How to Make Your Scratched Dishes Look Like New Again!

BEFORE                                                                              AFTER

After nearly a quarter century of use…this set of Mikasa French Countryside dishes that I got for my wedding have served me well! Sure they have a fair amount of grey scratches from metal utensil use…but for the most part they have worn like IRON! I figured that putting up with the scratch marks was just the price I paid for their years of loyal service.

Little did I know there is a SIMPLE FIX for this problem and it has been sitting on the shelves of my grocery store since 1882!!! Well, not MY grocery store, since it’s only about 15 years old…but SOME grocery/general store…SOMEWHERE!



Apparently over 130 years ago, back in Indianapolis, some chemist guy was making some rhubarb soup (or something like that) and noticed how shiny his pans were when he was done. Being an entrepreneurial spirit…he took the active ingredient in rhubarb and formulated a cleaner that he then sold to local taverns.

Thus the name…Bar Keeper’s Friend.

Pretty amazing when you think about it. Something created that long ago is STILL the BEST option for a accomplishing a number of household tasks!

Including, removing scratches (that I thought were permanent) off dishes with relative ease!

Even the backsides of the dishes look great now!

OK, I’ve chatted quite a bit. Can you tell I’m trying to use up some space in this post with WORDS and BIG PICTURES because this is such a simple fix it doesn’t take long OR take up much room in today’s post?

But that doesn’t change the “WOW Factor” of this product to me. 

So if your “well-loved” dishes are suffering from a similar condition…give Barkeeper’s Friend a try. It’s sold in most grocery stores along side the Ajax and Comet. You can also go to the Barkeeper’s Friend website to see even MORE uses. Gotta love multi-tasking cleaners! :-)

And old, OLD cleaning “friend” is today’s…..


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  1. Betsy says

    I did this to some of my dishes and it worked beautifully, but found the grey marks came back after a few washings :( Hopefully your dishes have better results. But it's good to know I can spruce up my dishes before my mother-in-law comes for a visit!!

  2. Anonymous says

    I have that exact same set of dishes, AND I have BKF under my kitchen sink… BUT I had no idea about this handy trick! Thank you so much! I'm going to go try it right this minute!!!

  3. says

    Love this! I have the same French Countryside china. It's been awesome, but many are scratched, like yours. I thought I needed new dishes. Who would have known? Thanks!

  4. Lilybean says

    I break a lot of dishes, so I get mine all second hand. I get all white but otherwise any old pattern that's handy in the thrift store that day. Sort of a shabby chic thing.

    But they all come with scratches like this, and like you, I thought they were permanent! Trying this soon.

  5. Anonymous says

    I have been uing Bar Keepers Friend for several years now. I use it to remove the marks from my porcelain sinks as well as to shine my stainless cookware. Works like a miracle. Love this stuff!

  6. Kim says

    I've been using Bar Keepers Friend for over 20 years, you can use it on almost anything. One of my favorite use's is getting koolaid stains off my counter that the grandbabies leave behind & cleaning my chrome rims, LOL, I know, who'd a thought…

  7. Anonymous says

    I bought the BKF this weekend, and after MUCH scrubbing on a few of my plates they were better, but I could still see the marks and then I had a big mess in my sink. I decided not enough change in the dishes to do all 32 of them. I will buy new dishes and leave these at the thirft store for someone who doesn't mind doing the scrubbing or living with scratched dishes.

  8. Jill Nystul says

    Candy…I forgot to mention that it works great on your sink too. :-)

    I'm not sure about whether this is available in Canada. I will look into that.

    Leesa….Barkeeper’s Friend DOES work on Fiestaware. It's made from a non-bleach powder cleanser.

  9. Anna says

    My Grandfather always swore by this stuff for dishes and such, especially his copper bottom pans. If there was one thing he took pride in it was his Revereware copper bottom pots and pans. Anywhoo…. We found about 10 cans of it and a shoebox full of nylon scrubbie pads in his house, when we cleaned it out after he passed away. I decided to give it a try one day, after getting tired of the greenish, blackish, redish, brownish tarnished coloring on the copper. HOLY CLEAN, SHINY COPPER this stuff works!! Those pots and pans shone like brand new pennies! All it took was a little of the powder, a nylon scrubbie pad, and some elbow grease! I now see why he swore by it!

