Talk to me about magic erasers? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-01-2007, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I've just seen them over here for the first time.

1) What, actually, are they? They look like white sponges but come heavily overpackaged so it's hard to see.
2) Environmental credentials?
3) Do they work?

They're only four quid, so if it isn't concentrated bleach-and-ants in a bar or something equally nasty I'll probably give it a try. I remember other posters on here mentioning them, though, and thought I'd see what the consensus was.

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Old 10-01-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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They're a microabrasive sponge, basically. They're not impregnated with chemicals, but I don't know how damaging the production is.

We use them. : My husband is responsible for cleaning the tub and that's what he wants to use. They get the soap scum up with minimal elbow grease.

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Old 10-01-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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We use them at work (construction dirt) and find results vary depending on the surfaces. I have found they can take a fair amount of paint off the drywall, along with the dirt) if you rub too hard so I shy away from using on painted surfaces. I had good luck with removing old paint splats from wood surfaces and oil painted woodwork.

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Old 10-01-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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They are made of melamine fibers. Most lumberyards that offer cutting services won't cut melamine products, which makes me think the fibers shouldn't be inhaled. So I'd be sure to rinse well.
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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We stopped using them because if a child rubs it on their skin they get burns. Makes you wonder exactly what is in them... And right now DD is into everything.
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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it works essentially like a very fine grit sandpaper so it makes sense that if you rubbed it on your face, it would be unpleasant
I wouldn't want to rub sandpaper on my face either although given the popularity of micro dermabrasion, well some people are into that
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melamine_foam
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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I love them for 2 reasons:
1- no chemical smell
2- they'll remove some serious dirt.

We have hardwood flooring in our house that is at least 50 years old. In the foyer there are tile insets. I always thought the tile was monochromatic (gray on gray). Then one day I got down on hands and knees with a Magic Eraser. 5 minutes later, I was amazed to discover that they're actually blue, red, white and gray. They also remove hard water deposits from the shower doors, and the ground in soap scum/dirt on the floor of the bathtub. And they do wonders cleaning unglazed tile and grout. I've used them on our old porcelain kitchen sink, and even on the hardwood floors.

My main gripe about them is that they get to a point where there's not enough left to hang on to, but too much to want to toss it. They fixed that though when they came out with the ones with scrubby backing.

All that being said, I am not familiar with the manufacturing process.

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Old 10-01-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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Love them, they are the only thing I've found that will take off that oily, sticky dust film on the top of the fridge easily. I also use them for crayons on the wall, scrubbing tile grout, and cleaning olive oil that has set & turned into sticky film on the bottom of a pan.

I suspect the burns the PP mentioned were friction burns, as they are an abrasive, and there is a caution to that effect on the label.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So use them for that real crud that I wouldn't have in my home if I were a proper housewife, but put some rubber gloves on first?

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Old 10-02-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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So use them for that real crud that I wouldn't have in my home if I were a proper housewife, but put some rubber gloves on first?
I don't use rubber gloves, but I also don't rub the magic eraser on my hands..... if you would wear gloves when using sandpaper then wear gloves, but if you think you could handle sandpaper with your normal hand then no gloves.

It's just an abrasive, not chemical
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have contact dermatitis on my hands, so I tend to be cautious about gloves It's looking pretty good now, but I get more flareups when I'm pregnant.

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Old 10-02-2007, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
In the foyer there are tile insets. I always thought the tile was monochromatic (gray on gray). Then one day I got down on hands and knees with a Magic Eraser. 5 minutes later, I was amazed to discover that they're actually blue, red, white and gray.
I am so sorry but I am just : over here.

We bought a house that the closet was painted gray. Then I washed it in preparation for painting. It was robins egg blue! The house was heated with an old oil stove, the old stoves weren't a closed burn chamber so the oil could go through out the house and it did.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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nteresting thread...

I've been wondering if there was a chemical component, too...
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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So use them for that real crud that I wouldn't have in my home if I were a proper housewife, but put some rubber gloves on first?
I've never had a problem with just my hands. If you would wear gloves when using a sponge and water then yeah. But that's basically all this is. I'm also very sensitive to chemicals and never had a problem with these.

