Mr. Clean Magic Eraser – is it good magic?

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser – is it good magic? post image

Many people think the Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser® is wonderful for every cleaning job imaginable. Just browse the forums and tip sites, and you’ll see it as a recommendation for cleaning everything. It’s not new, it’s been around for years, but TipBusters is taking a look at it because everyone says it’s magic, incredible. You say magic, I say modern materials manufacturing, with a little chemistry thrown in (tomato, tomahto)

So is it good on everything? Should we throw out our other cleaners?

The answer is no.

It works very well on hard surfaces (Mr. Clean® claims that it is so powerful that each swipe removes more grime than the leading bleach all-purpose spray cleaner); however, on surfaces that can be easily scratched, or are painted or polished, you can do some damage.

Why is that?

Proctor & Gamble’s Magic Eraser® is made of a melamine resin foam called Basotect® (manufactured by BASF). On curing, the melamine resin becomes almost as hard as glass, which allows it to act like extremely fine sandpaper as the foam eraser rubs the particles of dirt from the surface. Basotect® remains soft and supple due to the structure of the foam created by adding water. When water is added, the very fine airy structure (that you can only see under a microscope) creates a surface that makes the dirt stick to it.

So it works 2 ways:

1. The foam eraser acts like extremely fine sandpaper and rubs the dirt from the surface.
2. The nature of the foam makes the dirt stick to it.

And, like a pencil eraser, the foam gets used up as it’s used.

Here’s why you should be careful.

Anything that works like sandpaper will not only rub the dirt from the surface, but with a soft surface that can be scratched, it will also damage the surface. I tested the Magic Eraser® on walls painted with eggshell latex paint. Yes, it took the dirt away. It also took the sheen from the paint surface. It also took some of the colour from the paint surface. High gloss latex paint? It removes the gloss. Varnished surfaces? Don’t even think about using it.

Here’s our advice:

1. Only use the Magic Eraser® on a non-scratchable surface. Better yet, try it on an inconspicuous spot first. And if you try it on a wall, be aware, it may not look like it has done any damage; however, look at the wall from an angle where the light hits it – see if the sheen is any different.

2. Break off a little piece to use on a little spot. Yes, you can break little pieces off the big eraser, and they will work just the same as the big eraser. Everywhere the eraser rubs will be abraded. So if you have a tiny spot, just break off a tiny piece. Two benefits to this:

1. A smaller surface area will be affected by the rubbing, and
2. Your eraser will last longer. Much longer.

In a nutshell: the Magic Eraser® works well on really hard surfaces; just be aware of scratchable, or high-gloss surfaces or surfaces with a sheen (including walls!). And break off the tiny amount that you need to use for little marks. You won’t waste the whole eraser, and you won’t abrade the area around the mark.

Then you’ll have good magic.

11 comments… add one

  • Eraser sponges at are made from the identical material as the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and are available online for as little as $0.29 per sponge and shipping is free! Spongeoutlet eraser sponges are not cheap Chinese knock offs which have been tested and may contain dangerous chemicals. They are identical.

  • Thanks for the tip. About to clean up a painted wall and Id figured Id give this a try but it was good to do a little research first.

  • Eraser sponges at are made from the identical material as the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and are available online for as little as $0.29 per sponge and shipping is free! Spongeoutlet eraser sponges are not cheap Chinese knock offs which have been tested and may contain dangerous chemicals. They are identical.

  • Help! I used the Me. Clean Dry Eraser on a painted Woiden surface to remove scotch tape residue. It made the surface dull. What can I do to revive the sheen or get the original finish back??

  • I have newer vinyl windows that our painter “accidently” got paint on. Do you recommend trying Magic Eraser to remove the paint? If so, what is the process? I do not want to ruin the vinyl windows.

  • Magic Eraser is now being advertised as perfectly safe on all kinds of finishes. Those of us who have impetuously used them everywhere know the sad truth–on any surface which should be shiny (like your countertops or stove tops, the gloss will be removed and there is no cure for these spots; they will actually collect more dirt after using the Magic Eraser than the dirt you tried to wipe off in the first place. For glossy surfaces, use window wash (like Windex) and a paper or cloth towel (don’t use the super towels made of bamboo; they scratch, too) to clean shiny surfaces. I speak from sad experience!

  • HELP,
    Just opened a vet clinic using wood grain vinyl laminate flooring. I’m afraid an employee used the magic eraser swiffer because I can’t get this dusty haze off the floor. Thats the only thing I can think it can be. The floor isn’t supposed to have a gloss finish, its a matte. BUT throughout the clinic is this white haze that makes the floor look dusty or worse dirty. Please don’t tell me my floors are ruined…any suggestions. The laminate has a small amount of texture, its not smooth, and you can see whiteness in the texture. Please help!

  • Magic erasers are a god-send…but beware of plexiglass and similar plastics, stoves and dishwashers with a glossy background (i.e., the area behind burner knobs, dishwasher control buttons, etc.), linoleum floors (takes the dirt out of the tiny holes but also takes the shine right off too). Best bet is if you aren’t sure, test a tiny inconspicuous area first, then look at it from all angles with all different lighting.

  • I think the Magic Eraser took the finish off my kitchen congoleum floor. It is now dangerously slippery. I have loved the Magic Eraser for counter tops.

  • If someone does use magic eraser on a painted wall and it leaves what looks like grease marks, is there anyway to make it look better without repainting?

  • I used it on our hardwood floor before I knew it was like sandpaper. It totally took the finish off.


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