Picture of Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser Polish, 21 ounce can, front view.

Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser Review

Bar Keepers Friend powder cleanser polish, unlike its liquid cleanser counterpart, lacks any of that fruity sweet smell. It’s lowly imposing scent fades quickly after use. Plus, it does not grow strongeru when wetting this dry cleanser on a sponge.   No bleach or lemon scent, and its chemical aroma, while distinctive, by no means shouts CLEAN. It just gently reminds us of clean.  Here, we review Bar Keepers Friend cleanser, that details our own experiences with this product around the home.

Picture of Bar Keepers Friend® Cleanser Polish, 21 ounce can, front view.
Bar Keepers Friend powder polish, 21 ounce can, front view.

Nonetheless, this Bar Keepers Friend® removes many hard-to-clean stains from most common surfaces such as copper, aluminum, ceramic, acrylic, fiberglass, and many others. It’s a multi-purpose dry cleanser for  kitchen, bathroom, basement, and patio.  Don’t fret over splattering it on your clothes, as it has no bleach. But do wear gloves when working with it for long periods, as it can irritate sensitive skin. Bar Keepers Friend cleanser is great for removing mildew, grease, lime, limescale, rust, hard water deposits, and soap scum from sinks, bath tubs, all types of shower stalls, glass and plastic shower doors, and so on.

Bar Keepers Friend Powder Intro

We tested Bar Keepers Friend powder cleaner throughout our home. We find this product quite the versatile, though not terribly abrasive polish cleanser. It’s easier on the skin than some other cleansers. Indeed it contains reduced harsh chemicals like bleach, and gives off no strong fumes. Plus, a single 21 ounce can has enough powder to keep an acrylic bathtub sparkling clean for six months or longer.

Picture of a 21 ounce can of the cleanser, back view 1, showing usage instructions, tips, and warnings.
A 21 ounce can of the cleanser, back view 1, showing usage instructions, tips, and warnings.

The entire line of Bar Keepers Friend® cleaning products is reasonably priced though not the cheapest.  It’s usually safe on most surfaces found throughout kitchens and bathroom, tough on dirt and stains, and simple to use. It saves lots of effort that you’d otherwise spend scrubbing. But without bleach, Bar Keepers Friend is not anti bacterial.  Yet it is well revered for its polishing abilities as well as a gently abrasive cleaner.

Benefits, Pros, Advantages, and Features of Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser Polish 

Dry Powder Cleanser 

Plenty fine powder and easy to sprinkle and poor.  This powder cleaner features oxalic acid and micro-fine scrubbing particles. It has a slightly scratchy feel when rubbing between fingers. The grit here is almost too small to feel though, like when diluted on a water soaked sponge.  This means that it cleans dirt without scratching surfaces much. This pure white powder looks like confectioners sugar. It’s dense, but still thin enough to dump and spread with ease. Not granular.

Works Well as Bathroom Cleaner

We most use this Bar Keepers Friend powder cleanser product in our small bathroom, for cleaning soap scum and hard water mineral deposits from the bathtub, sink, soap dispensers, shower doors, grouted tiles, and the toilet whenever a stubborn rust spot appears under the rim. BKF works well at removing the most common bathroom dirt and scum.

Bar Keepers Friend Powder is a Great Kitchen Cleaner Too

We keep a can under the sink when a really dirty pan arrives.

Decent Nonstick Pots and Pans Cleaner

BKF is safe on nonstick coatings if you do not rub too hard.

Works on Flat Top Stoves

Bar Keepers Friend is cheaper for cleaning glass cooktop stoves than the cleaners designed for that. Yet it seems to work just as well.

In the Dishwasher

On dishwasher inside surfaces, this power cleanser gently removes hard water and soap build-up.  For those stubborn baked-on food buildups, use Bar Keepers Friend powder as a scouring agent.  But again, don’t scrub with too much elbow grease.  Test first on a hidden oven surface to make sure that any scratching that occurs is not too much.

Bar Keepers Friend Powder is Gentle on Stainless Steel Sinks

Bar Keepers Friend® powder polish shines up our dual stainless steel sinks in less than a minute of scrubbing and polishing.

Use on Brass, Aluminum, and Copper, but Use Caution

Be careful when cleaning copper, aluminum, and brass items however.  These are very soft metals. They will indeed dull if scoured too hard.  If you must clean them with this product, then do so gently, and use caution.

Mild Scent

This  scented dry cleanser has a gentle but not off-putting smell, like a new pair of shoes. So you need not open windows or turn on exhaust fans while using it in confined spaces like a small bathroom. Plus, the scent does not hang around long enough to grow obnoxious. Within five minutes of rinsing, its smell goes away.

