Is a magic eraser biodegradable? (17 uses of magic eraser)

This blog shall address the biodegradability of magic erasers.

It shall also cover other areas such as:

  • Types of erasers.
  • Components of magic erasers.
  • Eco-friendliness of a magic eraser.
  • Uses of magic erasers.
  • Advantages of magic erasers.

Is a magic eraser biodegradable?

No, magic erasers are not biodegradable. This is because magic erasers are made from petroleum plastics which are not susceptible to Microbial degradation.

Plastics are known to exist for thousands of years because no known strain of bacteria or fungi acts on them.

The biodegradation process does not only entail fungi and bacteria but also other abiotic factors such as water and radiation.

Following are the agents of biodegradation.


This causes biodegradation by carrying the materials and causing mechanical breakdown.


Some light wavelengths cause the mechanical breakdown of organic materials into smaller particles.

Light contains different radiations at different wavelengths.

Radiations such as ultraviolet radiation oxidize organic materials which cause them to disintegrate into small particles which are then degraded by microorganisms.


Temperature causes the expansion and contraction of organic materials.

This causes the material to experience stress which in return results in mechanical breakdown.


Bacteria break down organic material through the process of respiration to form small particles which they use to acquire energy.

The most common and active bacteria include:

  • Pseudomonas.
  • Bacillus.
  • Mycobacteria.


They break down organic matter into small particles which they then assimilate into their body systems.

They include:

  • Yeasts.
  • Mushrooms
  • Molds.
  • Mildew.
  • Lichens.

Biodegradation occurs in three distinct steps:

  • Biodeterioration.
  • Bio-fragmentation.
  • Assimilation.


This is the first stage of biodegradation.

Organic materials are mechanically broken down by light, water, and temperature into smaller particles that are easily acted upon by bacteria and fungi.


This is the second stage of biodegradation.

Organic matter is broken down by bacteria and fungi, either aerobically or anaerobically.

Water, carbon dioxide, methane gas, energy, and small biomass are produced depending on the type of process.


It’s the last stage of biodegradation.

Involves the uptake of biomass produced into the body system of the bacteria or fungi to be used in various biological processes.

What are erasers?

Erasers are substances that are used to get rid of marks or dirt on another substance such as paper, skin, or cloth.

Types of eraser materials.

Erasers come in different materials and shapes which include:

Pencil/Cap erasers.

This type of eraser was originally made from natural rubber but it is now made from styrene-butadiene synthetic rubber.

It contains vegetable oil plasticizer that makes it softer, and more flexible and also decreases its viscosity.

It is sometimes attached to the pencils.

Usually, pink in color.

Artist’s gum eraser.

This eraser was originally made from corn oil that was vulcanized with sulfur dichloride to make it more flexible and tough.

It is now made from synthetic, natural, or vinyl rubbers.

It is a very soft eraser and crumbles as it is used 

It is best for large areas.

The eraser is usually brown or blue.

Vinyl erasers.

This eraser is made from high-quality vinyl compounds which are synthetic materials.

It is soft and non-abrasive.

It erases cleaner than standard rubber erasers because it does not have graphite residues.

It is usually white and occurs in different shapes.

Kneaded eraser.

It is made from synthetic plastics.

It erases small areas and tight details since they are pulled into a point or sharp edge.

When they are overused, they become less efficient and less resilient.

They are not suitable for large-scale areas due to the tendency to deform when overused.

Poster putty erasers.

These erasers are commonly used in school and at home.

The poster putty eraser is soft and malleable.

It comes in different colors.

It is used to erase marks on posters and wall prints.

It does not work on a large scale.

Poster putty can be shaped into fine points for erasing detailed or small areas.

It loses its efficacy with over-use as it is destroyed by oils from the user’s skin.

Electric erasers.

The electric eraser was invented by Albert J. Dremel of Racine, Wisconsin, the USA in 1932.

The eraser is placed in a replaceable cylinder, held by a chuck, and driven by a motor.

The motor speed is controlled to regulate pressure, reducing paper damage.

Fiberglass erasers.

A fiberglass eraser is made from very fine glass fibers.

It is used for erasing ink marks and also for abrasions on different gadgets.

The eraser is pen-shaped, with a replaceable part to insert glass fibers.

The fiberglass is very hard.

Fiberglass erasers can also be used to remove rust on appliances and also cleaning electronic circuit boards in preparation for soldering.

Chalkboard erasers.

