Magic Erasers - Not What I Thought They Were - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 05-24-2007, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I recently learned (over on a thread in Yarn Crafts of all places ) that Magic Erasers and Magic Eraser-type products are not simply using a mechanical process to clean stains. They also contain chemicals which can cause painful burns. That may seem obvious to a lot of you, but I seriously didn't know that! Therefore, I just thought I'd post it here in case anybody else was unaware.

This is where I learned about it initially.

I don't use these things anyway (ever since you guys got me totally addicted to using baking soda, bless yas!), but now I REALLY won't let them into my house. Wow, I just remembered when I DID have these my toddler used to clean with them all the time. : I'm so glad he didn't get a burn.

Anywho, that's my PSA for today. Thanks for reading.

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#2 of 34 Old 05-24-2007, 12:45 PM
 
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They are not impregnated with chemicals. They're a synthetic foam which acts as a microabrasive. Those "burns" are abrasions, like rug burn.

Chasing DS since April 2007 and pumping for DD March 2013.

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#3 of 34 Old 05-24-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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Magic Erasers are just chunks of melamine. This stuff was used as sound insulation for years, so if you have giant old pair of headphones hanging out, they probably have some melamine in them.

Melamine was also the stuff that contaminated the pet food. It should not be eaten.

Melamine is made in a process that uses formaldahyde, but the Magic Erasers themselves are chemical free.

What the pp said is true, melamine is an abrasive, like sandpaper. You wouldn't eat sandpaper, nor would you rub it on your skin, but it can't burn you.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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#4 of 34 Old 05-24-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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They may not be the most natural, environmentally sound thing around- but that being said, I think that they have value when used in moderation. A Mr. Clean eraser has saved several pieces of furniture and a wall that ds scribbled all over with a Sharpie. All of the paint, stains, paint thinners, etc. that would have been otherwise needed to repair the damage are surely worse than one eraser. Or even worse, others might have considered just throwing away some of the furniture just to go sit in a landfill...
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#5 of 34 Old 05-24-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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When I moved into this house, I had a white-ish tile with gray grout.

After about two years, I decided to use one of those sponges on the gray grout. Low and behold, that grout was actually WHITE!

*What kind of idiot would use white grout?*

Anyway, since I had two feet of white grout, I was screwed.... I spent an entire weekend on my bottom with a bucket of water and a lap full of those sponges, scrubbing the whole area.

The grout is gray again, and it will stay gray from now on.
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#6 of 34 Old 05-24-2007, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OooooK, well that's your thoughts. For me, no thanks.

Mooooom! to  guitar.gifDS (1/05) and whistling.gifDSS (11/05).  TTC fingersx.gifour "ours" after VR on 10/12.  

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#7 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnitterMama View Post
OooooK, well that's your thoughts. For me, no thanks.

Not to sound abrasive (LOL), but really the above statements are not just "thoughts", they are facts.

There has been an urban legend/myth going around since the Magic Eraser came out that they were full of formaldahyde and these horrible, terrible things...but it's just not true.

I mean, use them or don't use them as you see fit, of course, we all make our decisions about what we want in our homes, etc., but I like to make sure I make informed choices, ya know? And I try to be careful about jumping on the latest hysteria-bandwagon...checking out all the facts before I make a final decision.
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#8 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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We use the erasers. Love them. Saved me LOTS of scrubbing. fwiw, generics don't work. Don't bother!

Amy ~ Web Designing Single Mom to 4: DD14, DS12, DS5, DS3
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#9 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 12:52 AM
 
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FWIW I adore my Magic Erasers... but lately I have been contemplating the environmental effects of using them. Basically they dissipate as you use them. I'm wondering whether there are long-term adverse effects of the tiny particles in water, etc.

When I first picked one up -- I scrubbed my house top to bottom like a maniac. "OMG! what can I clean next?!" hehe.

Now I just use it for the heavy duty grime here and there.

Everything in moderation right?
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#10 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 12:52 AM
 
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I really like Magic Erasers but I rarely need them. The odd time I do though, they are da bomb! I also don't agree that they are dangerous. All you need to do it make sure you wipe up any bits that have broken off and perhaps wipe the area that you cleaned with water but I do that with any sort of cleaner, even baking soda! Magic Erasers work wonderfully for so many stubborn marks.
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#11 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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As long as a toddler is not eating them or rubbing him/herself with them, it won't hurt them. Those things have really been lifesavers for us. My dd has a habit of writing on EVERYTHING.
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#12 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 01:05 AM
 
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i love them...but i feel so bad for that little boy *mental note keep away from my ds always*
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#13 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 03:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
When I moved into this house, I had a white-ish tile with gray grout.

After about two years, I decided to use one of those sponges on the gray grout. Low and behold, that grout was actually WHITE!

*What kind of idiot would use white grout?*

Anyway, since I had two feet of white grout, I was screwed.... I spent an entire weekend on my bottom with a bucket of water and a lap full of those sponges, scrubbing the whole area.

The grout is gray again, and it will stay gray from now on.



