I Used Bar Keepers Friend to Clean My Enamel Tub — And You Have to See the After Photos

published Dec 6, 2022
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Someone holding container of Bar Keepers Friend.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

A couple of months ago, I noticed that the bottom of our vintage white porcelain tub was looking darker for some reason. There are definitely some areas where the enamel is getting worn away with age, but I was surprised to see so much more of the tub was getting worn down too. Then I bent down and looked closer: I could see a scratch mark where the surface underneath was actually whiter. I scratched at the area again and realized with a shudder of horror and a sigh of relief. My tub didn’t need to be re-enameled — it needed to be scrubbed (badly!).

Credit: Danielle Centoni

Either my kids (who have been on bathroom cleaning duty for as long as they’ve been old enough to don rubber gloves) had been going light on the elbow grease, or the foaming bathroom cleaner was all foam and no clean. Clearly the tub would need a serious scouring.

I got out a stiff scrub brush and the usual foaming cleaner, but the grime just got more scratch marks; it wasn’t really going away. So, I scrounged through the depths of my cleaning cabinet looking for something tougher.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

I found a bottle of Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser for cleaning stainless steel pots and pans. It seemed like it might have the gumption I needed but be gentle enough for enamel. I tried it on the tub and voilà! It powered through the dingy grime with ease. 

When I was done, my tub was gleaming white and I hadn’t even broken a sweat. Truly it was a totally different color (which, admittedly, is a little gross to think about).

Credit: Danielle Centoni

Luckily, I had the foresight to take before-and-after pics to show my kids what the tub is supposed to look like when it’s actually clean. But as long as I don’t run out of BKF soft cleanser, I shouldn’t have to worry about having a dingy tub again. 

Buy: Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser, $9.99 (originally $13.99)