Magic erasers: they’re called ‘life changers’ in many households, inspiring others to devote entire Facebook posts to their (cleaning) virtues.
And while it’s true that there are few things these wonder sponges can’t clean, from shower screens and shoes to car interiors and grubby grout, not everything looks better once it’s been cleaned with a magic eraser.
In fact, a magic eraser can do real damage to some surfaces. The kind of damage you can’t ‘abracadabra’ away. Here are five things you definitely want to avoid cleaning.
1. Stone benchtops
Cleaning engineered stone or natural stone benchtops with a magic eraser is a recipe for trouble. These surfaces are often delicate and easily etched. To prevent your benchtops becoming dull, take care when cleaning them and avoid using acids – like vinegar – too!
2. Your car
A magic eraser can feel soft when it’s wet but in reality, it has the abrasiveness of 3000-5000 grit sandpaper! That’s why you should never use one to clean a car, which can scratch the highly polished surface.
4. Leather and faux leather
Over time, leather and faux leather surfaces can become weathered and discoloured. While it may be tempting to try and buff the discolouration out with a magic sponge, you could be doing more damage than you realise. Natural leather is quite a soft material, and should only be cleaned with a specialist leather solution that will help to condition the surface as you clean.
For a faux leather sofa, use a damp, soft microfibre cloth with a mild detergent and buff gently using small circular motions.
3. Nonstick pots and pans
Cleaning a non-stick pot or pan with a magic eraser will damage the coating and scratch the surface, rendering it less effective and possibly toxic.
5. Stainless steel
Proceed carefully before using a magic eraser on a stainless steel surface as it could dull and scratch the high gloss finish.