Do “Magic Erasers” Really Work?

Our “new to us” home has some pretty scuffed up walls. Not just your typical “kids running their hands up and down the walls in the staircase rather than hold onto the handrail” marks, but “let’s slide down the banister and use our sneakers on the walls as brakes” kind of marks. Now of course it is possible that we (or the movers) added a few of these scuffs while carrying up eight mattresses and ten tons of furniture up the stairs… but I am pretty sure that most of them were there before we moved in. And there’s something about someone else’s dirt and scuff marks that feels kind of extra-nasty. To the point where I was convinced that the first thing I wanted to do after I unpacked the hundred-million boxes would be to paint the entire house.

Magic Eraser Boxes1

Until I remembered that I had purchased a few boxes of Magic Erasers in preparation for the move- and they might be just what I needed to clean up those walls.

How Do Magic Erasers Work?

From what I can find online, magic erasers are sponges that contain a type of micro-sandpaper that gently removes the top layer of finish on whatever it is you are cleaning. For most surfaces, this is a perfectly safe way to remove dirt, scuff marks, or even harder-to-tackle marks such as crayon, pencil, or even permanent marker. You want to be careful about using them on surfaces with a clear finish, such as wood furniture- a magic eraser may actually dull the furniture by removing some of that clear finish. But on a painted wall- they definitely work- like magic! I just run my magic eraser under water and then scrub away. I don’t use the same eraser on two walls with different paint colors- or you get a smudgy effect on the darker wall (that easily wipes away with a damp cloth).

The light in this staircase isn’t great right now- but here’s a look at the wall before I cleaned it:

Magic Eraser- close up staircase before
And here’s a look after I used the magic eraser pad:

Magic Eraser- staircase after
Can you tell the difference? It has taken away my immediate urge to paint! I think magic erasers are awesome- and they are absolutely one of my favorite moving-in tools!

Except for the risers on the staircase…. ugh- they need to be painted. I’ll be adding that to our”project list”!

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  1. Kris C. says

    I seem to be one of the few people who don’t like Magic Erasers. Most things I’ve tried cleaning has either dulled the finish, taken off enough paint to notice, or scratched the surface. And I don’t scrub too hard or too often. I’m way too nervous to use them at all. Plus, that nails on chalkboard gritty texture they have puts my teeth on edge…literally…like they’re going to fall out! (same with handling cotton balls….shudder….) LOL

    • says

      It’s true- you are the first person that has told me that they aren’t in love! I do think that on painted walls, if you don’t have a really flat finish, it can dull the paint. I had that problem in some areas of my old house- but the dulled paint finish was still an improvement over the scuff marks there- so I used the magic erasers. You are totally cracking me up on the cotton ball thing! Thanks for leaving a comment!

  2. says

    Hi Sharon. Magic Erasers are made from a material which is manufactured in Germany by BASF called Basotect. It is an open cell melamine foam. You are absolutely correct in your statement that it is like micro-sand paper. The cells break down which causes the abrasiveness. makes identical sponges for as little as 29 cents a piece with free shipping. You should tell your readers to be wary of cheap Chinese knockoffs which have been tested and may contain harmful chemicals. Have a great day 🙂

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