Soo0 what do you know about magic erasers? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to love them...I want to believe they are safe for my pets, children & self....but....
I am so suspicious!
Please tell me they are OK (but don't lie to me)...
What are they?????? Does anybody know?
TIA
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#2 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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Well, fwiw it's because of the Magic Eraser that I made the first call to poison control. My dd had a better reach than I thought she did and I walked in from the bathroom to find her chewing on it. The lady at the poison control center told me that's the product they'd gotten the most calls on recently and that it was completely safe and my dd was in no danger. I'm sure it couldn't have been "good" for her, but it wasn't anything to be worried about. Now, that was about 4 years ago, but afaik they haven't changed formulas.

eta: but be forewarned they can dull the finish on things like furniture so if you use one be aware of that.
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#3 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Magic eraser is just an abrasive.

You wouldn't let your child or pet rub a scrubbie sponge, sandpaper or steel wool all over there body would you? You would let them chew on it, etc, etc.

Some kids have rubbed it on their skin, and they get "burns", well yeah, it's a foam abrasive much like a steel wool.

Feel safe using it, just control access like you would any other strong abrasive.
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#4 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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It's an abrasive made from a formaldehyde material. I won't touch them.
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#5 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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Snopes has some good info about formaldehyde and Magic Eraser. I personally love the Magic Eraser and use it on my doors and door jams a lot - just as a pp mentioned, be careful because it will dull shiny surfaces.
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#6 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 08:57 PM
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i have used it sparingly when DS has gotten ink or crayon on walls, floors, and some of his toys.

i do not think that they are perfectly safe, and they're the only chemical thingy that i have in my house. i have one box, in a place where i have to get ona chair to reach it. lol

otherwise, vinegar, baking soda, etc for me!
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#7 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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There is a weird foamy stuff that comes out of it and it gave me a rash when I used it. I personally will only use it (if absolutely necessary) while wearing gloves, and I never ever let the kids touch them.

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#8 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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I love them and clean my tubs and ceremic stove top with it.
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#9 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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Ok this is what I dug up. The Magic Eraser is made of something called "melamine foam". Melamine is a resin that is used in the automotive and construction industries as a sound barrier, and also used as a fire retardant. It is further used to add strength to laminate counters and some dinnerware apparently. (reference) The chemical make up is a formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer, meaning to the best of my understanding that these things combine to make up the melamine foam. It's my understanding that once these are combined the melamine foam is a completely new product rather than a fruit salad of the different pieces. (chem make-up reference here) Finally, it seems that this foam is made up of fine abrasive pieces that, when combined with the porous texture of the foam, works to scrub off the dirt while trapping it in the pores. Because of the way it's formulated, this does cause it to break down easily. (reference)

As for toxicity, all I could really find were references to how it reduces toxic emissions during fires and how when melamine (non-foam) was added to dog food ingredients it caused a lot of pet illnesses and deaths. A better site I found is here.

Don't know if this helped or made it more confusing! LOL!
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#10 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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Well, a couple years ago after reading so many raves about it here I went ahead and tried out my sample I got sent in the mail and found it ineffective on most things, left a film on everything, and it ruined my bathroom sink. It never ceases to amaze me how different things work out so differently for different folks!
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#11 of 31 Old 01-10-2010, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, SunshineJ, that was really interesting. Thank you! I'm still confused, but that is really good info. I'm a baking soda, vinegar girl myself... but I must say, I get eraser happy when one of those things find their way into my hands (twice in the last year), and can't stop until it has dissolved into practically nothing.
thanks everyone for your responses
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#12 of 31 Old 01-11-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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When I made up my mind not to use them I did a pile of research on them. There are lots of claims about how they don't contain "formaldehyde" BUT in reality, they do. As SunshineJ pointed out, because they mix everything up and create a "new" substance, then the technicality is that they don't contain formaldehyde, melamine, or sodium bisulfite. They just give the substance a new name.

I haven't found anything that baking soda, vinegar and/or elbow grease won't remove.

DH and I - totally winging life with our four children, DS1 (6.5yrs), DS2 (5yrs), DD (3yrs) and DS3 (1)!

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#13 of 31 Old 01-11-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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I used it on my beautiful cherry wood floors where DD scribbled some pen. It really dulled the finish.

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#14 of 31 Old 01-11-2010, 11:31 PM
 
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I havent posted much here but I wanted to jump in and give my experience. We dont use any chemicals to clean in our home but my dh bought them to clean the crayon and pencil off our walls when we were moving out of our apartment. They made my hands burn so bad and they turned blood red. They didnt even work, the just shredded up and fell apart. I agree with the pp, vinegar, baking soda and elbow grease is just about all you will ever need.
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#15 of 31 Old 01-12-2010, 01:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tizzy View Post
There are lots of claims about how they don't contain "formaldehyde" BUT in reality, they do. As SunshineJ pointed out, because they mix everything up and create a "new" substance, then the technicality is that they don't contain formaldehyde, melamine, or sodium bisulfite. They just give the substance a new name.
By the same token you could say that even when you react oxygen and hydrogen to create water the oxygen is still in there.
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#16 of 31 Old 01-12-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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when i was younger, i thought they were cool.... until my mum thought that maybe, just maybe, a magic eraser would be the trick to getting my brother's ears clean. Nope. for MONTHS he had burns behind his ears.

they worked pretty well though! (however, i think vinegar is probably better.) the magic eraser seems to get used up so quickly with minimal use.

