A Magical Way to Erase Away the Icky Stains in Your Life

Illustration for article titled A Magical Way to Erase Away the Icky Stains in Your Life

Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.


I will fully admit that I am overly paranoid about all the chemicals in various cleaners and detergents, and so I tend to be more of a vinegar and baking soda gal when it comes to cleaning things around my apartment. Still, I will occasionally venture into the grocery store cleaning aisle if I am facing down a particularly brutal grease or stain situation. It was on one of these walkabouts that I came across the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. For some reason, probably having to do with watching way too much TV as a child, I have a soft spot in my heart for Mr. Clean and his incredibly shiny head. So, I bought a pack of them and figured I'd break one out next time I was faced with something that my usual hippy concoctions could not address.

Well, that situation arose a few weeks ago. I moved into a new apartment and found that the cabinets were covered in gross streaks of grease and other mysterious substances. After my elbow grease failed to work, and some scary neon-colored Fantastik proved only marginally effective, I got out one of the Magic Erasers. I moistened it, as per the instructions, and I soon discovered that they are called Magic Erasers for a reason—because they erase everything in a way that looks exactly like magic. Paging David Copperfield. Seriously, they are so effective that you could probably use one to scrub unpleasant memories out of your brain if you could find a way to fit the sponge through your ear. (I beg you to not do this.) A single eraser took all the caked-on grease and other weird grey marks right off and left the kitchen looking as sparkling and white as a room filled with bottom-of-the-line Home Depot cabinets can look.


I was sure the erasers were filled with things that would melt my hands off, but in fact, their secret seems mostly to be that they're abrasive, not filled with toxic death juices. They feel soft to the touch, but they can rub off a bit of whatever you're scrubbing, which is more of a problem on softer surfaces. For instance, I tried them on a painted wall, and some paint definitely came off, but on the laminate cabinet doors it caused no visible damage. So you might want to do a quick spot test before you go to town on anything valuable. Anyway, color me impressed, Mr. Clean. Your erasers are magical indeed—though not quite as magical as that single, inexplicably sexy earring you always wear.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Pad, 4 pack, $4.99 at Amazon

Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.

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Pro-tip: buy the Target Up & Up brand version of these. They're EXACTLY the same, work just as well, and are a couple dollars cheaper.

eta: scrubbing painted walls with anything generally will take some paint off, particularly if it's flat paint. Gloss paint is more forgiving. Magic Erasers are made of melamine foam, which basically acts like a really, really fine sandpaper. It can get into the microscopic nooks and crannies of surfaces to remove marks and stains.