This Is The Biggest Mistake You're Making With Bar Keepers Friend

You might know Bar Keepers Friend as the superhero of cleaning products that no home should be without. Tough on grease, dirt, and even rust, this magical, inexpensive product is safe to use on your stove top, bathroom, and even on your prized pots and pans. But if you're not familiar with this cleaning product — or experienced — there's a thing a two you might want to know prior to using BKF.

If you're like the thousands of people out there who believe in the age old tradition of "letting things sit" for better results, allow us to tell you now that this is one habit you'll likely have to break cold turkey, as BKF is notoriously known for its quick results. Although using this powerful cleaner is your best bet and best friend when it comes to getting things squeaky clean and removing unwanted stains, things can quickly turn into a real nightmare if you leave this friend on your favorite saucepan for too long, put it on vulnerable surfaces, or mix it with other cleaners.

One minute, not one hour

Leave BKF on an item for too long and as a result you might end up in a brutal breakup with your bff cleanser (via Bon Appetit). Now, while there are a ton of mistakes you can make when using BKF, this is by far the biggest one you can make.

As you read through the fine print — or perhaps do a quick Google search — you'll find that when it comes to using something as strong as BKF, a little goes a long way and time is an important factor, so watch the clock.

The great thing about BKF is that you'll only need a minute to see magic happen right before your eyes. Don't just take our word for it. You can read it right on the label (or on the Bar Keepers Friend website FAQ). This is vital information to keep in mind — this is how so many metal surfaces are left with discoloration and scratches. (via Bon Appetit).

Not all surfaces can bear the power of Bar Keepers Friend

If you're looking to remove tough stains but don't want to break the one-minute rule, first try rinsing the BFK off surfaces and check for any potential damage. If all looks good, proceed to reapply BKF. Although instinctively you might want to add this cleaner to any surface you might think needs a good polish, you should pause before slathering a thick paste of BKF to certain surfaces. If you're unsure if your surface falls under the "do not use" list, try to spot-clean items before completely covering the area.

Ultimately, to avoid tearful goodbyes with semi-used pots, pans, or additional items, steer clear of all non-stick surfaces. Other surfaces include: marble, granite, plastic, nonstick pans, uncoated cast iron pans, wood, enamelware, gold and silver, per The Washington Post. Instead, stick to stainless steel (anything from sheet pans to sinks), glass, porcelain, chrome, stovetops, Instant Pots, and coated cast iron cookware like a Dutch oven (via Bon Appetit).

All you need is BFK... and some water

There really isn't much you need to add to BFK to make it all the more powerful. All you need is a bit of water and some elbow grease to bring out the magic in BKF and see the stains vanish. To avoid creating a possible lethal cocktail, do not mix BFK with anything else. According to The Kitchn, adding bleach to BFK can result in toxic chlorine gas fumes that can lead to possible breathing problems.

With great power comes great responsibility — especially if you're using BKF with bare hands. If BFK is powerful enough to remove lime, rust, and calcium, just imagine how damaging it can be on your skin (via Home Steady). With an active ingredient of oxalic acid — which can cause skin and eye irritation — the first step you should take before using a BFK is reaching for the latex gloves (via New Jersey Department of Health).

We can almost guarantee you that this inexpensive product will change the way you clean your bathroom, kitchen, and your entire home. But the fun doesn't stop there. It's possible you'll start thinking of clever ways to use this effective cleaner on surfaces you never even considered or thought would ever shine again. A final word of advice: keep a bottle or two of BKF in your home at all times as it's more than likely you'll be reaching for it constantly.