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bar keeper's friend on le creuset exterior

yea or ney?

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    1. Yes, I have used it before on my le crueset, and my calphalon, no problem at all.

      1. I vote nay! Using it too aggressively will dull the shine and scratch the enamel. Try a Magic Eraser instead used lightly.

        7 Replies
        1. re: blondelle

          blondelle, what about bon ami for something gentler if a cleanser is needed?

          1. re: grnidkjun


            But that is my concern, Bar Keeper's Friend works by being acidic and a very mild abrasive. Bon Ami, on the other hand, is just an mild abrasive. It does not depends on chemical reaction to clean. So I would actually think Bar Keeper's Friend is a bit more gentle for Le Creuset because you can let the acidic Bar Keeper's Friend loosen up the built grease and remove it, whereas Bon Ami is just pure abrasive. Bar Keeper's Friend is not better than Bon Ami in all situations. Bon Ami is much better for silverware, because Bar Keeper's Friend is acidic.

            To white light,

            What are you trying to clean? I think Bar Keeper's Friend is fine for any enameled cast iron cookware. That being said, there are certain stains which can be more effectively removed by using the basic route: e.g.: baking soda.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              My 2 vote for baking soda. Most of the times, It works me well. I rarely use Bar Keepers for LC but use it more for stainless steel.

              1. re: hobbybaker


                Same here. For removing baked on grease, baking soda is better for breaking down grease. In fact, I used baking soda to many greased area like the stovetop area, the exhaust fan area, baking sheets, even stainless steel utensils. Like you, I use Bar Keeper's Friend for stainless steel cookware, but that is because I were trying to remove water marks andoverheated marks. Different cleaning solutions for different things.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Barkeeeper's Friend is very harsh- like for cleaning up a bar after all the drunkards leave, I'd use Bon Ami, a Magic eraser, or Bon Ami on a Magic Eraser. Le Creuset is fabulous, tough stuff, but why abuse it?

                  1. re: EWSflash


                    It really depends the definition of harsh. Chemically speaking, Bar Keeper's Friend is harsher when compared to Bon Ami, but mild compare to Comet and Ajax. BKF uses oxalic acid, whereas Comet and Ajax use bleaching action. As such, BKF is considered mild in the wilder range of products we have. As stated before, they work on different principle and the definition of "harsh" is situation-dependent.

                    For cleaning, we want to find a solution which is aggressive against the stain, but gentle on the material. If the original post is interested in removing grease, then baking soda is great because baking soda is aggressive against grease, but gentle to the material.

                    Bon Ami is chemically more gentle than Bar Keeper's Friend, but Bon Ami works as an abrasive, so physically Bon Ami can be harsher. For example, stainless steel cookware can develop an overheated color. In this specific case, Bar Keeper's Friend is the mild cleaning solution, while Bon Ami is the harsh solution.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      BKF - Oxalic Acid with pH 1.3 (about as harsh as the acid coming from your stomach)

                      Bon Ami - five ingredients with a few being gentle abrasives. It also includes sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) which in chemistry is considered amphoteric. It reacts with both acids and bases.

                      I can't seem to find the ingredient list for LC cleaning agent, but between the above two, I'd go for Bon Ami. See my post on my experience using BKF.

        2. Le Creuset makes its own cleanser for enameled cast iron called "Le Creuset Pots & Pans". IME, it works great and leaves the enamel surface smooth and shiny.

          1. How about fine light scratches in the exterior enamel - they show up as white against the darker colors. Any suggestions for how to camouflage them? They are not very deep, but are from the top of the lid being scratched by the edge of the pot while still in the box (these are from the outlet).

            1. For baked on black polymerized fat try an oven cleaner like Easy-Off Heavy Duty, which is essentially foaming lye in a spray can. You can also use lye, if you can obtain it easily in your location (its use in meth labs has led to restrictions on its sale in many places). Spray, let it sit for about 20 minutes, and that black stuff that's been building up for 25 years will come right off with a damp sponge.

              Abrasives can dull the enamel and make it progressively more difficult to clean, like using cleanser in a porcelain bathtub.

              2 Replies
              1. re: David A. Goldfarb


                No doubt that Easy-Off is one of the most aggressive solution, but isn't it a bit too dramatic to use Easy-Off. It is like using machine gun against ants.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  It's not as dramatic as it sounds. It won't hurt enamel, and it takes off the stuff that's really been baked on for ages and doesn't come off easily. It's not necessary for daily use, but maybe once or twice a year. I wouldn't use any kind of cleanser on enamel. Green Scotch Brite pads, which have also been mentioned are also highly abrasive--more so than steel wool. Blue Scotch Brite pads are safe.

              2. My vote is "nay". I would stick with a green Scotch-Brite scrubber or nylon brush.

                1. BTW, the BKF website specifically says NOT to use on anodized aluminum, so careful with Calphalon!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: MikeB3542


                    Except that Calphalon lists Bar Keeper's Friend as THE recommended cleaner for its cookware, including its Pro Series Hard Anodized and One Infused Hard Anodized series. In fact, that is what leads me to buy my first Bar Keeper's Friend.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics


                      Bar Keepers Friend may be used on aluminum, but with certain reservations. Bar Keepers Friend should not be used on anodized aluminum. Anodized aluminum is often colored or has a decorative finish. We realize Calphalon recommends Bar Keepers Friend for cleaning their anondized aluminum cookware, however, we have not tested Bar Keepers Friend for this purpose. However, Bar Keepers Friend can be used on aluminum doors, windows, pans, etc., which is usually not anodized. Just remember, if the aluminum is colored, DO NOT use Bar Keepers Friend. Also, do not use alkalis (ex. ammonia, lye, washing soda.) on aluminum."

                      So, this basically means that you are on your own. Just a (somewhat cynical) guess: the nice folks at Caphalon get a few bucks when they put the packets of Barkeepers Friend in the box(i.e. advertise) . It probably is way safer to scrub with BKF than using Comet or putting in an automatic dishwasher. Maybe if Calphalon figures if you are going to scour away, they would prefer to steer you to the product least like to ruin the finish.

                      1. re: MikeB3542


                        I know. I read both websites. Bar Keeper's Friend said no to anodized aluminum because, let's face it, it may/will remove some of the anodized (oxidized aluminum). It is ok for pure aluminum because it just renew the surface. As for Calphalon, it is very possible that the Calphalon hard anodized is a very thick lay. In that case, it will take forever to completely remove the andoized surface. It is possible that Calphalon get a small kick back from Bar Keeper's Friend, but I don't think they will outright adverterise a cleaner which will destroy their cookware, which actually will make Calphalon looks bad.

                  2. Automatic Dishwasher powder. It scrubs and gets all sorts of baked on stuff off with no scratches. Plus it could save you money because you may already have some.

                    1. Bar Keeper's Friend is oxalic acid which has pH of 1.3. Levels 0 to 1 is considered highly acidic. Level 0 is battery acid, level 1 is hydrochloric acid (acid in lining of stomach). The higher the level, the less acidic and more alkaline with 7 being neutral pH.

                      I used BKF once on the LC pot and yes it worked beautifully. However, it will eat through it over time (think of it like your teeth). Ignoring my years of chemistry classes, I used BKF on a cheaper enamel-lined pan and completely ruined it just from one clean. I finally looked at the ingredient.

                      I have searched the LC site and nowhere does it say to use BKF. Their cleaner has a mildly acidic cleaner in it.

                      1. I have an 8 qt oval Le Creuset that I've been using BKF on for at least five years. No problem at all.

                        1. That's great, but I wonder what the long-term effects are.