Using A Magic Eraser On Your Car – How To Avoid Damages

A magic eraser is a versatile cleaning tool with a variety of different applications.

Many people use it to clean their automobile and some even recommend it for removing scratches in the paint.

Some places in and on your vehicle are safe to be cleaned with a magic eraser, while others might be very damaging.

Check the following Do’s and Don’ts to learn what parts of your car you can safely clean with a magic eraser and which areas you should absolutely avoid.

These areas in a vehicle can be cleaned by a magic eraser:

  • Car glass
  • Pedals
  • Carpet
  • Headlights
  • Leather car seats (if you are really careful)

Avoid cleaning these areas of your vehicle with a magic eraser:

  • Car paint
  • Delicate interior parts
  • Anything polished/glossy on your car

Also avoid using magic erasers dry or without gloves. Magic erasers are made out of melamine foam and can damage your skin if used without gloves.

Do’s For Vehicle Cleaning With A Magic Eraser

The following paragraphs will lay out which materials and places in and on your car are safe to be cleaned with a magic eraser.

If one of these spots is dirty, with debris or insects stuck to it, get yourself a magic eraser, some water and you will be able to clean the dirty spots quickly and easily.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

The original Magi Eraser from Mr. Clean. Make sure to grab some to clean your car properly! Three different variants make sure that your car will be super shiny after the cleaning session.

Using A Magic Eraser On Car Glass

Quick Answer

Using a magic eraser to clean car glass is safe, effective, and very simple. The magic eraser will not scratch the glass and only removes any dirt adhering to the glass, such as insects, debris, haze, and smoke films from the glass.

Having a crystal-clear windshield and windows is great for safety and visibility. Sadly, many people struggle to clean the windshield and windows effectively.

This is where the magic eraser can be a huge help and you don’t have to worry about scratching the glass.

Important is, however, to ensure that you first wet the magic eraser and then use it either with water or your favorite glass cleaner on the glass.

Spray the car glass and scrub it with the wet magic eraser.

Also, magic erasers can remove water spots on car glass. There are many more ways to remove water spots from glass, so I wrote a dedicated article about it here. Make sure to check it out!

Using A Magic Eraser On Automobile Pedals

Nowadays, car pedals are made from a polymeric-based compound that is extremely resilient. By nature, car pedals get dirty very quickly, as they are always in contact with the sole of the driver’s shoe.

Cleaning car pedals with a magic eraser is easy and safe. The magic eraser will scrub off any dirt stuck to the pedals without damaging the pedals themselves.

Just wipe the pedals with a clean microfiber towel afterwards to view the results of your work.

Check the green check marks to see which parts of your interior you can clean with a magic eraser.

Using A Magic Eraser On Carpet

Quick Answer

Car carpets are both strong and durable, and can, therefore, easily be cleaned with a magic eraser. Use a carpet cleaning solution on the carpet and scrub the carpet with a wet magic eraser. This will loosen up the dirt. Vacuum the entire carpet afterwards in order to have the carpet be clean again.

Vehicle carpets are very thick and durable as they have to withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Consequently, you do not have to worry about ruining car carpets when using a magic eraser to clean them.

Magic erasers are actually a great tool for giving a car carpet a thorough cleaning.

The slight abrasiveness of the wet magic eraser will help to pull up dirt that is embedded in the carpet.

Combined with a powerful carpet cleaning solution and a good vacuum cleaner, a magic eraser will get rid of many stains in the carpet.

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Using A Magic Eraser On Headlights

Quick Answer

Foggy, cloudy, or dirty headlights can be cleaned with a magic eraser, to a certain degree. The abrasiveness of the the magic eraser can get rid of insects, dirt, and cloudiness up to a certain point. In order to completely restore headlights, however, more advanced equipment is needed.

Foggy and cloudy headlights are a big problem for many drivers.

UV rays from the sun and dirt from the road can lead to headlights getting foggy over time, drastically decreasing their effectiveness.

If your headlights are just slightly foggy, dirty, or cloudy, you can try to clean them with a wet magic eraser.

Just scrub the plastic gently with the wet magic eraser and check if the dirt and cloudiness disappeared.

A magic eraser is completely safe on headlights.

Make sure, however, to tape around the edges of the headlights, as you can easily scratch the paint around the headlights with the magic eraser.

If your headlights are extremely dirty and cloudy, using a wet magic eraser might help a bit, but will fail to fully restore the shine of your headlights.

If you have to restore the headlights, it is best to use a headlight restoration kit or multiple different grits of sandpaper.

3M Headlight Restoration

Get this headlight restoration kit from German manufacturer 3M to bring your cloudy headlights back to life!

Possible But Not Recommended To Use A Magic Eraser

Some parts of the vehicle can technically be cleaned using a magic eraser, but should probably be avoided, such as those covered by delicate material like leather.

It is possible to clean them with a magic eraser, but the risk of damage is high and probably not worth it.

Using A Magic Eraser On A Leather Car Seat

Quick Answer

Using a magic eraser on leathers seats is an easy way to free them from dirt. Nevertheless, the abrasiveness of the melamine foam can damage the leather if too much pressure is applied. The magic eraser might scratch off the leather protection or the leather itself, which results in expensive repairs.

Leather is a very sensitive, delicate, and soft material.

Scratches can occur easily, which is why a leather car seat is always protected.

Given that melamine foam has an abrasiveness similar to a 500 grit sandpaper in a dry state and a 3000 to 5000 grit in a wet state, it can scrub off the leather protection and parts of the leather itself from the car seat if too much pressure is applied.

If the correct technique is used, cleaning a leather car seat is indeed possible, but any little mistake can lead to damage to the car seat, so it is better to avoid using magic eraser to clean leather seats.

