5 things you should never clean with a Magic Eraser

Woman cleaning with a Magic Eraser
Woman cleaning with a Magic Eraser (Image credit: Shutterstock)

When it comes to home cleaning hacks that will make chores easier, you’re bound to come across the Magic Eraser. And while these handy little sponges are a lifesaver for various woes including crayon, scuff marks, and stains, there are some things you should never clean with a Magic Eraser. In fact, if you use this white sponge on any of these, you could do more harm than good. 

So what exactly is a Magic Eraser? Essentially, Magic Erasers are sponge-like blocks made from melamine foam, a porous material. Although they feel soft on the outside, they have the abrasiveness of 3000 grit (fine) sandpaper to gently lift stains when damp. While this makes cleaning quicker and easier, it’s also not the best tool for every cleaning job. 

That's why it’s so important to know what you can and can’t clean with a Magic Eraser to avoid potential damage. After all, you don’t want to spend a fortune on costly repairs! So if you want to make the most out of your handy little sponge, here are things you should never clean with a Magic Eraser. 

In any case, these are 7 surprising things you can clean with a Magic Eraser. Plus, check out these 9 things you should never clean with an all-purpose cleaner — you’ll be surprised.

1. Your car exterior 

Headlights being buffed with a microfiber cloth

Headlights being buffed with a microfiber cloth (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Although it’s great for removing dirt and grime from your dashboard or interior compartments, never use Magic Eraser to clean/polish the outside of your car. The eraser would be far too abrasive for your car’s paintwork, and would inevitably scratch the protective coating or wax that helps to protect the paint. 

Instead, use dedicated lambswool wash mitts for cleaning the outside of your car, and buff with a microfiber cloth. It’s also advisable not to clean the car in a circular motion, as this can cause swirl marks. It's vital that you don't use any abrasive cloths or it will cost you on expensive repair work!

2. Stone countertops 

Kitchen countertop

Kitchen countertop (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Magic erasers are great for removing marks and stains in the kitchen, however, never use on delicate surfaces such as granite and marble countertops. Not only will the eraser scratch the surface, but will remove the protective seal covering the stone material.

Once this seal gets removed or worn, this will make it prone to stains, scratches and could make your glossy countertops appear dull and lacklustre. What’s more, kitchen countertops are known to be costly, so you don’t want to risk permanent damage. 

3. Stainless steel  

A stack of five clean stainless steel pans on a kitchen countertop in front of blue tiles

A stack of five clean stainless steel pans on a kitchen countertop in front of blue tiles (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want your stainless steel appliances to shine, the Magic Eraser may do the opposite. The vigorous scrubbing may leave small scratches or scuffs on the surface, ruining the high gloss finish of stainless steel.   

The best way to clean stainless steel without damaging it is to gently rub the surface with a microfiber cloth to clean any marks or stains, before rinsing and wiping away the vinegar with a clean cloth. This should protect the gleaming, shiny finish for as long as possible. You might also want to check out how to clean a stainless steel pan and make it gleam. 

4. Non-stick cookware  

Soapy water and cloth

Soapy water and cloth (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, never use a Magic Eraser to get your non-stick pots and pans spotless. Again, this will damage the special coating, and scratch the surface. In addition, once the coating becomes damaged, this will make it less effective, or worse still, get into your food which can potentially be seriously harmful.

Instead, use a soft cloth or sponge to clean your non-stick cookware in soapy water. If you have stubborn grease, it’s best to soak the pan in warm soapy water for a few hours before gently scrubbing it clean. 

5. Wood surfaces/furniture 

Cleaning waxed furniture

Cleaning waxed furniture (Image credit: Shutterstock)

While Magic Erasers work wonders for removing scuff marks when cleaning a painted wall, avoid using one on any finished wood surface. If you do, you might literally strip away the glossy wood finish. The same applies for any other gloss painted surfaces, unless of course, you do want to get rid of unwanted paint!

If you want to clean grime off wood surfaces, it’s always best to use dry, soft cloths with a dedicated wood furniture wax. It’s also not advisable to spray furniture polish directly onto the wood to avoid soaking and warping the surface. 

How to use a Magic Eraser?

Pile of magic erasers

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

 —  When using a Magic Eraser, always wear a pair of gloves. Since they are made from melamine foam, this can burn or irritate your skin, so ensure your hands are protected.  

 —  Next, wet the eraser and do a spot-test on a small area before you start your project. This will ensure that you don't risk damaging the entire surface. 

 —  Then you can wipe down the surface or items you wish to clean. While you can use it dry, the wet eraser will absorb dirt and grime more easily. Just remember to squeeze out excess water as you would do with a normal sponge. 

You might want to follow these tips on how to clean a burnt pot to get it sparkling. Check out how to clean jewelry if you want to bring the sparkle back, alongside how to clean a diamond ring without taking it to a professional. 

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!