Why You Don't Want To Drop A Magic Eraser In Your Toilet Tank

Magic Erasers are one of those miracle products that seem to clean anything. When you can't get a stain out and you've exhausted all possibilities, you grab a melamine sponge and watch the stubborn mark disappear. It's an important part of any cleaning arsenal, which is why some people might want to use it to clean their toilet bowls. After all, that's one spot in the bathroom that needs constant cleaning, and stains are bound to happen. But dropping a Magic Eraser in your toilet tank won't achieve what you want it to.

The Magic Eraser hack has been making its rounds on social media and various websites since it seemingly gave people a shortcut to cleaning their toilets. Rather than having to use a dirty scrub brush or battle unsightly stains, all you had to do was put a melamine sponge in the tank, and each flush would help clean the bowl. But it turns out that this doesn't work as most people would like it to. It looks like, in the end, there are no shortcuts for toilet hygiene.

Why it doesn't work

The idea behind this hack is that the cleaning agents inside Magic Erasers get released into the toilet tank and make their way down to the bowl, cleaning the porcelain with every flush. After all, there are toilet bowl cleaning pods that you drop into the bowl, and they achieve the same thing. Their chemicals dissolve in the water and break down any grime. So at first glance, it seems to make sense.

However, there aren't any cleaning chemicals inside the sponge, meaning it's not releasing anything into the toilet bowl. Instead, the Magic Eraser gets its scrubbing power from the melamine sponge, which has the texture of ultra-fine sandpaper. It gently sands away a stain, making it disappear. Because of that, you have to physically use the sponge on a surface for it to clean it. Much like a scrub brush won't do anything sitting in water, neither will a Magic Eraser. 

What to use instead

Since people who gravitate towards this hack want a hands-free way to clean toilets, there are other tricks you can use to achieve this. As mentioned earlier, drop-in tablets can help clean toilet bowls and lift away stains without needing a dirty toilet brush. For example, Scrubbing Bubbles' Drop-Ins Toilet Cleaning Tablets are small pods you drop into the tank. They keep your toilet stain-free for up to four weeks, releasing cleaning agents with every flush and erasing mineral buildup like limescale before it becomes noticeable. This achieves what you would hope with the Magic Eraser hack.

You can also use bleach to clean your toilet bowl without scrubbing. All you need to do is pour a bucket of water into the bowl so it drains empty, and then ring the bowl with bleach. Allow it to sit for around two hours, and then flush the fixture so the cleaning agent and grime wash away. No scrubbing necessary!