Monday, March 22, 2010

My new best friend: Barkeepers Friend.

I know this is completely boring to most... but I am easily enchanted. I love it when I can find a new tool to make my life simple.

My kitchen sink is a nice big, beautiful farmers sink and I love it. But I don't love the way the porcelain has become scratched and stained and just plain ugly.

Exhibit A:

And a close up:

(Note to husband: The cast iron pans you so kindly bought me are iron and DO rust and cannot be 'soaked' in the sink.) See how it is so scratched and just a plain mess? I have researched for weeks the best method to clean/restore a porcelain sink. Everything always pointed to something I have never tried: Barkeepers Friend. But, as it is not a green cleaner, I have been leery. Although, the vinegar and baking soda have not even been able to touch it, so I knew I might have to go with a chemical. I did some research on the oxalic acid which is the active ingredient. Oxolic acid is one of the strongest organic acids. Though it is abundantly present in many plants, it can irritate the lining of the intestines when consumed, and can be fatal in large doses. Still, we all eat some oxalic acid in common foods every day with no ill effects, including black pepper, parsley, spinach, chard, beets, chocolate, most nuts, most berries, and beans.

After educating myself, I thought it was worth a try. The only problem? I had to go to Walmart to buy it! That is pretty much right above getting bitten by a rabid fox on the list of things I want to do. But, I mustered up the strength and went at about 6:30 am to avoid as many people of Walmart as possible. I found it quickly in the cleaning section for under $2.

And this is the outcome:

Extreme close up:

How awesome is that? In just a couple of minutes- it completely bleached my sink and rubbed out the stains! Even Ariana was ooohing and ahhhing at it. She asked if she could use it to wash the stove. Ummm, ok, if you insist.

I will have to find a place to hide it since they kids can't eat it and squirt it at eachother like they do my other cleaning supplies. And it did sting my hangnails when I was using it (although the vinegar and tea tree oil do as well) but unless I can find a greener option, I am keeping this affair going with my new love.

Feel free to talk amongst yourself and share other tricks if you use BF- I have heard that it just might be a wonder cleaner.


  1. Did you pick me up some sweat pants while you were there?

  2. Yeah, I got us matching sweatpants, of course. And some cigarettes and a gun... and some beef jerky.

  3. Ugh, WalMart? But, OMG. That is awesome! My porcelain sink is not holding up so well either and I even tried soft scrub with bleach!

  4. Wouldn't it be cool if you could just go to any 'ol bar when you need a can of barkeeper's friend. Then you could totally cut out the whole Walmart middle man thing.

  5. I share your sentiments about Walmart. Ick! I avoid it like the plague! My mom uses dishwasher detergent in her sink and scrubs it around with a brush to clean up scuffs from pans. Hopefully it will work for you and save you a trip to Walmart! :)

  6. Wonderful! Your sink looks like my sink. Or, my sink looks like your sink. I'll call my husband right now and let him know where he can but some "Barkeeper's Friend." Gracias!

  7. Don't forget to get your kids some redbulls too (at least that's what I always see at our Walmart!!) Oh...and a need to have a mullet if you are really going to fit in...

    Anyway....I am going to have to find some of that stuff - our sink could use all the help it can get.

    Side note...what cleaning products do you use? I want to start buying more green/safe products.

  8. I hope your bum crack was showing out of the top of your sweats when you went there. I hate Walmart. It always smells like vomit to me when I walk in. Sometimes it's a necessary evil. I will have to brave that store to grab some of that for my sink. I use the magic eraser and it works pretty well, but doesn't remove all of the scratches!

  9. While going to Walmart is beneath changing a poopy diaper, I'm glad it worked out for you. Your sink looks great.

  10. Barkeeper's Friend is one of the only chemical cleansers I use too! I LOVE it. More than words can say.

    It's totally worth the fact that your babies can't eat it, isn't it?

  11. You let your kids eat and squirt at eachother like your other cleaning supplies???

    Organic or not, man ...