Lurking in the bottom of your cleaning supplies bucket is probably a squished white sponge known as a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. You used it once to nix some marks on the walls and then tossed it in, never to be thought of again. But it's time to reconsider this. Made of super-dense melamine foam, Magic Erasers and other melamine foam sponges you can buy from off-brands on Amazon are actually more like incredibly fine sandpaper blocks than sponges at all. On a microscopic level, their structure is as hard as glass, with little air pockets throughout, which means that with just a drizzle of water (and no added cleaners or chemicals), they can lift hard-to-remove stains and markings on just about any hard surface. Walls are just the start! Now that you know they're actually scratching stains away, you'll be tempted to use them elsewhere around the house—and let us tell you, there are so many cleaning tasks that are about to get easier because of your Magic Eraser.
We've rounded up a list of ideas that the Mr. Clean team personally approved, but note: If you're at all concerned that the sponge might scratch the surface you're cleaning, test a tiny section first. Some painted, polished, or easily scratched surfaces might dull if you rub them with melamine foam, and we don't want your glossy kitchen counter to end up with a weird matte spot on it.
Remove annoying sticker residue. No more soaking and scrubbing.
Lift caked-on grease from a stovetop or hood. Extremely satisfying.
Clean your computer keyboard. Turn it off and squish the eraser into those lines between the keys.
And your grimy iPad/tablet cover. Watch the gunk disappear.
Polish up plastic outdoor furniture. The elements are no match for your favorite sponge.
Get rid of scuff marks on baseboards. They are a fact of life no more.
Also on hardwood floors. Much cheaper than having them refinished.
De-soot the fireplace. Unless you like the whole "naturally charred" look.
And anything vinyl on your exterior. Siding, fencing, you name it—cleaned!
De-cloud glassware. This one feels like a magic trick.
Lift coffee and tea stains. Your Chemex will thank you.
Get white sneakers white again. Not technically a home-maintenance task, but so good to know!
Make white grout white again. A slogan we can get behind.
Remove makeup residue. Dried mascara, lipstick stains, foundation, even spilled hair dye can be mopped up with this sponge.
Clear away soap scum and hard-water stains. Your bathroom has never been brighter.
Also nix rust residue. From the ring under your shampoo bottle to the drain itself.
Get the grill good and clean. We'd save this for once a year, at the end of grilling season.
Clean the fridge. Remove the food, and wipe down the entire exterior (including the front of the fridge if it's not stainless steel).
And the microwave! Bye forever, food-splatter stains.
Get all that gunk off the inside of the oven. No more insane chemical cleaners.