How to Use a Magic Eraser Around the House: 17 Smart Applications

The possible uses for Magic Erasers abound. How many new ways will you find to put these special sponges to work in your home?
Deirdre Mundorf Avatar
hand with rubber glove using a magic eraser to clean a wood look tile and grout

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Magic Erasers certainly live up to their name. The ways they can “erase” stains and get rid of residues on various surfaces can feel like magic. You may have discovered a few of the ways a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can help you around the house, but chances are you’re just skimming the surface of the varied ways these special sponges can be used. Read on to discover how to use a Magic Eraser in nearly every room in your home.

Get the original Mr. Clean Magic Eraser at Target for $5.59.

How does a Magic Eraser work?

While the way they can remove stains from surfaces may seem magical, the actual reason these sponges are so effective is because of the special material they are made from. Magic Erasers are made of melamine foam, which has been used for soundproofing and insulation for many years. The foam is made from melamine resin, which develops a strong microstructure as it cures. This microstructure gives the foam abrasive properties, which allow it to work much like sandpaper to remove stains, residue, and other grime from surfaces without the need for any soap. Melamine foam sponges are most effective when wet, but they will also work when dry.

Just be careful using a Magic Eraser. If you exert too much force, they have the potential to damage surfaces or remove paint or other finishes. The abrasive foam material should also not be used on the skin. Doing so may result in burns or rashes.

1. Remove scuffs and marks from walls.

a hand drags a white magic eraser sponge across a cluster of crayon marks on a white wall next to an outlet leaving a clean white streak

If you have any scuffs or marks on your walls, you can remove them using a Magic Eraser. It can be a real lifesaver for parents with young children who haven’t yet mastered where you are—and aren’t—supposed to color with crayons or markers. Simply dampen the Magic Eraser and rub the textured side gently over the painted walls. Just take care not to scrub too hard and be careful using this method to clean glossier paints, as the abrasive foam could end up damaging the finish.

2. Make white tennis shoes white again.

a man's hands holding a white shoe and cleaning it with a melamine sponge against the background of a dark wood floor

If your white tennis shoes are no longer white, a Magic Eraser can help you return them to their original color. Use a damp Magic Eraser to remove any scuff marks on the canvas or the edges of the shoes. If any spots still remain, you can follow up by hand washing the shoes in warm water with mild dish soap. Use a toothbrush to scrub the scuffs and spots.

RELATED: 15 Spring Cleaning Must-Haves Under $15

3. Clean coffee- or tea-stained mugs.

overhead view of mug with coffee stains against white background

Even with dishwashing, it is likely that your favorite coffee or tea mug has brown stains on the inside. Tea and coffee stains are stubborn to get out and can leave your mugs looking dirty, even if they’ve just been washed. Fortunately, scrubbing the inside of the mugs with a melamine sponge can get rid of these unsightly stains and leave your cups looking new again.

4. Remove sticker residue from surfaces.

partially removed sticker label with residue left behind

Have you ever peeled a price tag off of a new plastic or ceramic item? More often than not, there is a sticky residue left in its place. Get your Magic Eraser wet and squeeze out the excess water—you might find that the Extra Durable variety works better for this task. Use a little elbow grease to rub the sticky residue with the Magic Eraser until it all disappears. Then, simply rinse the area or wash the item if it will be coming into contact with food.

5. Clean kitchen appliances.

stovetop with heavy dry stain from red sauce being cleaned with a magic eraser that leaves a clean white streak

Did you know that a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can also come in handy when you’re cleaning appliances in your kitchen? It can help remove sticky spills and messes inside your microwave or refrigerator, clear off splatters and grime from your cooktop, and more. Just take note—it is not recommended to use a Magic Eraser on stainless steel surfaces.

6. Freshen up patio furniture.

two white patio chairs on deck next to wood bench with ferns in landscaping behind them next to a rock path

Has your patio furniture seen better days? Is it covered with dirt and grime after sitting out all winter? When you’re ready to freshen it up and get it ready for warm days ahead, be sure to grab your Magic Eraser. Just dampen the sponge and use it to wipe down each piece of furniture. Since this is bound to be a tougher cleaning job, you might want to use an Extra Durable Magic Eraser, which will hold up better to the scrubbing that will be necessary.

7. Get rid of soap scum on glass shower doors.

shower door in front of shower with brown tiles with soap scum on glass

If you’re searching for the best soap scum remover, look no further than your Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, particularly the bath scrubber variety. In addition to the standard melamine foam material, the bath scrubbers are also formulated with special cleansers that work to loosen soap scum, grease, and other grime. Simply add a little water to release the cleaners as you scrub away soap scum from your glass shower doors and other bathroom surfaces.