I agree that they are just abrasions. The same thing happened to my DD. Totally MY fault. She had scribbled on the wall and I was cleaning it off with a magic eraser. She pointed down to her knee where she also had marker and I rubbed that off too. It got red a few minutes later and the next day was scabbed over. I don't remember it bothering her that much, but I felt bad that it gave her such an owie! They had just came out and it felt so soft that I didn't even realize it could do that! Nothing chemical about it though.

: Robyn : Increasingly crunchy Mama to Kya (8) , Makena (7) , and Keegan (4) :
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#14 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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Snopes has this to say on the formaldehyde issue.

We don't use them either, though. They just kind of freak me out, in general.

Homeschooling, etsy-crafting Mama to spunky DD (12-04) and wife to DH.
 
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#15 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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yes they freak me out too.
i have never used them tho. the burn thing is scary to me!
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#16 of 34 Old 05-25-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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I think that before posting opinion, one should read the links. I read the information on the links and believe Kerflops story. She explains how it is a burn and not just scratched. Anyone who read her entire story and updates couldn't possibly not feel so sad for this little boy and the others to whom burns have happened to!
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#17 of 34 Old 05-26-2007, 01:28 AM
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Anyone who read her entire story and updates couldn't possibly not feel so sad for this little boy and the others to whom burns have happened to!

Has someone here said that they didn't feel bad for the little boy? Did I miss something? Because that would be horribly insensitive and awful...
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#18 of 34 Old 05-26-2007, 02:10 AM
 
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Meh.

I read a lot of that blog because I wanted to see where all of the information came from. The blog was entirely first-hand experience, second-hand knowledge (so and so told me, yadda yadda), and a whole lot of emotion (understandable, of course).

There were no links that I saw to any scientific websites minus the possibly biased one sent to the blogger by 3M Also, I don't know where the original blogger was living, but when I first bought my Magic Eraser well over a year ago, I remember reading the part on the package where it specifies not to use on skin mainly because I wondered whether I should wear gloves while using it. That jumped up at me as soon as I read this post, and I even ran to my cupboard to see if I was wrong. There's also a warning to keep away from children. This was before this incident with the blogger's child happened.

I feel sad that this happened to a little boy last year. I hope her blog does help keep parents from allowing this cleaning item near kids. I don't believe it's a burn though. *shrug*
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#19 of 34 Old 05-26-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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I like magic errasers but lately I'm fining a damp microfiber cloth to be just as effective and more cost effective.

Wife to DH since August 01 mom to a bubbly girl October 2002 and our newest gal March 2010
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#20 of 34 Old 05-28-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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I live in a hole. What the heck happened to this kid?
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#21 of 34 Old 05-28-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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Never mind...I followed the original link.
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#22 of 34 Old 05-28-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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I think the concern is that other mamas may have been letting their children use the magic erasures to clean with or on themselves because they work so well. Chemicals or not, these are not something I'd let my children use. That's more the point of the FYI than not to use them at all.

Kerry, loving wife to Pete, mama to DD (14) DS1 (9) DS2 (3) & Expecting someone new Jan 2013

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#23 of 34 Old 05-29-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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It says on the box that they should never be used on skin, because doing so will cause abrasions. I have accidentally micro-abraded my skin before and it was very much like a burn.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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#24 of 34 Old 05-29-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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Interesting. Pretty sure we've had a thread about this before. And I'll say again, I'm pretty sure that the Mr. Clean brand, at least, does not contain chemicals. I have fairly sensitive skin and have used them without gloves with no issue whatsoever. If it was a chemical, wouldn't just touching it cause issues?

Not that I let my kids use them. I don't put it past them to think "hmm, if it cleans the wall, maybe it'll clean me!" and scrubbing one's body with something that takes permanent marker off walls doesn't seem wise, no matter the mechanism of stain removal.
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#25 of 34 Old 05-29-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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We had a kitchen fire several years ago, before the Magic Erasers came out. The cleaning service (ServiceMaster) had sponges that they used to "dry clean" things that couldn't actually be dry cleaned (like paper, etc.) They gave us one of the sponges in the end, in case they had missed something. But they specifically told us to use it sparingly and cautiously. The Magic Erasers came out maybe a year later & I assumed they were the same thing. Haven't ever bought them, though. I figure if this cleaner expert gave my dh & I cautions over using it, it's not something I need to have around. Maybe they aren't the same at all, though.

I have heard they work wonders on grout and siding. Poor little boy.
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#26 of 34 Old 05-31-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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omg! i had no clue! thank you!

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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#27 of 34 Old 05-31-2007, 11:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post
They are not impregnated with chemicals. They're a synthetic foam which acts as a microabrasive. Those "burns" are abrasions, like rug burn.
Yeah. I think even snopes has a thing on this.
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#28 of 34 Old 06-01-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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I think it's possible that the boy had a sensitivity to the sponge, or maybe something the sponge was scrubbing off, and when he scrubbed his face with it, (which most definitely would have caused abrasions), that bits of the sponge(or whatever substance was being scrubbed) might have embedded themselves into the skin, and causing the bad reaction. Anyway, it just reinforces that kids and magic erasers don't mix.
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#29 of 34 Old 06-02-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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It always eems that ehere they are used, has dirt build up faster than areas where there never used.
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#30 of 34 Old 06-03-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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I love my Magic Erasers, definatly a need in this house. I have no problem with them.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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