Thrift Store “Trash To Treasure”…
With A Little Help From My {Bar Keepers} Friend!

The other day I was browsing in the kitchen section of our local thrift store. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular…but I’m ALWAYS on the lookout for unique pieces that I never knew I always wanted! ;-)

On the floor that day were boxes of small, white bowls that were labeled .25 cents each! These were nice, sturdy, fiestaware-type bowls and looked like they would be perfect for serving desserts. Since I currently didn’t have ANY bowls like that…and these seemed to look like they would go nicely with my current set of dishes (Mikasa French Countryside) I thought I might pick up a dozen or so. (Hard to beat .25 cents each!)

But upon closer examination, I noticed they all suffered from “black mark syndrome”. You  may remember I did a post about this problem on my own white dinner plates back in March of this year.

In their CURRENT condition…they weren’t really even worth the .25 cents they were asking for them.  BUT, I had a secret weapon that I knew would get rid of black mark syndrome AND make these dishes look like new!


They call this stuff Bar Keepers Friend, but I have renamed it “Girls Best Friend” due to all the dishes it has helped me “save”! :-)


I already had a container of BKF from the last time I used it on my everyday Mikasa dinner plates. Pretty nice transformation huh?


So I was all set to make these white bowls (and a few pretty Mikasa plates I found for $1.00 each) into “stars” again!

<Insert a weeks worth of procrastination here!>


 I finally buckled down with “my friend” and a scrubber about a week after I purchased the dishes.

I don’t know why I procrastinated for so long…it’s really not hard. It’s just that there were SO many of them…it took a chunk of time to finish. But once I DID….well, look for yourselves! 

Nice huh??  Definitely a treasure to me now. Love the design of the plates now that they are spiffed up…

and I know I will get LOTS of good use out of the bowls! They are a very versatile size and design.

I could just look at these all day long! :-)

Now it’s YOUR turn! Go find some “trash” to turn into “treasure”!


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    • Laura Lajoie says

      Hi Jillee,

      Great post as usual. Just want to add this tip for Corelle dishes. Whenever mine start to look cruddy, I soak them in a sinkful of dish soap and a little bleach. They come out just like new. Laura

  1. says

    I have a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of old Fiesta dinnerware that used to be my grandmothers. Anyway some of the pieces have marks on them like the ones in your pictures and I thought they were ruined. I’m going to try this on one of them and see how it comes out. BTW, I have them in an old hutch that we got for free and repainted white. Looks great with the fiesta. Couldn’t get all my pieces in it and have some still in the attic though.

  2. says

    I read about Bar Keeper’s Friend in the comment section of one of your other blogs. It is great for metal stains on stoneware and Corelle, but I tried it on some ink which transferred to an old plastic plate and it failed. I will be keeping it around, though, ’cause my ceramic plates regularly get marked by metal.

  3. Renee says

    Jillee- do you have any tips – I have a stoneware dinnerware set that the barkeepers friend did not even improve the smallest of scratches? I love BKF!! If anyone has well water, it works wonders on rust rings in the tub, toilets, sinks, etc.

  4. says

    Omgosh…the ladies at work were just touting the benefits of Bar Keeper’s Friend and I’ve never used it. My farmhouse sink gets little scuff marks in it all the time. Comet does not remove them well enough. I think Bar Keeper’s Friend is going on my shopping list this week. Thanks for sharing! Love your site, BTW. :)

  5. Susan says

    Check your local dollar store too for it…not the chains, but we have an independent one here in town where I find stuff that the chains don’t carry….like the BKF. They also carry the LANails…for the nail art….that’s where a lot of the local nail artists go since it is a DOLLAR instead of $2-3 at other places like Walmart or Target.

  6. Karen says

    I am soooo thrilled to read this!! I have the exact same dishes (French Countryside) with the same scratch marks! I never would have dreamed of trying Barkeeper’s Friend (which I use all the time on my pots and pans) for fear of it scratching my dishes! I can’t wait to go do some scrubbing!! I thought I was destined to have to buy new dishes before too long!!!!! You have made my day, Jillee!!!! THANKS!!

  7. says

    The other day, I was reorganizing my drawers and found some Christmas photo cards from last year. I love these cards because it showcases my friends and their families as they grow over the years. The whole family is dressed up and looking their best.