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Old 10-04-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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I love them, they work great, but def. don't use on painted surfaces. I used to clean my banisters and they worked a little -too- well.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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They work well on hard surfaces like the refrigerator handle, stove knobs, etc. for removing greasy dirt that doesn't come off with a sponge. When I used one on the wall, it didn't seem to remove the paint, but it seemed to leave behind a residue that I had to rinse off with a plain wet sponge.

Looking back, maybe it wasn't residue -- maybe it just scrubbed off the finish and dulled that area of the wall. No more using them on painted surfaces for me! But I am off to make my kitchen appliances sparkle now that you reminded me about these.

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Old 10-04-2007, 02:16 PM
 
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Looking back, maybe it wasn't residue -- maybe it just scrubbed off the finish and dulled that area of the wall. No more using them on painted surfaces for me! But I am off to make my kitchen appliances sparkle now that you reminded me about these.
I thought that at first, too... the banisters felt very gritty, so I wiped them down with a rag. But then when it all dried I realized the painted finish was rubbed off in spots... I ended up re-painting them and haven't used the eraser on them since.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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I thought that at first, too... the banisters felt very gritty, so I wiped them down with a rag. But then when it all dried I realized the painted finish was rubbed off in spots... I ended up re-painting them and haven't used the eraser on them since.
Which is kinda lame, because in the commercial don't they totally show people using them to get crayon marks off of painted walls??

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Old 10-04-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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Yep. I've never tried it for that, but my guess is... if it takes off paint, it'll take off crayon!
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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I LOVE them. You can use them wet, too - I love that for my tub, to get rid of the rings that accumulate without any cleaner needed. Heck, I use 'em for everything. For those in the states, CVS has a knockoff brand that is $1 for 2 sponges. Whoo!

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Old 10-04-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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if it takes off paint, it'll take off crayon!
Ah, the wonderful loopholes of false advertising.

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Old 10-04-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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I LOVE them. You can use them wet, too
Aren't they supposed to be used wet? I've never used them dry.

Ok, just went and read the box, they are supposed to be used wet. Was wondering where I got that idea.

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Old 10-04-2007, 07:52 PM
 
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I threw mine out once I realized they contained formaldehyde. The current MSDS does not list formaldehyde. I also took paint off walls with them Now I just use the Merlin's Magic recipe from the Green House, Green Planet book and it cleans just as well. I.e. top of fridge which I just did two days ago and hadn't done for, well, I can't remember how long and the stove top such as the dials which I don't think I've ever cleaned in the five years I've owned it .

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Old 10-04-2007, 08:12 PM
 
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aren't they full of formaldehyde?
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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aren't they full of formaldehyde?
In the current MSDS , formaldehyde is mentioned only in Section XI under Hazardous Decomposition Products. I knew is used to say more about the formaldehyde because as I stated above I stopped using it for that reason. I think I'll still stay away from it even though it says "This finished consumer product is not carcinogenic". It's the finished portion I find scary now.

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:50 PM
 
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what's the merlin's magic recipe?

what cloth materials provide the best scrub?
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:25 AM
 
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So use them for that real crud that I wouldn't have in my home if I were a proper housewife, but put some rubber gloves on first?
I love Magic Erasers, but not on painted walls.

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:30 AM
 
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In the current MSDS , formaldehyde is mentioned only in Section XI under Hazardous Decomposition Products. I knew is used to say more about the formaldehyde because as I stated above I stopped using it for that reason. I think I'll still stay away from it even though it says "This finished consumer product is not carcinogenic". It's the finished portion I find scary now.
thanks!
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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what's the merlin's magic recipe?
This is what I found here for the Merlin's Magic recipe:
How to make: Fill your 16oz squirt or spray bottle with water and then add 3tbsp of liquid soap to prevent the bottle from sudsing up as you fill. Because minerals inhibit the cleaning action of soap, it is best to use purified water. Add 20 –30 drops of tea tree oil and shake to mix.


It's kinda buried in her blog but it's on there. I've also had really great luck with those grubby, hard to get clean places using Dr. Bronner's, water and a little Borax. You still have to rinse but I already have those materials on hand and don't have to go find a Magic Eraser. And I tend to be suspicious of things that don't list ingredients... just my nature I guess

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Old 10-06-2007, 04:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the information on formaldehyde. I had difficulty knowing where to look for the safety information. The alternative recipes and suggestions are great too

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