Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bar Keeper's Friend and Car Wax

So, what exactly do Bar Keeper's Friend and Car Wax have in common, you may be asking? I'm not sure that they do have anything in common, actually. But I used them both and wanted to tell you about them. :0) Hmmmm...where to start?

OK. You know that I am on a journey to greener cleaning and have pretty much rid our home of all chemicals. I feel that if there is a safer way to get something done, then that's how I want to do it. This journey started because of my son's health. We are reaping the rewards of these changes. However, I'm not completely opposed to doing something in a non-"green" way - but only as a last resort. This brings me to today's post.

It all started with this (once) gorgeous Paul Revere tea kettle that I bought at the thrift store for $1.00. I tried to not be in the picture, but, everywhere I went...there I was. After cleaning it up and getting all of the lime scale out of the inside with my trusty friend, vinegar, it has served me well. Until I did something stupid, that is. I leave it sitting on the back of the stove because I really don't have anywhere else to put it. One day while meaning to turn the front burner on, I turned the back burner on instead. I dry boiled that tea kettle and it ended up looking like this. I googled to see what would clean it up (after trying everything else I could think of) and basically found that if anything would do the trick it would be Bar Keeper's Friend. That didn't work. Evidently, water in a tea kettle takes the blah, blah, blah from the heat and spares the metal. Since there was no water in the kettle the heat ruined it. Bummer. I really liked that tea kettle. It still works, but it's not pretty anymore. :0(

I still had a whoppin', huge container of Bar Keeper's Friend, though. It isn't totally green but it doesn't have phosphates in it, at least. I tried on my sink. It's porcelain and gets all these really ugly scratches in it.


I read the back of the container. It can be used on tons of materials, even plastic.

We have a 2000 Ford Taurus that MW drives. The headlights started getting a thick haze on them. We have tried tons of junk to get this off. Nothing worked. It's so bad that he has to constantly drive with his brights on just to see at night. No one flashes their lights at him to let him know he's hurting their eyes, either. It's awful. We thought we were going to have to replace them. This happened to my MIL's lights a few years ago and it cost her a few hundred bucks to replace her headlights. She told us the other day that she had just seen a commercial for something that was supposed to take every last bit of that nasty old film off of headlights. But...when I saw that Bar Keeper's Friend could be used on plastic, I figured "Why not?" They're already ruined. I told MW what I was planning and he immediately went out to the car with Bar Keeper's Friend, a sponge and a bucket of water. He came in a few minutes later and said, "Come look." It took every last speck of film off those headlights. We can now even see the paint that's peeling off of the light bulbs. I bet that stuff my MIL saw on TV cost more than $1.79. A lot more. MW took the car for a spin last night after dark to check them out. They now work beautifully! He can actually see when he drives it! Whoo Hoo!

Lastly is my kitchen faucet. We have really hard water. I am constantly fighting a battle to keep it free from mineral deposits which make it look like this.

And this.

I usually soak some paper towels in vinegar and wrap around the faucet to break down the minerals and clean it up. This works great but it takes a bit for the vinegar to break it down. Since I already had the Bar Keeper's Friend out I cleaned my faucet up with that. It did a good job, too. What I really want is a way to keep the mineral deposits off the faucet. Enter car wax.

I had read in one of Jerry Baker's books that if you polish your faucet with car wax it will create a barrier that protects it from hard water stains. MW gave me what he had in the garage. I applied it with a cloth and let it dry to a haze. This only took about a minute.

Then I buffed the wax off with the other end of the cloth.


When I was done I sprayed a little water on it to check it out. It beaded up and dried right up, which is a good sign. I'll have to give this one a little time to see how well it does in the long run. I suspect that it's like a car where you have to reapply the wax every so often. I can live with that, if it works. I'll keep you updated.

OK, folks. That's all I've got. Thanks for coming by! Hope some of this you'll be able to find useful in your own house one day. Not that I'm wishing mineral deposits or foggy headlights on you or anything...but, hey, life happens! :0)

Have a wonderful Sunday!


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