Here's Why You Should Never Use Magic Eraser On Wood Surfaces

Magic Erasers are a favorite household cleaning tool, whether you use them to clean your baseboards, walls, or even your shoes. Some people go so far as to use them to clean their furniture, which generally isn't a bad idea. Glass, wicker, vinyl, and chrome are all completely safe to clean with a Magic Eraser. That said, these tools should never be used on wood, as the material can easily strip the finish.

This is because Magic Erasers are made of melamine foam, or more specifically, a formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. And while they feel quite squishy and spongy to the touch, the material is actually very abrasive, similar to a fine grit sandpaper. For most surfaces, that abrasive texture doesn't actually sand off the top layer, but rather is able to agitate and loosen up whatever stain you're working against. However, on wood, it will start by stripping off the top layer of varnish.

Magic Erasers can strip wood finish

Magic Erasers should not be used on any shiny or glossy material and this includes varnished wood as well as glossy paints, steel, and the exterior of your car. Furthermore, you should avoid using a Magic Eraser, or any kind of melamine foam sponge, even if the wood surface has not been finished. If you have stained wood that has not been finished with a coat of varnish, the sponge may damage the layer of stain.

The surface of bare unstained wood is soft and it can also be damaged by a Magic Eraser. If you have a tough to remove mark on unfinished wood and your last resort is a Magic Eraser, you'd be better off properly sanding it down and re-staining it, as opposed to scratching it up with melamine foam. This includes wood furniture, floors, countertops, and more. Other materials to avoid using these sponges on include marble and granite countertops, nonstick cookware, and toilet bowls, as well as any other delicate or fragile surfaces — including your skin.

Cleaning wood stains and scuffs

One of the most common uses for Magic Erasers is to remove crayon markings from various surfaces, but there are better ways to deal with stains on wood that don't require so much abrasiveness. For wood furniture or floors, start by trying to wipe off the stain with hot water. Then use dry baking soda as a very slight abrasive material to buff it out. Lemon oil can also be used to buff away lots of stains.

People also frequently use Magic Erasers to buff out scuff marks on their walls or floors. To do this on wood floors, start with a regular kitchen sponge. Simply wet it and gently but firmly try to rub out the scuff marks. Regular rubber erasers and even tennis balls can make cleaning floors easier. The felt covering of a tennis ball works wonders on scuff marks. If none of these methods work, make a baking soda and water paste to buff out the scuff marks.