  10. Dana says

    Nice! The active ingredient in Rhubarb is oxalic acid. The same stuff is also found in spinach. It’s also the stuff that caused kidney stones if you don’t flush it out with a lot of water. That’s according to my urologist who I have seen on more occasions than I would like. =/ I’ll have to try this on my mom’s plates. She was going to get rid of them!!

  11. kim says

    good grief! I have those same dishes, same scratches (along with some brownish marks that look like rust to me), and Bar Keepers Friend sitting under my sink. I pull out the BKF for everything and tout it’s magic to everyone but never thought to try it on my dishes. I’m off to try this right now!

  12. kim says

    Okay, I had to drop everything to come find this post and comment. I had seen this post back when you first posted and I have the same dishes and the same grey scratches but never bothered to try it out because for some reason I didn’t really believe that it would work. But just now I was cleaning out my crock pot with BKF and decided to give it a whirl on a couple of breakfast bowls that were sitting out. WOW! A few seconds of scrubbing and the scratches are gone! G…O…N…E!!! Never again will I doubt you Jilly. (Although I must say I’ve tried the BS/HydoPeroxide on my cookie sheets a few times with very little improvement) But hey, I can hardly wait to get to work on the rest of my French Countryside later today!

  13. Jessie says

    I’m in Australia, I would love to know an Australian product which would do the same thing or even if it’s sold in Australia.

    If anyone knows please get in touch. I have some dishes that could really use some love!


  14. Ruth Chidley says

    I have similar dishes made by Pfaitzgraff. I have 24 place settings and when they started getting the black marks, I tried just about everything in my kitchen cupboards to get them clean. I knew I didn’t want to scratch them because I figured it would pit the surface and make the black marks come back quicker and possible would never be able to get them clean again. I started off with baking soda, goof-off, all the way to a soft cleanser…no luck. One day when I was polishing some if my silver, a lightbulb went off over my head…lol. Huumm! Black marks made by silverware/stainless steel…silver polish…do you think? Sure enough, the black marks wiped off with very little effort. The kind of silver polish/paste I used is the kind that comes in a small round container with a soft sponge. I don’t know how the liquid kind would do. Personally I’d be a little afraid to try it…not as brave as you are Jillee : ) I’m going to get some Bar Keeper’s Friend next time I shop, that way I’ll have my black mark removal arsenal completely loaded! Thank you for ALL your great tips. Sure has saved us a ton of time and money!

  15. Kay says

    I use BKF and a Dobie pad to clean toilets that have a ring left by our water supply. Turn off the water behind the toilet then flush until the water level in the bowl is low, then scrub the ring. It works quite well.

  16. says

    Once again, you have come to my rescue and saved the day! Just “inherited” 10 dishes from Charlie Trotter’s restaurant. Totally scratched and nasty. I can’t believe that the solution to my dilemma could be as easy as BKF! Jillee, I am not sure what I have done without you and I am sure as heck glad that I found your site! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  17. j says

    Great info on the Barkeepers cleaning and polish. I too have the same type of dishes as you and found exactly the same problem. So now my French Country Mikasa dishes are good as new. Thanks Jo

  18. Kristin says

    For those of you who care, the metal marks can also be removed by making a paste out of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, both of which most people have at home. They are not actually scratches, just metal transfer. The baking soda acts as an abrasive and the hydrogen peroxide helps to lift the metal.

  19. Brianna says

    This is a good tip. However, my Mikasa French Countryside (which has brought me great joy for many years) crackles under the top clear layer. Some pieces do it much worse than others. At first i was very heartsick about it, but now I love the look of it. My question is is are the crackled pieces safe to use ?

  20. Scotti says

    I wanted this to work. I really did. And there was considerable improvement (but only after I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed). However, I can still see marks on the dishes. No miracles here!

  21. says

    I too have found that BKF DOES do wonders, did you know that it also comes in a liquid now like Soft Scrub? But I have to say that the liquid to me anyway does not compare to the powder…also do any of you remember Zud? I loved Zud but of course it is now in the “cleaner cemetery” at least here where I live it cannot be found, with the exception of Ebay of course.

  22. Paradise says

    Thank you! I bought the cutest dishes at a thrift store but they had the gray scratches. I’m off to the store to get me some Bar Keeper’s friend! Can’t wait to serve dinner on them!

  23. says

    This may be a 2 year old post but I’m glad I found it! I used to have that French Country set, but gave it away when it got all grey and marked! If I had known! I now have an Oneida dishware set and I will try this product!


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