This $5 Sponge Made Me Cancel My Magic Eraser Subscription

published Dec 27, 2022
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Here’s a little secret I don’t mind sharing: I have many cleaning products on auto-ship. With four kids, two dogs, a cat, and a bearded dragon with roaming privileges, our house gets grimy. Not just messy or cluttered — our house actually gets filthy, especially floors and walls that little kids can touch. Our bathtub, located in the only bathroom in our historic home, also quickly becomes an eyesore, seeing as so many family members are using it. 

I’ve long had a love affair with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, which if you don’t know already, are melamine sponges that remove messes with just water. I switched to a generic alternative a few years ago, and even ordered a giant sheet that I cut up myself to save money. They all worked great, but they also weren’t cheap and disintegrated during use — creating annoying shreds I had to pick up by hand after my cleaning was through. 

When I decided to search for yet another alternative, I knew I had options. I liked Scrub Daddy, but it’s stiff and a little hard to fit into tight corners. I also tried Norwex scrubbing cloths, but they did not have enough grit to remove the dirt in my home. At that point, a friend mentioned that she was in love with the Scotch-Brite Swift Scrub sponges, so I tossed one in my cart. OK, I actually tossed a six-pack in because my friend’s pitch was so good. 

I first tackled our bathroom floor. Given its luxury vinyl tile, dark grout, and white baseboards, the entire room either magnifies or hides grime — and both options are terrible. I loved how the sponge’s triangle top gets into the corners around the tub where water and dirt forms a sludge. Scotch-Brite recommends using just water or vinegar, but because I didn’t read the directions at first, I started with a standard bathroom cleaner. But once I realized I didn’t need a cleaning agent, I switched to plain water. The Swift Scrub worked just as well with both. 

As a quick lesson, there are two sides to this scrubber. One side is a mildly-abrasive scouring pad that isn’t going to scratch anything in your bathroom, but also isn’t the best bet for things like stained wood. The other side is a sponge that is similar to the Magic Eraser, but less crumbly. I found that the best method was to use the abrasive side to loosen dirt and the sponge side to wipe it away. I kept a bucket of water nearby as I moved along so I could wring out the sponge often.

The dirt on my white tiles came off easily, and when I scrubbed the dark grout around my toilet, I was shocked at how brown the water was. The bright white of my 1950s cast-iron tub finally shone through after a few swipes, which seemed miraculous. It does take some muscle power, but all that grime eventually washed away. One downside? The sponges do break down over time, of course, but they can easily be used through four or five cleaning sessions.

So here’s another secret I don’t mind sharing: The Magic Erasers on my subscribe-and-save have been replaced by these Scotch-Brite Swift Scrub sponges. This time, due to their durability, I set the shipment to quarterly instead of monthly. Now I have a cleaner bathroom, and more money in my pocket. 

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