This Special Sponge Is the Secret to Removing Suitcase Scuffs
Buying a cute, candy-colored piece of luggage seems like such a good idea at first. It'll make packing more fun! You won't be ashamed to bring it to the office before a long weekend trip! It'll look cute on display in your living room because your New York City apartment is shockingly lacking in storage space.
But then, when it's actually time to travel with it, it's understandable for you to feel a bit overprotective. I own Away’s polycarbonate Bigger Carry-on in blush pink, so as you can imagine, I line up to board every flight with the prickling anxiety that I'll be forced to gate check. Flight after flight, we made it safely into the overhead bin. And then, it finally happened on a trip home from Costa Rica.
Back in New York, I picked up my bag from the carousel and tried very hard to be an adult who does not pout about material things being ruined. As I took inventory of the dozens of scuff marks that had marred its once-pristine pink exterior, I tried to console myself with the fact that suitcases are intended to be used, not to sit in the bottom of your closet swaddled by a dust bag. And then I vowed to clean it when I got home.
Before even unpacking, I got to it, starting with a dish-soap-and-water wipe-down to no avail. Then, I tried some other cleaning products we had beneath the sink — Lysol, Windex, some lemony organic spray. Alas, the stains remained. So, I took to my forever-and-always last resort: Google.
And right at the top of the care instructions page of Away’s site, I found my answer: “If the shell of your suitcase picks up a mark that soap and water can’t handle, try using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to buff it away.”
And buff away it did! After wetting the Magic Eraser with water, a few swipes had my bag looking as shiny and new as the bald head of its single-earringed mascot. How? A secret ingredient called melamine foam. It’s actually also used for sound-proofing insulation in bullet trains and recording studios, but in this use case, it acts sort of like a sponge made of tiny sandpaper-like molecules that are ridiculously abrasive. (You may want to use it with a pair of rubber gloves.) Once I removed all of the smudges, I wiped the suitcase down with a wet paper towel to rid it of any residue and we were as good as new.
Before you then go using a Magic Eraser to de-scuff every surface in your home, make sure to do your research on where it might actually do more harm than good. According to manufacturer Procter & Gamble, you’ll especially want to avoid using it on high gloss, polished, dark, brushed, satin, faux, bare/polished wood, copper, stainless steel, non-stick coating, or on your car, where it might work a little too well and leave you with a slew of scratches. For polycarbonate, though, you are golden. (Or in this case, pink — bright, scuff-free pink.)
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
To buy: amazon.com, $8 for a pack of 9