ETA: i've found stuff that vinegar and baking soda wont clean, i.e. burnt on food i can't figure out how to clean my stove

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#17 of 31 Old 01-12-2010, 01:51 AM
 
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ammonia gets burnt on food off.
most stove tops are removable, i know mine is, you just take the top and burners off, bring them outside, put some ammonia on them and let them sit for a little while and it all comes right off.
some people let them sit in a trash bag over night, but i have never needed to do that.

as far as magic erasers go, i wouldnt use them and they are now required to have a warning label on them to keep away from children and pets as some have gotten burns or been hurt by eating them. they are like any other cleaning product, best to keep them up high and locked away.
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#18 of 31 Old 01-14-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ygle View Post
Well, a couple years ago after reading so many raves about it here I went ahead and tried out my sample I got sent in the mail and found it ineffective on most things, left a film on everything, and it ruined my bathroom sink. It never ceases to amaze me how different things work out so differently for different folks!
Same here. It did NOT work on our walls when DD colored on them - well it removed the crayon, but ruined the paint. I guess it only works on gloss paint maybe, but nothing i read warned me of that before i scrubbed an entire wall.
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#19 of 31 Old 01-16-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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It really surprises me that people are finding them ineffective! I got sharpie off my wood dresser (tho, yes, the finish is dulled). I've given away all of our cleaning chemicals, but hang onto these for my "artistic" ds. I've found they work best for this, but not so much for simply dirty walls--they just spread the dirt around. Haven't tried them on anything else since i have other ways to clean (bs, vinegar, etc.).
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#20 of 31 Old 01-16-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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I always wondered about these things, because I love them.

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#21 of 31 Old 01-16-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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I'm glad I found this thread because I've been thinking about getting one! I won't now.
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#22 of 31 Old 01-17-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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I love them!
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#23 of 31 Old 01-17-2010, 04:10 PM
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I love these things. When I moved into my last house (a completely filthy foreclosure), I tried just about everything to clean layers of old soap scum and dirt off the shower walls. Started with natural products and then went up to poisonous and abrasive chemicals. Nothing worked. It took a LOT of scrubbing with Magic Erasers, but they are the only thing that worked. So far, they have worked on almost everything I have tried them on, I've had no skin reaction to them, and I find them just miraculous!
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#24 of 31 Old 01-17-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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I love them. They work so much better than anything else we have tried for crayons and markers on the walls. Nothing "natural and safe" (because not all natural things are safe) has touched this issue that happens all he time. Never any kind of bad reaction to them in my family. My children have never gotten a hold of them, unlike the markers, and they do not tend to lick the walls. I think like anything they can be a danger but they are not high on my to worry about list.
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#25 of 31 Old 01-18-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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I have used them and found them very effective when used on the kinds of surfaces they're recommended to be used on. I use them to get scuffs off walls, and to get burnt-on grease off the stove and oven, and for the fronts of my kitchen cupboards when they get greasy fingerprints, and stuff like that. Other more natural cleaners will work, but with much more effort, and the Magic Eraser is nice when I just need a quick solution.

However, I do not trick myself into thinking they're safe or healthy for us or for the environment. I wear gloves while using them, and after I've used them, I carefully wipe up all the little shreds that break loose off the things, and then wash the surface carefully with lots of water (except for the walls-- I can't see my kids or pets licking the walls, and we don't eat off them, so I just wipe up the bits). I wash the gloves carefully before using them for anything else. I put the Magic Erasers away safely when I'm not using them. And I feel terribly guilty every time I have to dispose of one in the trash.

So far, though, the guilt hasn't been enough to dissuade me from getting one when my walls or cupboards get really dirty. They're the only non-"natural" product in our house most of the time.

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#26 of 31 Old 08-01-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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even though it is made from a formaldehyde material, the amount that is found occasionally(normally none is found) in the final product is less than the amount in the air in your house.  So other than choking risks you would have almost no problems even if you ate one(not suggesting that in any way)

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#27 of 31 Old 08-01-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl33 View Post

I'm glad I found this thread because I've been thinking about getting one! I won't now.


there is absolutely no reason not to get one http://home.howstuffworks.com/magic-eraser1.htm it is completely safe... call poison control or your local elementary science teacher to find out why(or the link above).  They work amazingly if you remember to test it on a surface first.

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#28 of 31 Old 08-26-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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I use them as needed.  Sharpie on the wall for example.  

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#29 of 31 Old 08-28-2011, 11:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post

ETA: i've found stuff that vinegar and baking soda wont clean, i.e. burnt on food i can't figure out how to clean my stove


Try lemon juice.


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#30 of 31 Old 09-02-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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I love them.  They get the front of the fridge spotless and clean our stupid textured walls like a dream.   

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