Scratches Little

We’ve never scratched any bathroom or kitchen surface with BKF. Yet it has well cleaned almost every surface tested. Plus, with care, Bar Keepers Friend®  polishes aluminum, copper, brass, silver, wood, painted surfaces, and rubber items. in general, we suggest that you avoid cleaning these with this product as discoloration and other damages might happen. Always test on concealed areas first.

Use Rags or Sponges to Apply Bar Keepers Friend Powder

Works just as well when applied with a rag as with a sponge. We prefer rags, just because we can better feel, through the rag, the state of what we’re scrubbing, and can more rapidly tell when all stuck on food and grime has been scoured away.

Quickly Rinses Clean

Rinses away completely, and quickly with little water. This BKF polish formula rinses even faster and more easily, with its smaller, less abrasive particles.

Easy to Find

This household cleaner is sold in most any larger grocery or home improvement store. We get ours at Walmart.

No Expiration

Works well for years.  But do store in a cool, dry place so the cleaning powder does not clump and cake.

Picture of the cleanser applied to a glass top stove.
The cleanser on a glass top stove.

Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Limitations of Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser Polish 

Powder can get Clumpy

We bought a fresh can only to find that the powder inside had clumped into small, pinhead sized lumps which would often roll off the edge of our stove top while cleaning.

May Scratch if Rubbed Too Hard

This polish can indeed scratch if you rub too hard while cleaning certain surfaces like soft metals and plastics. So, rub no harder than you must, and as mentioned, do test the surfaces first.

Non Disinfectant

Has no bleach. So we do not rely on it for disinfecting. For that. we follow up BKF cleanser with a spray bleach cleaner.

Bar Keepers Friend Powder Instructions

  • Wet the surface to be cleaned with clean warm or cold water.
  • Sprinkle BKF cleanser liberally onto surface.
  • Spread over entire area to be cleaned.
  • Wait one minute.
  • Rub around the treated areas with a damp sponge, dish cloth, or rag.
  • Rinse when finished scrubbing by re-wetting and rinsing the scrub cloth you’re using, and then wiping the cleanser off the surfaces you just polished.  Repeat this step as needed until the surfaces are squeaky clean.
  • Dry surface with towel if desired.

Bar Keepers Friend Powder Warnings

  • Again, test surfaces to be cleaned first, by applying a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend powder in a non conspicuous area.  Do not clean entire surface, if the small inconspicuous area shows discoloration, scratches, or other anomalies that resulted from the cleaning test.
  • We suggest wearing gloves when scrubbing with this product for longer periods, to prevent possible skin irritation.
  • Could etch soft metals and plastic surfaces.  Again, test in an out-of-plain-sight area first, and also, scrub gently; only as hard as needed to remove stains and dirt.
  • Do not apply to silver (except for sterling), gold, polished stone, lacquered surfaces, mirrored or painted surfaces.

Our Rating for Bar Keepers Friend Powder

We like Bar Keepers Friend powder cleanser. While it’s not the most affordable cleaning product on the market (ours cost about a dollar more per can than Comet Cleanser), its price approximates average for this type of product. The extra dollar may be due to the added polishing feature of this BKF cleaner.  But this modernized product, even with its dissolving, smaller scrubbing particles, still cleans effectively, and without nearly as much risk of scratching. Today’s Bar Keepers Friend polish cleanser is engineered for today’s delicate appliance surfaces as well. Indeed, they’ve kept up with the times, thus. So we’d therefore rate this cleanser at 95 out of 100.

Look for it in the gold and silver 21 ounce can with the blue label with blue and white lettering, at Walmart or other larger grocery centers and home stores.

Related Posts to Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser

  1. Bar Keepers Friend® Soft Cleanser Review
  2. Ajax Powder Cleanser with Bleach Review
  3. Comet Soft Cleanser with Bleach Review
  4. Soft Scrub Oxi Cleanser Review
  5. Great Value Bathroom Cleaner Foaming Spray Review

References for Bar Keepers Friend Powder

  1. Bar Keepers Friend® Powder Cleanser Polish Customer Reviews   on Amazon.com
  2. Bar Keepers Friend® Products    Official Web Site
  3. Where to buy   Bar Keepers Friend® Cleanser Polish

Revision History

  • 2019-05-01: Added topic targeting for ‘Bar Keepers Friend powder’, deleted ad code, and added more tags.
  • 2017-02-22: Updated the tags list.
  • 2015-10-29: Originally published.