When not to use a ‘magic eraser’

Just like the name implies, Magic Erasers are truly incredible for cleaning. They can scrub off that stubborn ring that’s been on your bathtub for ages, make plastic outdoor furniture look like new again, or remove scuff marks from your favorite pair of sneakers. But, there are times when your Magic Eraser might work a little bit too well, and your favorite scrubbing go-to could end up ruining the item you were trying to clean. 

Even though Magic Erasers look a bit like an ordinary sponge, they are most definitely not a sponge. They are a deceptively abrasive and effective cleanser. To ensure you don’t end up a victim of Magic Eraser regret, you need to know when you can—and can’t—use Magic Eraser for cleaning. 

What makes Magic Eraser so good for cleaning?

Now that we know Magic Eraser is not a sponge, what is it? It’s actually blocks of melamine foam, comprised of microscopic air bubbles encased by threads of hardened melamine resin—and it’s every bit as tough as it sounds. Those hardened melamine resin threads are sharp when broken—similar to shards of glass.  

When you rub Magic Eraser across a surface, the blend of melamine resin and those microscopic air bubbles work together to clean, unlike any other product. The resin is the scraper, the air bubbles are the absorber, and if anything survives that powerful one/two punch, a bit more pressure will break the melamine down into even more tiny abrasive particles. It’s like a hand-sanding machine with a built-in vacuum function. 

Two stainless-steel pots on stoveWhen to use Magic Eraser and when you shouldn’t

If you’re at all unsure if you should use Magic Eraser on a specific surface, do a quick ‘patch’ test before committing to the cleaning project. Overall, it’s fabulous at cleaning so many different types of messes around your home, especially in your kitchen and bathroom. Try not to use it on high-gloss surfaces, as the abrasiveness could permanently dull the luster of the finish. 

Magic Erasers don’t magically erase everything—here’s where not to use them:

  • Shiny painted, enameled, sealed, or varnished surfaces.
  • Your car 
  • Natural stone surfaces, including granite and marble
  • Non-stick pots and pans
  • Stainless steel

Wet. Squeeze. Erase: Magic Eraser for cleaning

Ordinary dirt, grime, and sticky messes are no match for Magic Eraser. With a simple wipe across the surface, most stains are history. For tougher stains, a bit of extra elbow grease should do the trick.

Our dirty dozen list of ordinary cleaning chores Magic Eraser will ace:

  1. Remove scuff marks, crayon, pen, and marker stains from walls and baseboards.
  2. Eliminate baked-on grease and food splatters from oven doors.
  3. Whiten greying grout and bring back your tile’s shine.
  4. Remove layers of soap scum from shower doors.
  5. Make a greasy stovetop shine again.
  6. Scrubs off sticky label residue from wine bottles and glass jars.
  7. Remove burnt-on grime from glass baking dishes.
  8. Eliminate years of build-up from curling irons and flat irons.
  9. Remove rust rings in your tub or bathroom sink.
  10. Wipe away stuck-on splatters inside your microwave.
  11. Make bathroom faucets and handles sparkle like new.
  12. Remove wine or juice stains from Formica counters.

While there is no magic way to avoid having to clean your home, Magic Eraser is the next best thing. In an unassuming sponge-like disguise, this perfect blend of ultra-strong abrasives gets things incredibly clean—faster, better, and easier than you ever thought possible. 

Editors' Recommendations