You might be tempted to use a magic eraser to remove water spots on a leather seat. If you want to learn more about it, you should check out my article about why water can stains leather seats in the first place!

Using A Magic Eraser On Vehicle Upholstery

Quick Answer

Using a magic eraser on automobile upholstery is possible, but should only be done with a lot of care. Magic erasers are made from melamine foam, which is very abrasive and can easily damage car upholstery.

Automobile upholstery is usually very delicate and made from various materials. And it is clear that upholstery might get dirty, greasy, or whatever. This is especially true for the headrest.

Using a magic eraser might seem like an easy way to clean the upholstery, but I cannot recommend it at all.

It might work, but the risk of damaging the delicate materials like leather, fabric, or alcantara is way to high.

A magic eraser is not guaranteed to damage the vehicle upholstery, but there is a high risk that it does.

Get yourself a good interior cleaner and stay away from magic erasers. At least that is my recommendation.

Don’ts For Auto Detailing With A Magic Eraser

Even though a magic eraser is a great and versatile piece of equipment to clean a vehicle, certain things are a clear no-go. The following paragraphs tell you what you should avoid to clean with a magic eraser on your car and what else to consider.

Using A Magic Eraser To Remove Scratches

Quick Answer

Using a magic eraser to remove scratches in car paint is not possible. Because magic erasers are rough, they will scratch the are around the paint scratch, worsening the situation. Instead, scratches should be removed by polishing them with the proper equipment.

Many people recommend that you use a magic eraser to remove scratches from your car’s surface.

In theory, this makes a lot of sense, as a magic eraser has a level of abrasiveness close to a 800 grit sandpaper in a dry state and a 5000 grit sandpaper in a wet state.

A magic eraser is not a polishing tool! DO NOT use it to remove scratches

The problem is that it is not possible to apply pressure evenly onto the magic eraser.

This makes it impossible to control the amount of clear coat taken off in order to get rid of the scratch.

The magic eraser will end up leaving more scratches in the clear coat rather than polishing the paint as intended.

If you do not have a polishing machine, it is better to buy a hand polishing set with proper compounds to polish and remove scratches. Or even better, buy a proper polishing machine with polishing compounds.

Chemical Guys Dual Action Orbital Polishing Machine

This great set with a powerful polishing machine, polishing compounds, and polishing pads is the perfect choice for every car enthusiast. And it is much better than using magic erasers on your delicate car paint.

The money you invest here will be well worth it, as paint repair can be very expensive.

If the scratch is deeper than just the clear coat, however, even polishing it will not work, as the base coat is damaged and a repaint is needed.

In general it is not a great idea to use a magic eraser on car paint. Also not, if you want to remove annoying water spots. There are better ways, as I show in this article here.

Using A Magic Eraser On The Delicate Parts Of The Interior

Quick Answer

Car interior is made from sensitive materials and should, therefore, not be cleaned with a magic eraser. The abrasiveness of the magic eraser can lead to scratches in the dashboard, the middle console, and other parts of the interior. These scratches are very difficult and, consequently, expensive to repair.

Next to leather or fabric, a car’s interior has a variety of different materials like vinyl, wood, aluminum, touchscreens, and more.

Some vehicles even have wool, suede, or alcantara linings.

All of these materials feel very nice to the touch, but are extremely sensitive.

Moreover, repairing them is not as easy as repairing car paint. More often than not, entire interior parts need to be replaced if they are damaged, as repairs are often not possible.

Cleaning these materials with an abrasive sponge, like a magic eraser is not a good idea.

Make sure to stay away from anything harsh and abrasive if you want to clean the interior of your vehicle.

Generally, a magic eraser should not be used on delicate surfaces like the interior, paint, or rims. If you want to know how to clean your rims at home without a magic eraser, check out my article about it here.

Using A Magic Eraser On Anything Polished Or Glossy

Quick Answer

In general, using a magic eraser on polished or glossy parts of a car should be avoided at all costs. Magic erasers are abrasive and will leave scratches and marring on polished or glossy surfaces.

Honestly, there is not much more to add to it.

If you use a magic eraser on polished or glossy surfaces on or inside your car, you will definitely leave marring and scratches, which destroys the look of the surface.

It does not matter if we talk about polished rims or glossy interior parts. Just stay away from these with a magic eraser if you want to preserve the look of these surfaces.

Using A Magic Eraser Dry

Quick Answer

A dry magic eraser has a level of abrasiveness similar to a 800 grit sandpaper. This level of abrasiveness is not suitable for car cleaning and should be avoided. A magic eraser should only be used to clean a car in a wet state.

As I have mentioned enough by now, a dry magic eraser is very abrasive. This makes it the wrong piece of equipment to clean a car, as it can cause significant amounts of damage.

Even on glass, it is not necessary to have this level of abrasiveness.

A wet magic eraser is much safer and less risky. Even if damage occurs, it will be less noticeable and easier to repair than if you used a dry magic eraser.

Using A Magic Eraser Without Gloves

Quick Answer

Magic erasers should always be used with gloves. Otherwise skin damage can occur, which can lead to infections. Last, but not least, magic erasers can lead to burns on the skin. Make sure to always wear gloves when using a magic eraser.

There is not much more to say, really. Magic erasers were developed to tackle tough-to-clean stains on hard materials, like the glass on stovetops.

Skin is definitely not comparable to glass in terms of hardness, so the magic eraser can cause some serious damage.

This damage can come in the form of cuts or skin burns.

This can easily be avoided by simply wearing gloves.


  • Glass can be cleaned with a magic eraser
  • Pedals and carpet can be cleaned with a magic eraser
  • A magic eraser does not remove scratches
  • Always use a magic eraser in a wet state
  • Make sure to wear gloves when using a magic eraser
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