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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is Magic Eraser Really Magic?

With a new house comes a lot of cleaning.  Even if the prior owners were immaculate, most people would want to wash them away in some form or another.  In our case, we needed to clean, it wasnt just a matter of wanting to. 

I am not certain how these people lived.  Maybe they were sick all the time.  Maybe they had built up some super resistance to the gunk covering their entire home, but there is no way that I was going to test whether J and I had the same immune capabilities! 

To be fair the prior owners had a mastiff and a rottweiler - big dogs  - that left their big nose prints on  just about everything waist height and left their big tongue prints on everything else.  Still, these people were not clean.  Both showers were encrusted with soap scum, there were actual dust bunnies in the refridgerator, and the originally white doors of the pantry (and every other originally white surface) were a taupe hue from slobber and dirty hands.  They hadnt even bothered to clean out the saw dust shavings from the kitchen drawers after installing new hardware!  J and I finally had to clean the laminate flooring on our hands and knees to get whatever that residue was off with vinegar and water.  You know its bad when you have to resort to the "eve" of all cleaners.  :)

I had previously used the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser at our rental to clean the walls from the earlier tenants and found that it left strange looking smudge marks on the wall.  There was no question that the dirt came off, but I wasnt so certain that the dull area it left behind on the wall was any better so I stopped using them.  The Magic Erasers sat amongst the other cleaning supplies until we moved to our "new" and filthy house.

Out came the rectangular sponges of wonder!  They cleaned the fake wood pantry doors, floor boards, and windows frames like a dream.  They fell apart rather quickly which was a bit unfortunate since I used up the remaining 3 erasers in about 20 minutes flat, but the surfaces they had touched were pristine - or so I thought.

Yesterday while opening our now fully-stocked pantry I noticed a thin film on my fingers.  I wiped it on my sweats without thinking too much about it.  By the end of dinner prep, I had multiple white finger marks on my sweat pants.  My sense of awe in the powers of the Magic Eraser faded away when I realized that I would have to wipe down each and every surface AGAIN before I could be rid of the "magical" power of the erasers.  Its possible that the white powder currently covering my pantry, bathroom, and bedroom doors adds a resilient whiteness to the fixtures, but I am not so certain replacing one type of dirty dirt with another type of seemingly "clean" dirt is a good trade off.

Mr. Clean, you let me down.  The joy I gained from watching those dark smudges disappear from my home was fleeting and I now have to address the blizzard of powder emanating from all the gleaming white surfaces.