The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is truly magical: The foamy sponge introduced by Procter & Gamble in 2003 can make just about any stain disappear. But exactly how many Magic Eraser uses are there for the home? And why the heck do they work so well, anyway? Read on for everything you ever wanted to know about this nifty cleaning tool.
According to Morgan Brashear, who heads up consumer insights & products research at P&G, the key ingredient in the Magic Eraser (and similar products such as the Easy Erasing Pad) is melamine foam. Although this substance might feel soft in your hand, at the microscopic level, melamine consists of tiny fibers that are almost as hard as glass. Because of their small size, strands of melamine can easily fit into the tiny grooves and pits of just about any surface you want to scour, removing gunk that shouldn't be there. And because the filaments are so small, they won't mess with the actual surface you're trying to clean.
In essence, the Magic Eraser works like extremely fine sandpaper—tough on stains, but gentle on what's underneath.
There are a gazillion dirty things the Magic Eraser can clean. Here are some of them:
The Magic Eraser isn’t good for everything. The product’s abrasive fibers can scratch or damage certain surfaces, including the following:
When in doubt, “as with any cleaning product, we recommend testing a small area before using on an entire surface,” Brashear says.
Alas, unlike a sponge, an eraser wears out quickly, eventually shredding into little white bits. Still, using several erasers to clean something is less costly and aggravating than having to renovate or replace the item.
Compare the cost of a box of erasers ($12 for a box of 10) with these common home improvements that the sponges can easily solve:
Here's another smart tip: To get more mileage from one pad, cut it into several pads and use each minipad for small jobs like cleaning shoes.
So, in the end, the magic in the Magic Eraser really has to do with all the time, money, and (let's be frank) agony it'll save you in your quest to make your home a better place!
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