8. Clean the grill.

close up on grill covered in charred grease with flames and charcoal underneath

Believe it or not, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can also help you remove burnt-on foods and other gunk from your grill. After dampening the Magic Eraser, firmly rub it over the grates of the grill to release the mess. Because your grill will obviously be coming into contact with food after you clean it, it is important to rinse it after scrubbing it with the melamine foam material.

9. Remove spots and stains from small appliances.

appliances on kitchen counter

Small appliances, such as air fryers, blenders, and coffee makers, often live on our countertops. Because of this, their surface can become covered with splatters from food, dust, and other grime. Your Magic Eraser can help you remove splatters and sticky residues, leaving these small appliances looking neat and clean. A Magic Eraser also works well to remove coffee spills on the hot plate of your coffee maker, helping to return its original luster.

RELATED: How to Clean a Keyboard

10. Improve the look of vinyl siding.

angled view of side of house with yellow vinyl siding and two windows against blue sky

In addition to all the ways a Magic Eraser can help you keep the inside of your home clean, it can also come in handy when cleaning the outside of your house, specifically the vinyl siding. Between rain, pollen, the wind blowing dust and debris around, a home’s siding can get pretty dirty. A wet Extra Durable Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can help you power through all of the grime, leaving your siding—and your home as a whole—looking its best.

11. Clean grout.

close up on blue tiled wall above bathtub in bathroom with dirty grout and mold

If the grout on your tile floor, kitchen backsplash, or shower walls looks dirty and dingy, use a Magic Eraser to breathe some new life into it. The melamine foam sponge will work to scrub off grime, whitening and brightening the grout. Having cleaner grout will also help your tile look fresher and can improve the overall look of the space.

12. Remove permanent marker and stubborn dry-erase ink from whiteboards.

woman in open plan office writing on whiteboard for presentation to two coworkers sitting in front of her

Have you ever accidentally picked up a permanent marker thinking it was a dry-erase marker? If so, your whiteboard isn’t ruined forever. Dampening a Magic Eraser sponge and using it to wipe down the surface of the board will remove the permanent marker. A Magic Eraser will also come in handy to remove dry-erase marker residue that has been left sitting on the board for too long and will no longer come off with a regular whiteboard eraser.

13. Give white furniture a facelift.

white couch in light colored living room with blue pillows and blankets

If your white or cream couches or chairs are looking dull and dingy, use a Magic Eraser to help revive their appearance. Start by dampening the foam sponge and testing it spot testing it on an inconspicuous area of the furniture. Then, use it to scrub off marks or scuffs on the furniture. Once the cleaned areas have dried, you can repeat the steps if necessary to remove more stubborn stains.

RELATED: 10 Secrets Paint Pros Won’t Tell You

14. Get rid of hairspray buildup.

various beauty products on wood shelf on white tiled wall in the bathroom

If using hairspray is part of your morning routine, then there is likely hairspray residue and buildup on your countertop, beauty product bottles, combs, and various other surfaces in your bathroom. Fortunately, the abrasive foam of a Magic Eraser can help you get rid of the tacky buildup, leaving the various surfaces in your bathroom clean and residue-free.

15. Eliminate rust stains.

close up on old faucet with rust stains on sink basin

Iron in a home’s water can cause rust stains in sinks, showers, and bathtubs. A Magic Eraser—particularly the ones formulated for use in bathrooms—can work wonders at powering through these rust stains. The bath scrubbers include a special foaming cleanser that works alongside the melamine foam to clear up stubborn stains and leave your bathroom fixtures looking clean and shiny.

16. Erase carpet stains.

light colored carpet with glass spilling red liquid

Cleaning carpet is another unexpected way that Magic Erasers can come to the rescue. When dampened, the melamine foam material can remove stains from the carpet fibers, making spills a little less catastrophic. Depending on the stain, it may take several passes with your Magic Eraser to pull it completely out of the carpet.

17. Keep your desk clean.

light wood desk covered with laptop coffee cup daily planners photographs and other office supplies

Chances are, you do more than just sit and type on your computer at your desk. If you’re like many, your desk probably has several smudges, drink rims, crumbs, and fingerprints scattered across its surface and drawer fronts. Depending on the finish of your desk, a Magic Eraser can help you power through these spots and stains, giving it a whole new lease on life. With a cleaner desk, you’re bound to be more productive, right?