View Full Version : Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

11-29-2009, 11:57 PM

I'm less than 2 days from getting my new panpastel 20 painting set, I'm so excited!!!. Unfortunately, I didn't think to order any extra sofft tools, but I know this set comes with a few. I heard that the sponges from the sofft tools are a kind of microfiber highly absorbent material. Now I have also heard about using chamois or colorsoft rubber tipped brushes, but I have another suggestion, one that I haven't tried with the panpastels, but I use it for a lot of other media art work... I figure I'll put it out there for anyone else who might be interested in making a new mark.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are a product you can find at most grocery stores. They are like a sponge, with a very very fine grit like sandpaper. They have some kind of a "cleaning" agent built in or at-least that is what they say... Personally, I do not like them as a cleaning product... but they are absolutely great if you desire texture in a painting. They really work well to make interesting marks in my other pastels. You can buy the non-name brand and it works just the same. I tend to cut them up into little 1-2 inch squares or other odd shapes then I use them to softly spread out the pastel. You do have to be careful because they are like sandpaper. They will (eventually) break down the paper but as long as you have pastel on it there is little risk. They can be used to "erase" any mark as well. I don't know if any of you have tried using them but I think they might work well for the panpastel variety as well.

Hope this tip is useful.. I will post the results from my experimentation as soon as I get around to testing it.


11-30-2009, 12:07 AM
Hey Z - I have used Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to remove unwanted watercolor, but can't imagine using them for pastel. They do allow you to get down to the white of the watercolor paper, even with staining pigments. The one thing I'm worried about is what effect they might have on the colored pastel pigments long term. With my watercolor paper I use a damp brush and remove any remaining "chemical" thoroughly before I either re-paint or leave the area white. I'll be interested to hear what your results are - but keep in mind the potential for problems due to the chemical in the sponge.


11-30-2009, 02:23 AM
Though they do not work as well, you could try cosmetic sponges until you can get the correct tools. The cosmetic sponges for applying foundation, powder, or eye makeup should do the trick.

One card of the Cover Girl sponge wedges might do. There are six in a pack, and you could reshape them with scissors, an X-acto knife, or a serrated kitchen knife. Glue a piece of one to a popsicle stick.

I'd be wary of using Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

Deborah Secor
11-30-2009, 01:22 PM
I appreciate your spirit of improvisation and I love experimenting with unconventional materials, too, but I think the cautions about the chemical component of these cleaning pads is a good one. In time you might find that the chemical has more negative effects. It's hard to say what, but I've just read lots of testimonials about how well it works (and wondering if I should get some for a few spots I need to clean around the house! :lol:), so it seems to me that there has to be a chemical agent at work that's pretty powerful. Admittedly they use the product wet to clean, but still....

The other thing you might find is that the Pans are so sheer in their application that using an abrasive of any kind on them will simply remove them completely.

At first your description reminded me of a product I used to use called a dry cleaning pad. I used it to clean away stray marks from drawings. It was a little bag that shed a powder made of gum erasers, and when shaken you could gently scrub off marks and whisk them away. If you wanted to remove some Pans from paper, this bag might be of great help! I may give that a try myself.

Anyway, just some further thoughts.... :)


11-30-2009, 01:23 PM
I, too, would steer clear of the magic erasers. As they are filled with chemicals, I would not want to risk mixing unknown chemicals with both my pastels and my paper. When I use them for cleaning, I wear gloves as I believe (I don't happen to have a package in front of me) that there are warnings on the label regarding skin irritation and keep away from children, pets, etc.

If you like this type of material, I would think that you get some similar foam (from fabric shops?) that are free of the cleaning chemicals.


11-30-2009, 05:31 PM
I agree, there are some issues about the chemicals in them, but I have used them for several years to work with other media arts such as wc. I do have tested samples from my first experimentation... The main warning (may cause skin irritation) believe it or not - that was put there because children may rub the eraser many times and get micro scratches which irritate the skin - its the same warning they put on sandpaper boxes - both issues are caused from the product rubbing away the layers of skin. I believe they would also do the same with the soft pastels since they are very light. However I have never had this problem when using them for the other media.

Also my test swatches have not appeared to have any discoloration or problems with the paper structure... some of them are over a year or two old... I will continue to test this... but I do understand the risk. I just figured I might put it out there - they are very useful for using with paints though.. also - they work well to remove crayon from walls if you have kids ;)


Kathryn Wilson
11-30-2009, 06:57 PM
Doesn't it have some kind of bleach in it? - I've used it on walls to erase scratches and such, but I honestly think in the long run this will affect the pastels.