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My wife and I recently received a set of All-Clad cookware. We loving cooking with it so far, but we're somewhat troubled by the recommendations we keep seeing and hearing to use Bar Keeper's Friend to clean them. So far, we've just been using the nylon scrubbing sponges, which work for the most part, but is already some spotting and bits of cooked on stuff that will likely need something stronger to get them off.

My gut tells me that regardless of what is in the cleaner, given that the cookware is made of steel, it will be rinsed off and won't be an issue. My wife is more skeptical. Are there any health concerns with using this stuff on our cookware?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Yes it is completely safe. It is even recommended by the manufacturer.

• To get rid of stuck-on food or discoloration, and stains from using too high of a heat, we recommend cleaning your All-Clad with a product called Bar Keeper's Friend.

Bar Keeper's Friend even has a cookware specific cleanser, Bar Keeper's Friend Cookware.

Bar Keepers Friend Cookware

I'm not sure of the difference between this and their regular cleanser, since they aren't required to list ingredients, but it is marketed specifically for cookware, and priced equivalently.

Other manufacturers recommend this product as well, as noted on the BKF Recommendations page.

You should also check out this question on how to remove brown stains. The accepted answer there is BKF. If you have something particularly terrible that BKF can't handle, you can always use gun cleaner, though I daresay your wife will say no to this. :-)

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Hadn't seen the cookware-specific one. Thanks! –  Daniel Schaffer Dec 20 '10 at 0:07
I use (the regular) BKF whenever my All-Clad gets some build-up. Works great. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Dec 20 '10 at 5:12

I looked at the label on my BKF and it is basically Oxalic Acid. It's a strong acid so you don't want to wash your hands with it, but it's definitely water soluble and used everywhere, including water treatment.

It's definitely safe to use on cookware.

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I'm not sure what kind of answer you expect from the collective wisdom here that will reassure - almost like an appeal to anti-authority...?

The referenced web site specifically mentions cleaning cookware and more than one high-end company (your All-Clad as well as Calphalon) appear to recommend the product.

I have used many things to clean cookware (or eating utensils) that I would not like to ingest. CLR is one common descaler for hard-water among other things, that I really don't want to swallow, but it makes short work of cleaning up the coffee pot.

When I camped in my younger days as a boy scout, we used a three-bowl washing technique where one was hot well-chlorinated water to kill any residual bacteria. Again - I really would not want to ingest the bleach, but it sure made me happy to be eating from known clean dishes!

Don't know if any of this will help your case or not, but good luck in any case.

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Since 1882, Bar Keepers Friend® has been used safely as a household cleanser and is safe and effective for cleaning stainless steel cookware when used as directed. Its active ingredient, oxalic acid, is naturally occurring in such foods as spinach, rhubarb, tea and cocoa products.

-Eric Servaas for Bar Keepers Friend

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