We carry a couple of different kinds of Bar Keepers Friend in our kitchen supply store. There are actually two different types of packaging for the powder cleanser, one labeled cookware and one labeled cleanser. But, to be honest, we haven’t really been able to distinguish the difference between these two products. The ingredient list is the same and so are the results when we tested them out on different surfaces. But we also carry a third type of BKF. It is a liquid foam that comes in a spray bottle. Could this kind of Bar Keepers Friend really work as well as the powder cleanser? Why are there different types? And, like we have heard from some of our customers, does the liquid BKF not clean as well as the powder stuff? We simply had to know. Time to return to the test kitchen!
We snatched up one of our dingiest sheet pan and went to work testing the different types of BKF in different sections. We wanted to see how well each cleanser did after just one minute of setting and one minute of scrubbing. That would surely tell us which product has the edge when it comes to cutting those tough, baked-on stains.
So first, we sectioned off the sheet pan with some tape so we could see the delineation marks between each section. Then we gathered our cleaning supplies, assembled at the utility sink, and dawned our rubber gloves.
BKF Powder Cleanser
For the powdered Bar Keepers Friend, we wetted one end of the sheet pan, poured out some powder, let it sit for one minute, and then went to work scrubbing for another full minute. We are not new to using the BKF powder and it was working just as expected, scrubbing off the the grease and burnt-on pieces of food with ease. After the full minute of scrubbing we rinsed the cleanser off.
BKF Spray Foam Cleanser
Once we were done with the powder cleanser we pulled up the piece of tape and repositioned it so we could scrub the middle section of the sheet pan. We sprayed the BKF liquid right onto the middle of the sheet pan and let it sit for about a minute. Then again, we went to work scrubbing with the walnut sponge. Again, and a bit to our surprise, the cleanser seemed to be working. After about one minute of non-stop scrubbing we stopped and rinsed off the sheet pan and patted it dry.
The first section of the pan was cleaned with the powder cleanser, the middle section was cleaned with the spray liquid, and the third section wasn’t cleaned at all. Upon fist glance it looks like the first section is the cleanest. But when we tilted the pan around in the light we saw that the cleanser was much more abrasive and left some scratches on the surface of the pan. The spray cleanser in the middle section still did a great job removing the baked on grease, but it did not seem to scratch the surface of the pan.
Both of these cleansers from Bar Keepers Friend actually did a great job. They cut grease, beat grime, and cleaned up the sheet pan very well. Neither one made the pan look good as new. But there was definitely some much needed improvement. Based on what we found, we still highly recommend the BKF powder cleanser. And as long as you follow the directions about wetting the surface, letting it sit, and then cleaning with the soft side of a sponge or a cloth. And if you are looking for a gentler cleanser that will still clean without the abrasive elements of the powder, then the liquid spray is a great alternative.