Bar Keepers Friend

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A can of Bar Keepers Friend.

Bar Keepers Friend is a powdered cleaning product made by SerVaas Laboratories in Indianapolis, Indiana.[1] It's been produced since 1882, and was invented by a chemist in Indianapolis, where the product continues to be manufactured.[2] It has since become the base of a line of cleaning products by SerVaas, who started producing and carrying the product under the Bar Keepers Friend name in the 1950s. Unlike similar abrasive cleaning products, such as Comet and Ajax, Bar Keepers Friend uses oxalic acid as its active ingredient.

Active ingredient[edit]

The primary active ingredient of Bar Keepers Friend is oxalic acid. Prolonged use and extended skin contact can cause skin peeling and contact dermatitis, avoided in prolonged use by wearing gloves.

Use and effectiveness[edit]

In 1994 Consumer Reports found Bar Keepers Friend to be on a par with Mr. Clean for removing baked-on soil, tea stains and other pot stains, and better at removing rust. While recommending Bar Keepers Friend for a variety of household cleaning uses, author Heather Solos warns that it should not be used to clean silverware, real marble, or pewter.[3]

The logo of Bar Keepers Friend represents the swinging doors of a saloon. According to the President of SerVaas Laboratories, Paul SerVaas, although some people complained during Prohibition, "the name was never changed. It's been Bar Keepers Friend since 1882."

Off label uses of Bar Keepers Friend include removing the brown or yellow stains caused by Avobenzone containing sunscreen.[4]


  1. ^ Schouten, Cory (May 12, 2011). "Bar Keepers Friend parent lands new headquarters". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Bar Keepers Friend Story". Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ Home-Ec 101: Using Bar Keepers Friend, February 18, 2009
  4. ^ "Sunscreen and Laundry Advice". Retrieved Sep 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]