The magic eraser has become a must-have item in homes and other establishments for its cleaning prowess. It works for most surfaces, and you may have considered it for your leather items too.
So, can you use a magic eraser on leather? Yes, you can use a magic eraser on leather, provided you know when and how to, in order to avoid damaging you leather products.
Continue reading this article to learn more about the pros and cons of using a magic eraser on leather. We also address when and when not to use it on leather and how best to use it.
What Is A Magic Eraser?
Magic eraser is a small yet phenomenal cleaning pad that needs no introduction. But we’ll do it for the sake of those not familiar with it.
Magic eraser is a type of foam that has become a staple in households. It is a practical cleaner that removes dirt and stains on various surfaces with a simple swipe.
Mr. Clean is the original brand. There are, however, many different brands of magic erasers today that cropped up after its massive success and popularity.
The magic eraser is not your ordinary block of sponge though. It is manufactured using ground melamine resin. This material provides micro-abrasions that remove dirt off surfaces from the foundation.
It is like super fine grit sandpaper. Just softer and almost non-invasive. The sponge is also porous underneath, so besides taking out the dirt, it sucks it in too.
It sometimes happens that we do not have the recommended commercial leather cleaning products on hand. In this situation, like many people, you might wonder whether you could use a magic eraser on leather.
You can use a magic eraser on leather. It works as an effective cleaner for dirt. In addition, applying a magic eraser on leather also gets rid of scuffs, smoothing out the surface.
Nonetheless, the manufacturer did not intend for this wonder sponge to be used with leather. It has never been implied nor promoted that way.
Furthermore, since the magic eraser has abrasive properties, you might want to question its suitability for use on leather. While the sponge is an effective cleaner, is it safe to use on leather? What are its pros and cons?
Pros And Cons Of Using A Magic Eraser On Leather
There are various household and commercial products that have been used to clean leather; acetone, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol, to mention a few.
Notwithstanding, the magic eraser has a few advantages and disadvantages over these.
First, the Mr. Clean magic eraser is very affordable. You probably already have it, but if you don’t, it is accessible online and in local stores in the cleaning supplies section.
It is even cheaper per piece when bought in packs. Secondly, the eraser doesn’t require soap or chemicals to clean. Adding just a few drops of water and rubbing lightly does the job.
You don’t have to worry about inhaling fumes, touching, or leaving toxic residue on the leather. In addition, it doesn’t involve harsh chemicals known to destroy the leather, unlike when using acetone, vinegar, or commercial cleaners.
Another advantage of using a magic eraser on leather over other cleaning products is that it eliminates both dirt and scuffs. Other products only deal with dirt but leave you with the graze marks.
To restore a scuffed leather item, a magic eraser would be ideal. Most importantly, a magic eraser eliminates your leather issues faster and for far less effort than other cleaning solutions.
The major drawback of using a magic eraser on leather is that it could scrape away the top layer if it is too abrasive or excess force is applied.
If your leather has a protective layer or paint at the top, you risk losing it. This could leave the leather vulnerable to elements like moisture penetration.
In the same way, a magic eraser may lift the colorant off the leather. If it is aged and has developed a patina, you could lose that too.
A natural patina is aesthetic and desirable among leather lovers and takes a long time to develop. Therefore, you should proceed cautiously while using a magic eraser on leather, unless you intentionally want to wipe out the top layer.
Ideally, apply it gently. It doesn’t take a lot of elbow grease to get any job done. Light repeated strokes are ideal. Another disadvantage of using a magic eraser on leather is that it is very hard to attain uniformity. This problem is particular to extensive items like a sofa or seat.
The hand is naturally inclined to shift the amount of pressure applied as you go. Often inadvertently, but sometimes also due to fatigue, you may start strong and later relax the hand.
If you are heavy-handed on some parts and light-handed on others, the leather is bound to look patchy.
When To Use A Magic Eraser On Leather
Here are a few instances where a magic eraser is ideal for use on leather.
1. To Prepare Leather For Dyeing
Dyeing leather is a common practice. You can do it to change the color of the leather or enhance the existing one.
In either case, the leather has to be thoroughly cleaned first. This involves the removal of all dirt buildup and any polishes or protectants that may be a barrier to the absorption of the dye.
If you’d like to re-dye your leather, a magic eraser is handy for removing the initial color. At the same time, it helps to effectively clean the leather prior to dyeing it.
2. To Degloss Leather
You may have bought leather that came with a shiny coat. This shine is commonly associated with cheapness. If you share similar thoughts, you can use a magic eraser to get rid of this glossy film for a more authentic leather look.
3. To Smooth Out Scuffs
If your leather ware is badly scuffed, which is inevitable for anything that is constantly in use, like boots, a magic eraser will save the day. You can brush it over the leather to smooth it again.
4. To Clean Neglected Leather
Regularly maintained leather doesn’t need a magic eraser to clean. But for neglected leather with heavy dirt build-up, it will take more than a wipe down with microfiber clothing to clean.
A magic eraser will save you some elbow grease as it combats grime effortlessly.
5. When Everything Else Fails To Remove A stain
Some stains are notorious and extremely difficult to get rid of on leather. The ink from pens and markers, for example, is a complete headache, especially when left to sit for too long.
If you’ve already tried vinegar, acetone, or other cleaning compounds but there’s still a haze of the discoloration, bring in a magic eraser. It clears the stain invisible.
When Not To Use A Magic Eraser On Leather
Although a magic eraser is an option for cleaning leather, it is not eligible in all cases. Avoid using a magic eraser on the following.
1. On Premium Leather
Premium leather is of superior quality and very expensive. Therefore, it is best to avoid using anything abrasive on it. A magic eraser could potentially damage the surface, and you’ll end up spending a fortune to restore it. This type of leather is best left for professionals to handle.
2. On Dark Colored Leather
A magic eraser will strip off some color from dyed leather. This is more apparent on leather dyed a dark tone than light toned leather. To avoid a blotchy appearance on dark leather, do not use a magic eraser to clean it.
3. On Leather That Is Too Thin
It is best to avoid a magic eraser on leather that is too thin. Because the magic eraser takes away a little of the top layer if you apply it too hard, there’s a higher risk of destroying already thin leather.
Tips For Using A Magic Eraser On Leather
Using a magic eraser on leather is pretty straightforward. But it must be done skillfully to avoid damaging your fabric.
- Always begin with a spot test to avoid ruining your leather item. Select a hidden part of the leather to test the magic eraser first.
- Apply very little pressure when using a magic eraser on leather. Because it needs a bit of friction to clean surfaces and has an element of abrasiveness, doing it vigorously may damage your leather.
- Maintain a consistent motion when rubbing the magic eraser against the leather. You can choose to proceed in either a circular motion or side-to-side strokes. Following a pattern prevents a messy appearance.
- Do not attack the entire leather surface at a go, even if all of it needs work. Begin working on one small area at a time.
- When using a magic eraser for stain removal on leather, go over the affected spot only. Avoid the areas that are still clean or unstained.
- You only need water for the magic eraser to accomplish any task. However, if you wish, you can introduce a commercial cleaning lubricant to minimize abrasion and potential damage to the leather.
So, should you use a magic eraser on leather? If you are chemicals-averse, then, by all means, use a magic eraser on your leather.
It cleans up dirt and stains and eliminates scuffs. It is also helpful in the intentional removal of color and shine. Just be sure to moderate the pressure you apply to prevent damaging the leather.