If you've ever had a cleaning job that was almost impossible you may have turned to Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. This might blow your mind but Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and generic melamine foam don’t have a chemical cleaner or soap inside them, it’s literally just an abrasive foam that makes them work. Unless of course, you get the kind that specifically comes with soap in it.
According to www.sinoyqx.com and Wikipedia, melamine foam (and by extension, Magic Erasers) are simply a foam-like material made of a formaldehyde–melamine–sodium bisulfite copolymer. That's fancy science talk for a porous rough material.
Its common uses are as insulation for pipes and ductwork and even soundproofing material.
Apparently, people have only recently discovered its effectiveness as a cleaning device:
“Recently, a novel application for such melamine foams in the area of hard surface cleaning has been discovered. Indeed, cleaning implements of cut or molded pieces of melamine foam have become popular to remove soils and/or stains from hard surfaces”-Google Patents
So all this means big savings if you buy generic melamine foam. It can be found everywhere, even on Amazon!
Magic Erasers are commonly listed at $1.97 for a 2-pack on walmart.com, but by comparison, generic melamine foam (THE SAME THING) can be found on several sites as cheap as $5 for 100!
Money-Saving Tips and Cleaning Tricks from Reddit:
- Be sure to read reviews and get a quality brand. Some of the generics are poorly made but many are comparable.
- Magic erasers are VERY abrasive. Don’t use them on something that easily scratches like wood or skin.
- They work great for cleaning shoes, walls, soap scum, etc.
- Wear gloves. They can sand away the skin around your nails and cause splits, again they aren't for skin!
- Melamine sponges have a Mohs hardness of 4. Regular glass has a Mohs hardness of 5.5, and tempered glass can be even harder. Bathroom tile has a usual hardness around 7, going up to around 9. So it’s safe to clean these surfaces but be very careful with anything softer.
“(The Mohs Hardness Test) compares the resistance of a mineral to being scratched by ten reference minerals known as the Mohs Hardness Scale”-Geology.com