Read This Before Using A Magic Eraser!

DARN!  I HATE it when I finally find something that’s easy and seems like the perfect solution … until someone posed a different question which inspired more research and it seems like easy is not good.   🙁   Story of living on a boat!

A reader asked about using bleach to clean hypalon and I reached out to the one person that I know that knows EVERYTHING about dinghys … Stephan Lance, President of Defender Industries, who has the largest single location inflatable boats dealership in North America, with over 2,000 inflatables and motors in stock.  (This is the same Stephan that solved my “Why Won’t My Dinghy Plane” problem documented in an earlier post, click here.)

Stephan answered all my questions and I’ll do a post soon with his dinghy cleaning recommendations, but what he said about Magic Erasers – read below –  is a bit disconcerting since I just used several to clean our dinghy after hearing several cruisers have good things to say about it….   yes, it’s easy, but NO, read below and decide if you want to use it on your dinghy.  I wish I hadn’t.

Yep, it cleans easily, but now I'm concerned!

Yep, it cleans easily, but now I’m concerned!

Stephan:  “Be a bit cautious on the Magic Eraser though.  It does work, well, like magic.  That is true and we use them in some places (my wife loves them in the house).   BUT, the physical structure of melamine foam (which is what a Magic Eraser is), is a lot like very, very high grit sandpaper.   If you do some Googling of melamine foam, you will find that it can abrade at a microscopic level.  So, use it sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.  It will wear the coating / finish off synthetic rubber or fiberglass.

Since I personally know lots of cruisers that have or are using Magic Erasers to clean their dinghy and other boat parts as well as fenders, etc.,   I thought I’d share this information.

(Disclaimer:  I don’t “know” Stephan and I don’t benefit from promoting him or Defender — he’s an internet bulletin board acquaintance that was nice enough to answer my questions about how to make our dinghy plane.   Turned out he’s the President and Owner of and willing to help share his knowledge via the Cruising World Bulletin Board.  He went above and beyond and we always try to order stuff from Defender ever since.)

Have you used a Magic Eraser and noticed any degrading effects of your dinghy?  Please share any experiences you may have by leaving comments below.  Thanks!  Jan


  1. Carolyn, we haven’t used magic eraser but we have used this product and it works just like magic. You do have to scrub a little for more stubborn spots, but it really does spray on and wipe off most dirt. Maybe you could save the magic eraser for the places that this won’t clean.

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