The untold truth of Magic Eraser

Do you remember how people said your dog would die if you tried to get rid of the doggy stink on his bed with a few squirts of Febreeze, or how your cat would also die if you cleaned your floors with a Swiffer? People do love to start rumors about cleaning products, and the Magic Eraser has not escaped the scrutiny of the “all chemicals are evil” crowd.

Back in 2006, someone started an email-based rumor that Magic Erasers contain formaldehyde. You know, “the chemical they use to preserve dead people.” So the implication was that when you use a Magic Eraser you’re basically leaving embalming fluids all over your walls and furniture, and no one wants that. Unsurprisingly, it was Snopes who busted the rumor — they reprinted Procter & Gamble’s rebuttal not long after the email made its appearance. Don’t worry, the rebuttal said, the misunderstanding comes from the presence of the word “formaldehyde” in the product’s chemical name, which is melamine-formaldehyde-sodium bisulfite copolymer, or, in layman’s terms, the Sponge of Satan.

In their statement, the company promised there was no actual formaldehyde in the product, though they did say the manufacturing process might leave trace amounts, but don’t worry because those trace amounts were generally less than what can be found in air. Still, not everyone was comforted because Evil Corporation, and today you will still find people who are passionately committed to making sure that no parent anywhere, ever, will ever have clean walls again.

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