10 Things You Never Knew You Could Clean with Bar Keepers Friend

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There's a reason Bar Keepers Friend has been around for 100 years. Find out how to clean all the things with this secret weapon.

When it comes to cleaning products, there are a few staples that can bust through all kinds of grime. We’re talking about heavy hitters like Dawn Powerwash, vinegar and Magic Erasers.

Here’s another cleaner to add to your all-star list: Bar Keepers Friend.

The gently abrasive cleaner has been around since 1882. Originally, tavern owners used it to polish the brass rail on their bars, hence the name. Now, both the powder and liquid Bar Keepers Friend (we’re partial to the liquid version) can clean almost anything, with powerful results. It’s great for stained bathtubs and kitchen sinks, but that’s only the beginning. Here are some unexpected things to clean with Bar Keepers Friend.

How to Use Bar Keepers Friend

Bar Keepers Friend package and a toothbrush in front of a pair of sneakersRebecca Simpson Steele/Taste of Home

Remove Sticky Stuff

New electronics, picture frames and other items often need stickers removed before use. Then you have to deal with the annoying sticky residue left behind. Squirt a small amount of liquid Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser onto a cloth or sponge, then scrub. The sticky stuff disappears!

Clean Musical Instruments

If your trombone or drum cymbals need a shine, Bar Keepers Friend will come to the rescue. Dampen the instrument with a wet cloth, then sprinkle on powdered Bar Keepers Friend. Allow the product to sit for a few minutes, then wipe along the brass grain with a microfiber cloth. Wipe again with a clean damp cloth to remove the cleaner and make it shine.

Polish Brass and Copper Antiques

Brass and copper antiques will turn dark with patina over time. To restore your precious vintage items to their original shiny finish, apply Bar Keepers Friend to a damp, soft sponge. Clean the item using the sponge (try a soft-bristled toothbrush for hard to reach places), then rinse. Use a soft microfiber cloth to dry and polish.

Remove Marks from Walls

Apply Bar Keepers Friend to a sponge or cloth and scrub away crayon marks from your walls. If your little artist used a pencil, pen or marker, Bar Keepers Friend will still make your walls look like they’re freshly painted. When you’re done scrubbing, wipe the wall with a damp cloth to remove any remaining cleaner residue.

Revive Stained Cookware

If you want to remove that built-up gunk on the bottom of the pot, you guessed it—Bar Keepers Friend is the answer. Wet the pot in the sink, then sprinkle on Bar Keepers Friend and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub away the stains with a wet sponge, then rinse and wipe dry. Repeat as needed. Your old pot will be unrecognizable!

Clean Your Car

Yep, Bar Keepers Friend even works for some tough outdoor jobs, like cleaning your car. Apply Bar Keepers Friend to dirty chrome or aluminum tire rims, then scrub with a cloth or soft sponge; rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. It also works for buffing away minor scratches and reviving cloudy headlights. Wipe away any dust and debris from the scratch or headlight first, then use water and a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend and gently rub away.

Remove Stubborn Stains on Oven Door

It’s no secret that Bar Keepers Friend works great on your glass cooktop and inside your oven, but don’t forget the glass door. The greasy, brown stains on the glass can seem impossible to clean, but they’re no match for Bar Keepers. Before you start, put down a layer of newspaper on the floor to catch any drips. Wet the glass with a sponge. Then, in a bowl, combine a small amount of water and powder Bar Keepers Friend to create a paste. Spread the paste over the glass and let it sit for a minute or two. Wipe away the paste with a sponge, or use a scouring pad for extra stubborn stains. Wipe dry.

Clean Rusty Gardening Tools

Forgot your favorite gardening shears out in the rain? All is not lost, Bar Keepers Friend will easily remove the rust. Clean the shears and other rusty gardening tools with soapy water first to remove any dirt. Then apply Bar Keepers Friend to a sponge (use steel wool or a wire brush for extra tough rust stains) and scrub in a circular motion. Rinse and repeat as needed.

Remove Coffee Maker Stains

To clean your coffee maker and get rid of mineral deposits and stains, try Bar Keepers Friend Coffee Maker Cleaner. It’s formulated to remove oily residue without damaging your machine. Fill your carafe with cold water, using one ounce of coffee maker cleaner for every eight ounces of cold water. Carefully pour the contents of the carafe into the coffee maker reservoir and start the brew cycle. Once the brew cycle is complete, leave the cleaning solution in the carafe for about five minutes, then empty and rinse the carafe. Run the brew cycle again using only cold water to rinse away any remaining cleaning solution.

Refresh Dirty Sneakers

Don’t retire your favorite pair of sneakers just yet. Bar Keepers Friend can whiten dirty rubber soles, clean the fabric and mesh upper shoe, and even remove black scuff marks. Apply liquid Bar Keepers Friend directly to your shoes, then scrub away stains with a soft scrub brush or old toothbrush. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

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Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.