The $8 Product That Rescued My Expensive Dutch Oven

published Nov 7, 2020
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italic dutch oven review

There’s nothing worse than investing in (or being gifted) a beautiful, fancy new Dutch oven only to proudly display it a couple times before marring it with stuck-on food, grease, or other scuffs and marks. While those marks don’t ruin the pot or make it unusable, they certainly don’t make it feel worthy of proudly displaying on your stovetop.

But here’s the thing: Removing those spots is a tough job that too often results in sore arms and no results. All hope is not lost, though. Allow me to introduce you to Bar Keepers Friend. 

Unlike many popular cleaners, Bar Keepers Friend isn’t a spray. Instead, you sprinkle the dry powdered solution onto the dirty surface and then rub it with a wet cloth or sponge to form a paste. Then you scrub and rinse clean within one minute of application.

Wondering how this powerful cleanser works? The active ingredient in the product is oxalic acid, which is “a natural compound that’s found in rhubarb and spinach and works at a molecular level to break the bonds of stains like rust and lime deposits.” 

In a world of harsh chemicals, the idea of using something found in plants to get rid of the most stubborn stains is pretty cool. Plus, this stuff has been around since—wait for it—1882 when it was originally used for “polishing brass rails in turn-of-the-century taverns.”

It goes without saying that any product that stays popular for nearly 150 years has to do a seriously great job, but if you need further proof, just look at the hundreds of five-star Amazon reviews.

One Amazon user named Mama Danson wrote of the product, “I bought the cookware and cleanser polish for my pots and pans. I have been having a very difficult time cleaning my pots and they never came out clean. Most of the time there was always a dark stain residue left behind despite cleaning with various cleaners. To my shock and dismay I was totally amazed when I used the cookware and cleanser polish from Bar Keepers. Not only are my pots sparkling clean, they have no spots and the food stains are totally gone. My pots have a shining look and someone could think that they are brand new.”

Keeping your Dutch oven immaculate isn’t the only thing Bar Keepers Friend can do, either. You can use the heavy-duty cleaner (and the different iterations of it) on everything from bathrooms to marble countertops. Remember, though: As the Bar Keepers Friend brand page says, it’s always best to test the product on a small area of any dish (or any surface) before washing the entire pot or pan.