I tested generic melamine sponges next to Magic Erasers on each of the cleaning tasks mentioned below, and the answer is… YES!
I still buy Mr. Clean Magic Erasers whenever I find them on sale — because a good deal is a good deal.
But most of the time, I buy generic melamine sponges sold under a variety of different names instead — because they’re so much cheaper.
And since each eraser sponge (from Mr. Clean or anyone else) only lasts a few uses anyway, it’s not a product that I want to spend a lot of money on.
My Experience With Generic Melamine Sponges
I’ve bought no-name eraser sponges in bulk from Amazon and they work just as well.
Most recently, I was given a large supply of melamine sponges from SpongeOutlet.com to try.
They, too, work just as well as the official Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. They say they’re “made of 100% identical material as the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser” and they do look and clean identically, in my opinion. From their email to me:
We are a private label distributor of Magic Erasers. Our company buys the same product from Germany as the Mr. Clean Eraser.
The best part about the generic melamine foam sponges is they cost so much less!
For example, at Sponge Outlet, you can get the basic eraser sponges for as low as 29 cents apiece (and free shipping). I think the lowest I’ve seen Mr. Clean Magic Erasers is around 75 cents apiece. That’s a big difference for basically the same product.
Melamine foam is the active component of Procter & Gamble’s product Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, as well as other similar cleaning products … The foam is manufactured in Germany by BASF under the name Basotect. Source
How I Use A Melamine Sponge Around The House
My favorite uses for these cleaning blocks change all the time.
These days, I mostly use a melamine foam sponge to:
- Remove dog slobber from window sills – what dog doesn’t like to stare out the window?
- Wipe dirt & grease marks from our white doors – since we use the doors that go to 2 different garages many times each day, this is pretty much an ongoing task
- Clean the white vinyl screen door – the exterior side that leads to the back porch regularly accumulates a lot of dirt and debris
- Remove dirty fingerprints from the white pantry door – that gets used multiple times a day
- Make the see-thru doggie door see-thru again – because it gets used many times each day and accumulates everything from dog slobber and fur to dirt and pollen
- Wipe dust and dirt from white baseboards – especially in the tight corners
- Clean chrome fixtures – they’re great at removing hard water build-up, soap scum, and toothpaste splatter from all of our bathroom sink & shower fixtures
- Remove dirty fingerprints from our white light switches – the ones near the doors and the pantry seem to get the dirtiest
I’ve tested a generic melamine sponge against the original Mr. Clean melamine sponge in each of the above circumstances, and the generic ones do — in fact — clean just as well.
So whether you decide to buy the generic melamine sponges or the original cleaning erasers — they’ll all work great. I say… buy whatever you find that’s a good deal!
You will always find boxes from various brands inside my cleaning supplies cabinet.
My Best Tip!
My best tip is to cut each melamine foam sponge into several mini-rectangles and use those for your smaller cleaning projects around the house (like all of those I’ve mentioned above).
That way, you won’t “waste” a whole sponge on a relatively small task. You’ll get anywhere from 10 to 12 uses from each sponge!
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve needed to use a full-size melamine sponge for a cleaning project. I use these smaller portions almost all the time.
Clever Uses For A Melamine Sponge
If you like melamine cleaning sponges as much as I do, then you’re going to love these clever and unique ways that I use melamine foam sponges all around the house:
- Creative Uses For Those Household Cleaning Blocks That Truly Work Magic (…The ultimate list of clever uses for Magic Erasers.)
- Even More Unique Uses For Magic Erasers That I’ve Tried (…I’m still adding more clever uses to this list as I discover them.)
- 50+ Creative Uses For A Scrub Daddy Sponge (…Another favorite sponge of mine!)
- Is Melamine Toxic? How Does A Melamine Sponge Work? (…Just the facts.)
I like to help people find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about "outside the box" Household Tips and Life Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I'm super-organized. And I LOVE to clean! I even enjoy doing laundry (but not ironing). I’m also a lifelong dog owner — so I often share my favorite tips for living with dogs inside your home (like smart home design choices and dog-friendly cleaning & decorating ideas). Career-wise, I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). Prior to that, I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I'm truly passionate about instead. For example, I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. When I’m not cleaning, organizing, decorating, or fixing something… you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).