"Magic Erasers have formaldehyde in them!"OR
"Magic Erasers are toxic and cause chemical burns!"You are probably wondering if you should ever use Magic Erasers because you are wondering if they are safe. I have been in your position too. Years ago I first heard something along those lines, did some research and was reassured enough to begin using them again. Then recently I heard the same thing again and realized that I had forgotten all of my past research, so I decided to research them again, document my research, and post it for my future use down the road. So this post is for me to remember as much as it is for you.
Along with the food and body product revolution, I have been whisked into the "clean without harsh chemicals" movement. For me, its all about showing respect for my body and the earth. So I have been taking baby steps to avoid harsh chemicals. And since Magic Erasers are just sponges that work with water alone, they fit into my "try to clean with just microfiber, water, or non-harsh chemicals" ideology. I love the cleaning power of Magic Erasers, especially for my stove-top. So when people say that they are toxic, that sends me scrambling for answers/proof because I don't want to give them up.
Okay, so here is how this post will go. I will provide you with a description of the ingredient in Magic Erasers, explain that ingredient, provide safety information, and then lastly compare it with Norwex Cleaning Up Pads. I'm including the comparison at the end because both times that I heard statements accusing Magic Eraser of being unsafe was from Norwex consultants.
What are the ingredients in Mr. Clean Magic Erasers? Proctor & Gamble reports that the only ingredient in Original Magic Erasers and their Extra Power Magic Erasers is melamine polymer, which is an "Abrasive Foam".
What is Melamine Polymer Foam? Melamine foam is a "foam-like material consisting of a formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer." Melamine Polymer is also known as melamine foam, and is a form of melamine resin. Melamine foam feels soft but really is as hard as glass and cleans through abrasion.
Okay, so the scary word fomaldehyde is there. But did you catch the dashes in between formaldehyde and melamine and sodium? Those dashes are not just "ingredients" in a recipe--it is a complex scientific process that produces a different compound. I don't understand it but chemical engineers and scientists do. So in melamine resin, the "formaldehyde is more tightly bound in melamine formaldehyde than it is in urea-formaldehyde, reducing emissions". Here's a snippet from that page for you: