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Can I Clean This? How to Test BKF on Cleaning Surfaces

February 24, 2021

Our website contains comprehensive lists of items and cleaning surfaces that can and can’t be cleaned using BKF products. However, there are some appliances and surfaces that have recently appeared to be gray areas. This is especially true for folks who have begun cleaning heavily at home. So, if you’re one of the people, like me, who have successfully used BKF to clean non-recommended surfaces, how can you be sure it’s safe? The answer is to test it, and test it good.

Testing Cleaning Surfaces with BKF

Let’s begin by sharing surfaces that BKF products are recommended for use and a few that aren’t.

A Partial list of Recommended Cleaning Surfaces

  • Stainless steel, copper, and brass
  • Ceramic Tile and Formica
  • Glass
  • Fiberglass
  • Chrome
  • Porcelain and Corian

Surfaces BKF Doesn’t Recommend 

Here are a few surfaces, which Bar Keepers Friend Doesn’t recommend for cleaning.

  • Gold, silver, and pewter
  • Anodized aluminum
  • Mirrored surfaces
  • Leather and fabric
  • Wood, polished stone, and cast iron.

How to Test Cleaning Surfaces with BKF

To begin with, it’s vital that you find an almost unnoticed, out of the way, area of the surface you wish to test. The reason is the test may show you that BKF shouldn’t be used on the surface and could leave a blemish. This can be somewhat controlled by testing on a very small area and following the testing instructions, especially number 6 – rinse thoroughly.

  1. Identify a small unnoticeable area to test.
  2. Mix a small amount of BKF with water to create a pasted
  3. Dab the paste onto the spot with a soft cloth
  4. Do not allow the paste to sit any longer than one minute
  5. Gently wipe the surface with a soft, damp cloth. Do not use a cloth or sponge with an abrasive surface
  6. Rinse thoroughly, and then rinse it again! 
  7. Dry with a soft cloth

If, at this point, there is any sign of discoloration, dulling, or staining, do not use BKF to complete the cleaning of the surface. Even if it only looks a little lackluster or only slightly stained, stop, drop, and roll. Do not clean the entire surface with BKF. If it didn’t come out sparkling, then BKF isn’t the product you need for this cleaning surface.

Rather Safe than Sorry 

Bar Keepers Friend has an outstanding lineup of products that bring old surfaces back to life. I know because I’ve done it. And I’ve done it more than once. However, BKF isn’t the product for every surface. We may be somewhat conservative about our recommendations, but we’d rather be safe than sorry, and we think you would be too.

If you have any questions about surfaces or what BKF products are best for different types of cleaning surfaces, please let us know. You can leave a comment or contact us here.

About the Author

Randy Clark - Headshot

Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s a beer geek and on weekends (after COVID-19) he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager’s Workbook: A crash course in effective management.

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