We had just been through her pantry, where all of her stored foods–exclusively organic items, of course—were housed in glass tubs…from quinoa to oat groats to seaweed, nothing lived in a plastic container of any kind. After moving to the playroom, where I spotted only one piece of plastic (in the form of a miniature beach ball) amidst a sea of beeswax, untreated wood, and felted wool, I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to help this woman at all. Her home seemed devoid of all toxins–from the custom furniture made of goosedown and hemp, to her five-month-old’s wardrobe that consisted entirely of organic cotton clothing items, I have never seen a cleaner home.
I felt like a fraud, and I realized sadly that despite how much I liked this woman, we could never become friends, lest she see the inside of my apartment, full of Legos and ice cubes stored in plastic trays and even some non-organic cloves of garlic.
In any event, this client had paid me to help her banish toxins from her ridiculously gorgeous apartment, and I was determined to hunt these toxins down. So my pulse quickened as I stared into her cleaning supply closet and–amidst the bottles of Sonett glass cleaner, Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent, and Eco-Me all-purpose cleaner–I spied the unmistakable sheen of a bald head. “It’s Mr. Clean Magic Eraser,” my client spit out guiltily. “It’s amazing, but I know it’s so so toxic, so don’t even tell me what’s in it, okay?” Actually, I couldn’t tell her what was in this product, as I was until that moment unfamiliar with it (although of course I knew that regular old Mr. Clean liquid cleaner was full of chemicals. But she didn’t need to pay me to tell her that.)
What Magic Eraser Does
I’m sure all of my readers know what Magic Eraser is, but if not, it’s basically a miracle sponge that wipes stains off of pretty much any hard surface. It seems I am the only mom who didn’t use these sponges for smudges on white walls, crayons on countertops, or strawberry juice on floors.
I told the client I would look into it, left her apartment, and practically sprinted home, heady with the anticipation of uncovering all sorts of noxious ingredients and hopefully finding a safe alternative I could recommend to her. But my research revealed something surprising…Mr. Clean Magic Eraser really isn’t that bad.
What Magic Eraser Is Made of
Magic Eraser’s pad itself is made of melamine polymer, about which safety info is lacking, but which doesn’t appear to be toxic. I mean, it’s a type of plastic, it’s not remotely natural, and it’s certainly not something I would sell in my online store. You shouldn’t use it on dishes or something you eat off of as bits of the polymer are left behind. You should avoid formulas with added fragrance or bleach. All that said, as far as cleaning products go, Magic Eraser is actually one is among the safer options, especially considering how well it works.
Magic Eraser: The Most Unlikely Good Stuff
Obviously, my client was thrilled to hear that she could keep using the Magic Eraser without compromising the air quality of her pristine home. And in the end I was able to help her by working with her decorator to design a flame-retardant free day bed for her toddler, and we also added air-purifying houseplants and Moso bags to all the rooms of her apartment.
Oh, I also did end up becoming friends with this client. And someday, if I can hide the Legos, perhaps I will let her venture into my home, where she will find a full supply of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in my own cleaning closet.
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