Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and generic melamine foam don’t have a chemical cleaner in them, it’s just an abrasive foam that makes them work.
It’s commonly used as insulation for pipes and ductwork as well as a soundproofing material.
Apparently, people have only recently been using it as a cleaning device:
“Recently, a novel application for such melamine foams in the area of hard surface cleaning has been discovered. Indeed, cleaning implements of cut or molded pieces of melamine foam have become popular to remove soils and/or stains from hard surfaces”-Google Patents
So all this means you could save yourself some money if you buy generic melamine foam in bulk.
Magic Erasers are listed at $1.97 for a 2-pack on walmart.com, by comparison, generic melamine foam can be found on several sites as cheap as $5.53 for 100!
Money Saving Tips and Cleaning Tricks from Reddit:
- Read reviews and get a good brand. Some of the generics are poorly made.
- Magic erasers are abrasive. Use common sense and don’t use them on something that easily scratches.
- They work great for cleaning shoes, walls, soap scum, etc.
- Wear gloves. They can sand away the skin around your nails and cause splits.
- Melamine sponges have a Mohs hardness of 4. Regular glass has a Mohs hardness of 5.5, and tempered glass can be even harder. Bathroom tile has a hardness around 7, going up to around 9. So it’s safe to clean these surfaces but be very careful with anything softer.
“(The Mohs Hardness Test) compares the resistance of a mineral to being scratched by ten reference minerals known as the Mohs Hardness Scale”-Geology.com