I’ve been a big fan of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for years now. I can’t remember what it was that prompted me to buy a couple of Magic Erasers originally… I think it was an email suggestion. Anyway, they sat under my kitchen sink for a while, until one day my son Kell was looking for something to clean his golf shoes with. I wasn’t really sure what to tell him, until I remembered those Magic Erasers under the sink. I told him to try one, and it really did work…like MAGIC! It made me curious about just how these babies work, and it turns out the answer is actually pretty darn interesting.
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What Are Magic Erasers, And How Do They Work?
Magic Erasers are actually made of melamine foam, which has been used for decades as an insulation and soundproofing material. About 10 years ago, some smarty-pants discovered that melamine foam was also an effective abrasive cleaner! It works because when melamine resin cures into foam, its microstructure becomes almost as hard as glass — causing it to act like a SUPER-fine sandpaper on stains. The abrasive foam loosens up dirt and grime, and the open microstructure of the foam sucks it in and traps it there. Neat, right?
The only drawback I’ve found with regards to these erasers is that much like pencil erasers, they will break down and fall apart as they are used. However, I’ve found that a small piece of Magic Eraser works just as well as a larger piece, so you end up getting a lot more use out of each eraser if you cut it up into smaller pieces.
That one little tip will extend the life of each eraser dramatically, and keep costs low for you. Another way to keep costs low is to buy generic melamine foam erasers in bulk online! We buy them in packs of 20 to keep at our studio. They cost about $0.20 less per eraser than the name brand ones, and work just as well, in our opinion!
Are Magic Erasers Safe?
Now, if you’re worried about the safety of melamine foam, here are a few facts to help put you at ease.
- The ingredients in Magic Eraser have been safely and commonly used for many years in a wide range of household products and are considered non-toxic.
- No ingredients are subject to any health-related labeling laws in North America or in Europe.
- Formaldehyde is not and never has been an ingredient in Magic Eraser. One ingredient in Magic Eraser (formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer) contains the word “formaldehyde” in its chemical name. However, this ingredient is not formaldehyde and poses no health or safety risks.
How To Use Magic Erasers
Now that we’ve covered all the how’s and why’s and what to’s and wherefore’s, let’s get to the good stuff! Here is a list of just some of the “magic” that can be performed with these cleaning erasers.
First off, my very favorite way to use Magic Erasers is to remove scuff marks on my walls and baseboards. Every once in a while I tackle all my baseboards, and every time they end up looking practically brand new!
You can also use magic erasers to…
- Remove marker, pen and crayons off the walls and furniture.
- Remove sticker and label residue.
- Clean those notoriously hard-to-clean fiberglass shower floors.
- Polish your silver jewelry, and remove tarnish from jewelry and silver utensils.
- Clean residue off dry erase marker boards. (You can remove permanent marker from whiteboards, too!)
- Remove scuffs, pen marks, and dirt build up on leather couches, shoes, purses and luggage.
- Clean countertops and other finished surfaces. (Always perform a spot test first, or check with your countertop manufacturer.)
- Remove spray paint from vandals or mischievous 3 year olds!
- Clean keyboards, mouses, and other electronics. Use on everything except the screen!
- Remove scum from your shower and glass door.
- Remove stains on clothing.
- Scrub tile grout.
- Clean stovetops.
- Remove coffee, tea, and kool-aid stains from countertops. Be especially careful when it comes to granite and marble countertops – scrubbing too hard could remove the sealant.
- Clean microfiber couches and chairs.
- Remove scuff marks on shoes, as well as scuff marks on the floor.
- Scrub your plastic and metal patio furniture.
- Clean car interiors, exteriors, wheels, and paint scratches.
- Clean RV’s and boats, inside and out.
- Remove stuck on bugs from cars, house siding, etc. (Always spot test on glossy finishes, and rub very gently.)
- Remove ink and paint stains from hands.