Oct 26, 2009

All About Melamine Foam.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine on Facebook requested that I write about magic erasers. I have always wondered about those plain old white rectangles that everyone bears their testimony about. I have personally only bought them twice in my life. I have have been lucky enough to have kids that are not into making messes that would make me wonder how on earth I was going to clean that up. I did have one child that got a hold of a black sharpie marker about 5 years ago and drew on a newly painted wall and I think that Brian sanded it and painted over it. I can not ever remember crayon on the wall. I do know all about scuff marks but water, cleaner and a sponge have always seemed to take care of those. But I have always wondered what makes magic erasers tick. Is it really magic? So just in case looking up magic erasers is on your "to do" list for today I went ahead and did it for you.

I immediately found out that what makes magic erasers "magic" is a material called melamine foam. Melamine foam has been around for twenty years and in those twenty years it was used as sound insulation and temperature insulation it was only recently that someone discovered it could take off pretty much everything on the planet :) I would love to know that story. Probably some construction guy working on building a recording studio was joking around with his friends, while installing the foam, and he writes, "Bob loves Britney Spears" on the wall, in crayon. He panics when he remembers she is crazy and grabs the first thing he can reach to try to wipe it off and it happens to be some of the melamine foam, as he is grabbing it, the foam falls into his cup of water with ice, (all construction workers have cups of water with ice on hand :) he pulls it out of the water and tries to rub the words away with the wet melamine foam and voila the rest is history? :)

Well honestly I never really found out how they discovered it could clean but I did find out how it works by simply asking google. And let me tell you what I found....

When the melamine cures into foam it becomes very hard...like glass. And because it becomes hard it performs like extremely fine sandpaper on stains. I know magic erasers are soft so you are probably confused about how something as hard as glass can be in there so I will tell you that I read on, and on, and on about open celled foam and closed cell foam. It was fascinating but I will spare you all the details....unless you want to have lunch, and pay for it and then I will happily entertain you with all my talk about open and closed cells. But suffice it to say melamine foam's open cells are airy and not jammed together like close celled things thus making them soft and able to hold whatever you are scrubbing up.

The melamine foam works well on surfaces that are painted, polished or easily scratched..they almost work too well. I noticed this the three or four times I have used a magic eraser...they can take a lot of the surface off. Not only that, they did not last near as long as I wanted them to. They will last longer if you mist them with water rather than running them under the faucet. And if you rub gently. I also found out that you can use them until they start to shred....good to know :)

I spent way too much time this morning reading testimonials about the magic eraser and I think I have become convinced that I should have some on hand they really do seem to be magic. I read many lists of creative uses for them and anything involving the words mildew, grease, dried on, mold, adhesive residue, water marks, scuff, stain, nail polish, and spill Mr Magic Eraser can totally handle it. The only question I had over and over was how many magic erasers did it take them to clean their boat? Their siding and gutters? Their swimming pool steps? Their birdbath with bird poop all over it? (true story) The ideas that most caught my attention were; to use it on window screens while they are still in the window and to use it on the brown spots left in baking dishes after you have used them for many years :)

It seems the only thing this amazing white rectangle does not work on is teenagers undesirable
behaviors. Would it not be great if I could just magic eraser those away?


Kristy said...

Fascinating! I read this with glee, then read it out loud to my mom and sister.

I do so heart the Magic Erasers.

Did you get that e-mail a while back about how you should really NOT use it on skin?

Annette said...

You are so fun! I'm with you on the amount thing. I've used them, particularly, when getting a house ready to sell, but everytime I see the commercial for the new one, adverstising how it cleans even soap scum on the shower door, I look at the size of the clean patch and the size of the shower door and wonder how many, and how erasers it would take to really clean the whole door. It seems so much easer to buy KABOOM.

Melissa said...

I love magic melamine foam! Thanks for the info! I use them on my fridge door- takes all the dirt out of the little tiny cracks in the handle. I have also had experience with crayon on the wall-actually it was a mural and this worked like a charm.

Pam Mueller said...

very fascinating stuff. Thanks for doing all the research! You are like a walking encyclopedia.

William Cane said...

Since becoming more aware of the staggering amount of toxic garbage in our every day products, I have become kind of a tin-foil-hat person. Nature gives us everything we need, and we're so foolish to keep throwing away our money on these poisonous "cleaning" products. Vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, and occasionally some alcohol are all I use to clean the house now.