I've been very lucky so far - my two-year old has only had a few run-ins with crayons and pencils on our walls and doors. The first time it was crayon on our white bedroom door, and absolutely NO cleaning product worked to get the marks off. Only my patient scratching with a fingernail got the marks off. When the crayon struck again on the inside of our bathroom door, I didn't want to waste the time or fingernail on the marks, so they stayed there a while...
...then I tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and was very impressed...
The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a sponge-like pad that erases marks and grime from walls and other surfaces. A special material (that is not listed on the box) is able to get into those tiny surface textures to get to where the dirt is trapped, allowing it to be removed with ease.
The pads come two to a box (although I think a 4-pack is also available) and are fairly cheap (I got mine for under $3.00 at Wal-Mart, plus you can find coupons for them too). They are roughly 5 inches long, 2½ inches wide, and just over an inch thick. They are white with the Mr. Clean Genie indented on top. They feel springy/spongy to the touch.
To use, you simply wet the eraser with water, then squeeze out the excess. Gently rub the eraser on the surface where you want to remove marks/grime. Just like a real eraser, it degrades with use, so the more you use it the less of it there is. Eventually, when it becomes mangled and grungy, it is time to throw it away and start on a new one.
The box recommends trying the Magic Eraser on surfaces such as refrigerators and other appliances, walls, floors, doors, bathroom soap scum, and patio furniture. It also recommends using it on car and boat interiors, wheels, athletic shoes (the soles and leather uppers), and more.
Warnings caution you to keep the pads out of reach of toddlers and pets to avoid accidental ingestion. If you use the pads for dishwashing, they warn you to rinse the dishes thoroughly. It also warns against using them with chlorine bleach.
Also according to the box, the Magic Eraser is not recommended for use on surfaces that are polished or glossy, or on finishes that are brushed, satin, or dark.
I don't usually write reviews on cleaning products -- none have moved me to a point where I feel inspired to write about them. That all changed with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. We have a twisting/winding staircase, and we have managed to get scuffs and scrapes all over the white walls surrounding the stairs (including an "accidental" crayon mark left when my boy was carrying them upstairs). I have tried a number of products to get those scuffs off. In my cleaning attempts I've made dirty smudges, created distinctly too-white places, and even accidentally removed some paint. Just a few swipes from a slightly damp Magic Eraser, and the marks were gone! GONE!
Of course, the whole reason I bought the silly thing was my door, where my child's crayon glory awaited me. All it took was some gentle (with just a touch of force) rubbing with the Eraser, and the marks disappeared. Even in the grooves of my painted-white wood grain door. I was stunned, remembering how much scraping and elbow grease it took to remove the marks the first time. These pads are great!
The water is necessary. My Eraser dried out as I was cleaning scuffs in my stairwell, and you could definitely tell a big difference after I got it wet again. It doesn't need to be drippy or sopping, just a little damp.
As always, when I find something cool and I don't know how it works, I do some digging. Apparently the "magic" in the Magic Eraser is the fact that it is made from "melamine plastic resin". The resin is able to penetrate the tiny grooves on seemingly smooth surfaces to clear out the grime without any chemicals or solvents whatsoever!
As wonderful as they are, I won't try to claim that they are perfect. I did have one particularly nasty little scuff in my hallway that the Eraser had no effect upon whatsoever. I'm not sure why, since every other mark came off with ease. I'm guessing the scuff consists of some particularly nasty stuff. Still, it was able to "erase" everything else, so I'm not complaining.
As I mentioned above, the pads to break down with use. I only used mine on scuffs and marks on the walls, so it still looks practically brand new (just one edge has become a bit grayed and worn) -- and that was on every scuff I could find in my whole house! If you are using the pad on a large project, such as your entire bathroom, then you would not get as much reuse (one pad might last for one long, intensive cleaning).
These things are really cool! I highly recommend them, especially if you have 2-year old crayon lovers running around your house. I'm definitely going to keep a supply in my house at all times!
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