Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

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A product claiming “magic” is worthy of skepticism. I’d seen these sponge-like melamine pads for a while and heard how tough they are on soap scum, oven grease, and even dirty laptops. Then I finally witnessed one completely eliminate a deep, dark mark I deposited into a wall while moving. I was carrying a hefty box of All-Clad pots and pans, when one handle jutting out the top of the box caught the wall, leaving a five-inch blemish in an otherwise pristine, off-white stairwell. Hot water, soap and paper towel had absolutely no effect. Total bummer.

Then one of our movers ran to his truck and returned with a Magic Eraser. He ran the pad under cold water, squeezed it out, and rubbed one edge lightly on the spot. In less than 30 seconds the mark disappeared completely — no discoloration or stain whatsoever. They’re reusable, but fall apart with use. How much use you get depends on how long and how hard you scrub, but they’re cheap enough it’s not disappointing to throw away a mangled one even after a couple jobs. I’ve started using them around the house (bathtub, kitchen, etc.) and to remove paw prints left by our overzealous dog. However, I’m mostly thrilled with how the pad can circumvent the hassle of touch-up painting. It obviously can’t put chipped off paint back on the wall, but if you rent, these can help assure your security deposit is returned in full with significantly less effort. Mr. Clean makes other types, including Extra Power, which I’ve yet to try. Still, for walls, I’d recommend sticking with the gentler basic Eraser.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
$6 (box of four)
Manufactured by Procter & Gamble

Available from Amazon