While the Magic Eraser is known to work for a multitude of cleaning projects, it is not recommended for use on leather car seats. The leather will be damaged by the Magic Eraser’s abrasive surface and could cost you a lot of extra work in the long run.
Magic Erasers clean stains from hard surfaces such as floors, countertops, and tabletops without using cleaning chemicals or soaps. They work because they are made of melamine foam, a porous material with a sandpaper-like abrasive surface that collects stains into small air pockets in the sponge while sanding the dirt away.
Magic Eraser will damage aniline (unprotected) leather and sealed leather surfaces due to its abrasive nature. Even though most modern leather is sealed with a protective polymer coating, Magic Erasers damage the coating over time, making the leather more susceptible to stains and scratching.
Modern car leather is surfaced by a protective layer of polyurethane which helps keep the leather safe from moisture and grime. Magic Erasers damage this coating with the sandpaper-like material they are made of and can scratch the leather beneath.
You can use a Magic Eraser with a degreaser for short periods to reduce the damage done to the leather, as long as you wipe away the residue with a microfiber cloth after cleaning.
Magic Erasers can only safely be used on some car interior surfaces, such as cupholders and windshields but it should be used cautiously after spot-testing and dampening the sponge with water. Magic Erasers should not be used on painted or sealed surfaces such as dashboards or car seats.
While the Magic Eraser can be used on larger areas of white leather, it is not recommended for use on hard-to-reach areas or areas needing pressure to clean. The Magic Eraser will still strip the leather of its protective coating over time, making the surface more susceptible to future damage by spills or grime.
As with most cleaning products, there are pros and cons associated with using Magic Eraser on car leather. Due to the unique composition of the sponge, it is versatile in its uses but can damage surfaces if not used correctly.
- Removes hard-to-get stains
- No need for chemical cleaners
- No smell
- Cheaper than detailing
- Damages protective seal
- Causes more staining later
- Can scratch leather
- Future expenses of leather repair or replacement
- Residue cleanup required
Magic Eraser marks on your car can be costly and time-consuming to fix. Here are a few ways to reduce the scuffs caused by a Magic Eraser on your car surfaces:
- Duster or vacuum cleaner
- Whitening toothpaste
- Microfiber cloth
- Leather repair kit
The damage caused by Magic Erasers can be reduced by learning to properly use the sponge on leather car seats. Make sure to use a new or clean Magic Eraser to avoid the transfer of grime or paint, and a spot test should always be conducted before using this sponge on any part of your car.
If using the Magic Eraser is necessary, you will need to reduce the abrasiveness of the sponge by using a cleaning solution of 5 parts water and 1 part degreaser with the eraser. Once you finish cleaning, use a microfiber cloth to dry the area and a duster to pick up any leftover residue from the sponge.
Toothpaste can fix marks left by Magic Erasers on car seats and car paint as long as it contains a whitening agent. The whitening agent in toothpaste is not as abrasive as the Magic Eraser but works well to remove scratches or stains left by the sponge. When using a whitening toothpaste to clean your car, remove the toothpaste and dry the area with a microfiber towel.
If the seats are damaged to the point of cracking or tearing, a leather repair kit will be the best option to save your seats. Some car manufacturers sell repair kits specifically for their cars that include the same leather dye color inside. This method is optimal for small tears or small areas of worn leather.
When cleaning your leather seats without damaging their protective seal, there are many alternatives to choose from over the Magic Eraser. Many of these alternatives can be done using household items, too! Before cleaning with any product; however, remember to vacuum or dust the seats to remove any debris that could scratch your car.
Since leather cleaners are designed to work on modern leather, they work the best with the least amount of damage done to your seats. These cleaning products are typically less abrasive than the Magic Eraser and are meant to keep the protective seal intact.
Mixing five parts of water with one part of dish soap can make a cleaning agent comparable to the retail leather cleaners. When using homemade cleaner, ensure to prevent completely dampening the leather as it could seep into the car cushions or stain the leather. Applying the cleaner to a microfiber cloth instead of directly on the seat will fix this problem.
Using baking soda can help to lift grease stains from leather car seats. Sprinkle baking soda on the leather, dampen with a wet cloth, and let sit for a few hours. The oil will lift from the leather, and you can wipe it away easily.
A white vinegar solution may be an excellent option for cleaning bacteria from your seats, as vinegar acts as an antibacterial cleaner. To use white vinegar, fill up a spray bottle with 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water, and spray on a microfiber towel to apply. This solution may cause a strong smell, so be sure to air out your car afterward.
You can clean a small stain with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. This method should be reserved for smaller stains because rubbing alcohol can dry out leather when used in large amounts. You should also clean the seat with water and soap afterward to remove any excess residue.