How to use a Magic Eraser and seven clever uses for them around your home

Wondering how to use a Magic Eraser properly? Follow our simple guide to discover everything this handy home essential can do...

woman's hand using a magic eraser—to illustrate how to use a Magic Eraser
(Image credit: Alamy)

Understanding how to use a Magic Eraser isn't difficult, and once you're made aware of all of the many different uses this clever household item can have, it'll become an absolute essential.

A Magic Eraser is essentially a white sponge, specially made with a certain foam that can prove particularly useful for getting tough stains off of almost anything—be it furniture, your floors, and even (some) clothing. The cleaning process itself only takes a little water and some scrubbing—no chemicals or soap needed—making a Magic Eraser a great way to spruce up all kinds of items around your home. 

It can be used as part of your kitchen cleaning routine, your bathroom cleaning routine, and even as a factor in your general home maintenance regime. And because there are no harsh chemicals required when learning how to use a Magic Eraser, it's also safe for use in more sensitive areas too, such as kids' bedrooms or pet areas. So how exactly should you use it? Our guide explains the numerous ways this wonder product can be helpful to you.

What is a Magic Eraser?

You might be wondering how and why a Magic Eraser is different to a regular sponge—but it's actually pretty different. All Magic Eraser sponges contain melamine foam. On a microscopic level, when it gets wet, this foam has a hard, super-fine, sandpaper-like texture, making it a really good abrasive cleaning tool.

This makes it particularly useful for cleaning jobs where your regular wipes or kitchen cloths just won't cut it—it really comes into its own in situations where you're dealing with a more stubborn stain or dirt.

And, just because it's an abrasive cleaning item, it doesn't mean a Magic Eraser can't be used to clean more fragile items too, as you'll find out below.

a white melamine sponge on a blue background

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How to use a Magic Eraser

The basics of how to use a Magic Eraser can be found on the packet, but knowing all the many different uses of your Magic Eraser can transform your cleaning routine and how you look at stains for good.

1. Remove carpet stains

When it comes to how to get stains out of carpet, you may well find you have stubborn marks, such as mud or wine, that are difficult to remove with ordinary carpet cleaners. In this case, a Magic Eraser can really make a difference.

Try gently wiping the stain, going over it as many times as you need, with a damp Magic Eraser until it disappears. It's advised to test out the Magic Eraser on a specific, smaller section of your carpet first, to make sure it doesn't damage the material. If in doubt, check in with your carpet's manufacturer to see what tools can and can't be used on it. 

2. Refresh grout

Grout is one of the toughest surfaces in your home to deal with, and it's one of the trickiest stages when it comes to how to clean a bathroom or a kitchen to get them sparkling. This is because grout can quickly become dirty and discolored between tiles, where dirt accumulates quickly. Knowing how to clean grout is not easy, as the dirt often won't just wipe off. That's where the Magic Eraser comes in. 

To grout looking clean again, you can use a dampened Magic Eraser. To do so, scrub gently using circular motions for best results. Make sure not to scrub too hard, though, so that you don't break up the grout's surface fibers.

hand holding a white magic eraser

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Clean glassware

You might not imagine a Magic Eraser would be useful when cleaning glassware, but it can actually really help to remove cloudiness and stubborn stains, to make your glasses, plates and ornaments look like new.

Start by wetting one or both sides of the sponge with water. Rub gently in circular motions over dirty spots until they come off. Then wash the glass well with soap and water. 

Consider using rubber gloves for safety reasons if you're cleaning large pieces of glassware though, and be sure to clean the item very gently, as you don't want to accidentally crack or smash it.

4. Clean and polish jewelry

Wearing jewelry everyday leads to eventual wear and tear and can make metal look dull, so it's good to know how to clean jewelry to maintain its shine.

A Magic Eraser is great for this, because the eraser's abrasive surface removes dirt without scratching delicate or sensitive surfaces like gold or silver. Used gently, it will take off tarnish and build-up without causing any damage.

To do this, simply dip your Eraser in a little bit of water and (very) gently rub your jewelry in circular motions, until it shines again and the tarnishing is removed. If you are in doubt about whether you should manually clean more delicate jewelry, always err on the side of caution and take particularly precious items to a professional jewelry cleaner instead.

5. Clean vinyl siding

There is no need to buy a pressure washer or other expensive equipment to clean vinyl siding on your house. When it comes to how to use a Magic Eraser on your siding, just take a wet one and rub it on the dirtiest parts of your exterior walls—it's particularly good for mud or rain marks!

The eraser will remove dirt, pollen, watermarks and other grime, and even paint. For this reason, you should be careful when using a Magic Eraser on painted surfaces, for example, walls. So while we'd recommend a Magic Eraser for vinyl siding, it's best used with extreme caution on inside walls—or, not at all.

6. Remove pet stains

If you are a cat or dog owner, you know how difficult it can be to remove pet stains. But a wet Magic Eraser is perfect for getting rid of small marks and scuffs left by your pets on carpets or upholstery. It's also good for removing dog drool and paw marks from windows.

Again, simply apply some water and the Magic Eraser to the marks or stains, and scrub at it until it disappears. It really is as simple as that!

7. Refresh white sneakers

a woman walking in white sneakers on the pavement

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Yes—sadly even your very best white trainers can become victims of stains and scuff marks. And it can often feel as though anything less than bright white sneakers look dull and dirty against your best outfits.

But rather than throwing them away, just use your Magic Eraser to scrub off any dirt and grass stains. Be sure to apply water. This technique works particularly well on plastic or rubber sneakers, but it's also good for material shoes too.

Finally, if you're unsure how to use a Magic Eraser on a particular surface, or whether you even can, make sure you always do a small spot test first.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on