They are also called blackboard erasers.

They are used to remove chalk marks on blackboards or chalkboards.

They are made with a plastic or wood on one side and a felt or rubber on the other

What is a magic eraser?

A magic eraser is a sponge made of melamine foam that is used to clean surfaces or make abrasions.

Magic eraser is made up of formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer.

This is a synthetic plastic polymer.

The “formaldehyde-melamine-sodium” bit of the magic eraser should not be confused with the toxic formaldehyde compound.

Magic eraser is not toxic and it is safe to use.

It is also used in guns as a thermal insulator and soundproofing material.

But how does it work?. A magic eraser works in the following ways:

  • Melamine foam is cured into foam.
  • Its microstructure becomes hard as glass.
  • The hard microstructure acts like sandpaper on stained surfaces.
  • The foam loosens up dirt and grime.
  • The microstructure of melamine foam opens up and sucks the dirt from the surface.

The efficiency of a magic eraser can be improved by soaking it in some water, just like a sponge.

Overuse of the eraser will make it break down into small pieces, although the pieces can still be used and be equally effective.

Uses of magic erasers.

Magic erasers have a wide range of uses. This is according to an article by Jill Nystul. Some of their uses include:

  • They are used as wall cleaners to remove scuff marks.
  • They are used to remove crayons and marker pen marks from walls and furniture.
  • They are used to remove stickers and label residues on appliances.
  • They are used to clean fiberglass floors.
  • Used to clean silver jewelry and utensils by polishing.
  • They are used to remove permanent markers from whiteboards.
  • They are used to clean pen marks, scuff marks, and dirt from leather shoes, couches, and purses.
  • They are used in removing spray paints from Vandals.
  • They are used to clean electronic components such as mice and keyboards.
  • They are used to remove scum from glass doors.
  • They are used to remove tough stains on clothes.
  • They are used for scrubbing and removing grout from tiles.
  • They are used to wash off grease and oils from the tops of stoves and cookware.
  • They are used to remove tea and coffee stains from tables and countertops.
  • In removing scuff marks from floors and shoes.
  • For cleaning car interiors and exteriors, paint residues, and wheels.
  • Used to remove ink and paint stains from hands and skin.

Advantages of magic erasers.

The following are the advantages of using a magic eraser.

  • It works on different surfaces.
  • It removes different types of dirt and marks.
  • It is efficient and does not require a lot of effort when using it.
  • It does not require chemicals to work, it only requires water 
  • It is reusable.
  • It is non-toxic to the user.

Is a magic eraser eco-friendly?

Yes, magic erasers are eco-friendly because their components are not toxic to the environment.

It is reusable. A piece of a magic eraser can be used several times, therefore reducing wastage.

However, formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer is a petroleum plastic, and therefore when it is not disposed of well, it accumulates in landfills because it is non-biodegradable.

The magic eraser should be used well and its water materials are taken to recycling plants because its components are made from recyclable plastics.


This blog has answered the question of whether a magic eraser is biodegradable.

In addition, other areas have also been covered. They include:

  • Types of erasers.
  • Applications of different types of erasers.
  • Components of magic erasers.
  • Uses a magic eraser.
  • Advantages of a magic eraser.
  • Eco-friendliness of a magic eraser.

Please use the comment section below in case of any comments or questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): is magic eraser biodegradable?

Is Magic Eraser eco-friendly?

Yes, Magic Erasers are eco-friendly.

This is because they are made from formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer which is a safe plastic as it does not produce any toxic substances to the environment.

Magic Erasers are reusable and can be used several times, therefore reducing wastage.

What should you not use Magic Eraser on?

The following surfaces should not be cleaned using a magic eraser.

  • Stainless steel surfaces.
  • Screens such as laptop monitors.
  • Wood since a magic eraser can scratch it.
  • Natural stone surfaces like marble and granite.
  • Non-stick cookware.

Are Magic Erasers made of plastic?

Yes, magic erasers are made of melamine foam (formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer) which is a plastic polymer.


Recyclebank. ( March 07, 2017). What Are Magic Erasers?: Because You Asked.

Retrieved from:,discovered%20to%20have%20cleaning%20properties.

Jacqueline Weiss. (April 08, 2022): What to Know About Magic Erasers.

Retrieved from:

Jill Nystul. (March 18, 2022). How Do Magic Erasers Work?. 23 Magic Eraser Tricks To Make Dirt Disappear.

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