  8. julie says

    This is exciting and I use Comet which is the same as bar keepers friend. Yes, it definitely does make a difference. I have used bar keepers friend many times. Thanks for pointing this out. Keep up the good work!

  9. says

    I have some Princess House tumblers that are all crazed & cloudy from being put into the dishwasher (I am assuming). I have tried soaking in vinegar and scrubbing with baking soda and nothing has changed. Do you think the Barkeepers Friend my help with that?

  10. says

    Thanks for the tip. I looked for years for a set of plain white dishes that didn’t cost more that I wanted to pay. Finally found them at Wal*Mart about ten years ago, but they have suffered from black mark syndrome; I feared I would need to go shopping again. Well, I do need to go shopping but for BKF, not dishes.

  11. says

    Great transformation!

    I’ve never heard of this stuff (or ever seen it). We’ve always used Corning Ware cleanser or Turtle Wax polishing compound, which are probably both similar to this.

    Christine, I don’t know about w/ BKF, but I assume it’s like with the polishing compound. The metal marks (caused by silverware) are actually being removed from the dishes, so shouldn’t return simply by being run through the dishwasher.

  12. says

    I experimented with Bar Keeper’s Friend on just one of my scratched white plates, and I didn’t see much change. Maybe I need more elbow grease. When I mentioned the scratched plates to one of my husband’s friends, he said, “Why don’t you try rubbing compound (used on paint on cars)?” I haven’t tried that yet, but I think I’m going to have a “work day” soon! Your beautiful plates and bowls inspire me to get busy scrubbing!

  13. Lynn Marie says

    Do you think this would work on my brown plates? I bought 2 toned brown plates from Bed Bath and Beyond and they are getting scratches, the black marks on them from the silverware, and was just wondering if this would work on non-white plates?

  14. Billie says

    I’ve been looking for some more cheap Corelle and I finally found some yesterday at a yard sale. They are all mismatched but I don’t really care. I’ll have to pick up some BKF to spiff them up. I had to use the peanut butter trick to get the sticker residue off. While I was doing that DH walked through the kitchen and commented that he hopes I don’t expect him to use someone else’s used plates. Then he proceeded to compare it to wearing someone else’s used underware. How hilarious is that? It does explain though why he doesn’t use a few other Corelle plates I found a few years ago and why he doesn’t like to go out to restaurants to eat. Just thought I would share my funny.
    P.S. Next time he makes a comment like that he can pull out his wallet and buy me new I guess. :)

  15. says

    I have been using BKF for about a year now on the vintage Corelle plates that I collect. It works GREAT!! We have a thrift store near my house that sells everything BY THE POUND. Yes, you read that right…BY THE POUND. You rummage through boxes and crates of items they put out and then weigh your cart. (They have the weight of each cart written on the side of the cart so they subtract that off when they weigh it.) Then it’s 55 cents a pound! I have gotten a whole cupboard shelf full of Corelle over the last year and BKF makes it a lot easier to spiff it back up to almost like new!

  16. Darn says

    Had to jump up and try this on one of my worst plates. Darn it worked. I had just starting talking with DH about replacing my 25 year old Corelle dinnerware. Maybe I shouldn’t do another one.

  17. Lindsay says

    Can BKF work on dinnerware that has a pattern on it? I have Mikasa Garden Harvest dinnerware and the cream center has similar black marks to what you were showing but it has a pattern around the edge. Would it scratch off the pattern or is it safe enough not to? Thanks!!! :)

  18. Earnestine says

    I have used BKF for years! It is the BEST for cleaning glass top stoves! You can buy it at Kroger and Walmart. Once I thought Walmart had discontinued it and I complained. It is back on the shelf! Sometimes there are actually discount coupons for this….wish I could find one now because I’m almost out!

  19. michele says

    This is also the best product in the world for enamel sinks and tubs. It leaves everything looking brand new.
    Gloves are a good idea, as it can dry out your hands! Thanks for sharing a new use for my favorite cleaning product.

  20. Wendy Slaunwhite says

    Where can you get this miracle dish cleaner???
    I have never heard of “The bar Keepers Friend”

    One more thing…I have a complaint!!
    Why are your contests never open to Canadians?
    I bet you have a large majority of fans from your friends across the boarder.
    I do know I am one of your biggest fans and I would love to enter your contest.
    But even though I cannot enter, I never miss your “One Good Thing” for
    the day!! Keep them coming!!!

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