Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Annals of Stupidity: Magic Erasers

It's been a while since I posted any "Annals of Stupidity," which are usually about dumb, klutzy things I've done, messes I've made, and so on.

But this one is an error of "omission," which is the word the sisters at my school used as they coached us through the ins and outs of making our Holy Confessions. Not only could our actions — stealing, swearing, being mean to animals, sassing our elders — be sinful, but our inactions might be, too. For example, if we saw someone drowning in the sea and we happened to have a life preserver and a rope handy, it would be a sin not to try to save that person's life. The sisters often had lively imaginations. Maybe that's where I got mine.

My imagination had failed me on the subject of Magic Erasers. I saw the boxes in the supermarket but I ignored their promise. I had not read about them online because I don't hang around on homemaking websites. I don't watch HGTV or other cable stations, so I missed that boat, too. I assumed they were for the same people who believe claims that soda that contains a little actual fruit juice is healthy for you. Or the people who actually open on all those links to human interest stories promising revelations that will "shock" or "surprise" you. (What "shocks" me is how often those links turn up in my Facebook feed, posted by people I know. I get my daily quota of "surprises" just reading the news. I just can't care about some guy who went to his barber and found something that will shock and surprise me.)

But I digress...

As were were staging the new condo in hopes of selling it, we noticed that the movers had left ugly marks on the freshly painted walls as they carried a set of dark woven patio furniture up the spiral stairs to the roof deck. As she was running off to complete another project, our stager mentioned that a Magic Eraser could probably fix it.

Last Sunday, I remembered this when I was grocery shopping. I bought a box (Mr. Clean, but there are other brands) and went to the condo to test them. (I have to go there a few times a week to water plants, dust, mop, replace burned-out light bulbs and aging fruit displays, plump sofa cushions, wonder what the hell possessed us, and so on.)


I was shocked and surprised!

It's been a while since I've had that much fun. I know I've never had as much fun while cleaning — and I do enjoy polishing silver. The little box weighed nothing; it could have been empty. A Magic Eraser looks like nothing much, just a cheap smooth sponge. After I wet it, the Magic Eraser removed all the brown scuff marks that I'd failed to scrub away before. It worked so quickly I was stunned. Then I tried it on a more dubious task: the toilet seat lid. Someone had stood on it, probably to examine the large, gray glass panels that are neither lights nor skylights but are mysteriously prominent in that bathroom's tiled ceiling. The guy's boots had left long dark streaks all over the lid that we thought were permanent since I couldn't make any headway on removing them. We'd taken to leaving the lid up, despite it being a Cardinal Sin of staging, because it looked so awful. I was contemplating a trip to Home Depot to replace it.

Not anymore. The Magic Eraser performed another miracle. There is still a tiny gouge that didn't disappear, and some of the seat is a lighter shade of white than  it was, thanks to my energetic rubbing, but it looks a million times better.

By that point I was kicking myself for not taking before-and-after photos. So before I tackled the messy scuff marks all over the closet's walls, I took this.

And a few minutes later, I took this:

We thought we'd have to repaint that closet.

To learn how Magic Erasers work, go here. Or just go buy some (you can get two for about $3, for heaven's sake) and start playing. People suggest cutting them into four short strips to get more use from each sponge because they will shred and fall apart as you rub with them.

And keep them away from your animals, obviously.

If only the Magic Eraser could help us sell that place and erase a few of our many mortgages... now that would be magic indeed.


  1. I used a Mr. Clean sponge to remove a paint stain from my car!

  2. LOVE these. I actually cut them in half to get squares.

  3. The guy that hosts the TV show Hotel Impossible, Anthony Mel........somethingorother, claims to carry a Magic Eraser (dampened, in a zip lock bag) in his suit coat pocket. I love them, just wish they didn't shred so readily.

  4. LOL.. i have heard of other people falling in love with them, but I have yet to buy one.

  5. Just be cautious using it on enamel- I scrubbed the paint off a stove top - oops!

  6. I love these -- but as they are so magical, I never use the ones that I already have under my sink. They are for "special" occasions. (I am so like my mom.) Should cleaning things WELL be a special occasion? This is also an entry into the annals of stupidity.


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