Discover the Pros and Cons of Melamine Erasers

melamine erasers

Melamine erasers such as the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser are increasingly becoming a staple in any cleaner’s arsenal. They can remove even the most stubborn stains from an array of surfaces.

However, these incredibly useful tools are not universally beloved.  There’s been some controversy regarding the safety of using melamine erasers, particularly for children. What are the pros and cons of using melamine erasers? Read on to learn more about this controversial cleaning tool.

Melamine Eraser Pros

Better Performance— When a melamine eraser is soaked in warm water, the melamine foam fibers expand, creating spaces between the foam, enabling it to achieve a deeper clean than a traditional sponge.

How? Dirt and stains are trapped between these spaces, and when a stain can’t be dissolved, the melamine creates a stronger and harder scratcher that will dig deeper than any other sponge.

Reusable— A melamine eraser that’s 100% melamine is reusable, allowing you to scrub deep-set, difficult stains for several uses.

Please note that some of the “generic” melamine erasers have just a thin layer of melamine attached to a traditional sponge, shortening the eraser’s lifespan.

Versatile— There are so many different uses for melamine erasers. Here are just a few options:

  • Clean fiberglass shower doors
  • Remove marker and crayon from walls and furniture
  • Remove marks and scuffs from leather
  • Remove spray paint
  • Clean tile grout
  • Clean auto interiors and exteriors
  • Remove stains from clothing

Safe— Despite the bad rap melamine erasers get, they’re actually safe for use in your household. The fact-checkers at Snopes have debunked the rumor that the erasers contain formaldehyde, which is a volatile organic compound, or VOC. These substances are believed to be carcinogenic, and they have a negative impact on the air quality.

Cons of Melamine Erasers

Environmental Impact— While melamine erasers are effective and convenient, they’re not exactly green. They’re good for a few uses, and then they start to break down, rendering them useless. However, while melamine foam is not biodegradable, it’s not toxic to the environment.

Cost— When you’re throwing away the melamine eraser after a few uses, you’re throwing money in the garbage can. The erasers aren’t cost prohibitive by any means, but the cost can mount up over time. Consider using them judiciously, or cutting the eraser into smaller pieces to get more use from it.

Damages Wood— While melamine erasers work wonders on a variety of surfaces, wood isn’t one of them. They will strip the wood’s finish, creating irreversible damage.

Harsh for Children— If you like to involve your kids in your household cleaning, you might hold off on handing them a melamine eraser to scrub down the baseboards. There have been reports of children experiencing skin damage after using melamine erasers for an extended period of time. However, if you supervise the child and limit the contact with the eraser, you could allow them to use it.

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