find at the link at the bottom of this review. What's good to know is that it doesn't contain bleach,(it's oxalic acid and citric based) and for this reason it is one of the only products recommended for Corian, as well as granite and stainless steel. I've used it on both, and managed to remove hard water stains that other cleaners couldn't shift - the byline on the bottle "Cleans where others fail" is true in my experience.
Where Bar Keepers friend has almost magical properties for me is in removing felt tip from surfaces that it shouldn't be on - having two children who have a steady stream of visiting friends, this is an occupational hazard. A little of this white powder and a wet cloth (or in extreme cases I make up a paste with some water) and with not too much effort pen can, and does, come off my children's painted wooden table without damaging it - I always give anything I have cleaned a good rinse with water after I've used this product.
When you are using Bar Keepers friend there is a slight lemony smell but nothing too overpowering, it's an easy product to use. This is lucky as, on one memorable rainy day this was also used to remove my daughter and her friends' redecorating attempts in her bedroom with said pens - top non-cleaning tip here, if they are really quiet they probably are up to no good. I managed to save the radiators, bath tub and the glass mirror all of which had been "made over" - we were pen free for a while after that but at least bar keepers friend saved my daughter from being completely disowned!
This also works well with stained tea cups, and brings up stainless steel sinks better than anything else I can think of. A little goes a really long way, and I find a 200g bottle lasts me for at least 6 months. You shouldn't use it on polished stainless steel finishes but if you follow the directions carefully (mainly to avoid gold, silver and enamelled surfaces), you can clean pretty well anything, and I've never had any damage caused by this and it has cleaned off marks on many things that I thought were there for good, pans have been rescued and a it worked wonders on porcelain sinks that had been long neglected when we first moved into our house, it's great on limescale, and brings up glass oven doors a treat.
Seeing as this product is so powerful I did wonder how safe it is - you shouldn't mix it with other cleaners, the bottle just cautions to keep away from food and drink. I do keep away from children but don't find it is particularly harsh on skin but I would wear gloves if attacking a particularly stubborn stain. As far as I can ascertain the ingredients are environmentally friendly, it's also approved by the Vegetarian Society.
I think every home needs to have a tub of Bar Keepers Friend - it is such an excellent product that, pedant that I am, I can even forgive its lack of apostrophe (bless Lakeland they put one in the title anyway). Sometimes the simplest and oldest products work the best - this one has been around for a couple of hundred years and has really stood the test of time in my opinion.
I really recommend this product - it works!
(includes the history of how this got it's name )
Summary: this is one of my drudgery saviours