Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tip 28: Erasing magic

Yesterday I started what will no doubt be part of a series of several future posts about green cleaning, but now I'm ready to break that series already. I am satisfied with my homemade cleaning products 98 percent of the time, and my eyes thank me as well for sparing them from harsh chemicals. But then there's that 2 percent of the time when I need something more serious. That's when I turn to...

Tip 28: Invest in a box of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for any cleaning project where your tried-and-true solutions just won't work.

Here are the impressive messes my Magic Eraser has cleaned:
  • Oven and fridge handles -- We have white appliances, not my first choice, but they work perfectly, so it would be terribly un-green of us to get rid of them just for aesthetic purposes. The plastic handles get dirty easily and they're hard to clean; lots of grooves and ridges = ugly. After a quick wipe with the Magic Eraser once a month or so, the handles come out looking like new.
  • Stall shower door -- Our master bathroom shower door was caked in soap scum, particularly the bottom half. Kimberly Delaney in the Clean Home, Green Home book I referenced yesterday recommended spraying the door once a day for a week using the vinegar/water solution. So I tried that. There was minimal improvement. Then I heard a suggestion for trying the Magic Eraser. I spent a couple minutes running the Magic Eraser along the insider of the shower door, I used a paper towel to prevent streaking, and I had a magically clean door. In our three and a half years in this house that shower door has never looked clean, and now it looks new.
  • Caked on grease on stove -- We've all been here before, and this is a quick solution.

Here's what you can learn from my experiences with this product:
  • I've been using these erasers for over two years, and I have only purchased two packs of four erasers in that time. I am still using a packet I bought a year ago. One package of four erasers costs $5.99 on Amazon, and you can buy more in bulk there, too. Most stores that carry cleaning supplies carry this product.
  • Use these sparingly. Once you see what these guys can do, it's tempting to go a little nuts and start magic erasing everything. Resist the urge, you might erase your house. I really reserve these for special jobs, which is why mine last so long.
  • It is really important to completely soak the eraser in water before you use it. Without proper preparation it won't work nearly as well.
  • Be careful using it on walls. I originally purchased my first eraser packet because I was tired of looking at the scuff marks in our stairway. We have white walls in the stairway, and it worked reasonably well here. Then I tested the eraser on a wall painted in a darker color and it took off some of the finish, so I immediately stopped (and fortunately only tried a tiny little test spot). I've read stories of people trying to use the eraser on surfaces that aren't eraser-friendly. Fortunately, it works on most surfaces, just read the label carefully.
  • Wear gloves. Because I know I'm dealing with chemicals when using this product, I try to be a little more cautious than I might be with greener products.
  • The eraser will disintegrate with use. That's normal. If you're concerned, you could try cutting your erasers in half to give the illusion that they're lasting longer. I simply wear out one side of the eraser and then use the other.
  • If you have the world's-most-sensitive eyes like I do, this product should not irritate your eyes (or throat, or any other body part).

I will continue to buy this product just for the simple fact that it completely cleaned my shower stall after many other concoctions failed.

1 comment:

  1. I use often use these for cleaning my white kitchen cabinets. While their effectiveness probably depends on the finish they work wonders on my treated wood!