it burrns.....
November 11, 2006 2:14 PM   Subscribe

 
Also, don't let your kids drink Round Up. Or put Tide in their eyes.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:20 PM on November 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Keep 'em away from your stash of arsenic, as well.

what, doesn't everybody have one of those?
posted by aberrant at 2:23 PM on November 11, 2006


furthermore, don't let your kids sign up for metafilter ... idiots will snark at them for no apparent reason
posted by pyramid termite at 2:23 PM on November 11, 2006


http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/eraser.asp

Apparently this product has been part of other urban legends.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 2:25 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm still trying to figure out if Ms. Kerflop can possibly be her real name.
posted by The Deej at 2:25 PM on November 11, 2006


I try not to let my kids play with any cleaning products. But this is pretty awful, thanks for the headsup, konolia.
posted by fenriq at 2:27 PM on November 11, 2006


DieHipsterDie; what is your point? That because there are untrue stories about this product, that this story, with documentation in both pictures and from the posion control center, is also untrue?
posted by odinsdream at 2:27 PM on November 11, 2006


Point is don't take this story as gospel. Could have been a one in a million reaction.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 2:30 PM on November 11, 2006


Apparently this product has been part of other urban legends.

apparently, everything we read on the internet is a lie
posted by pyramid termite at 2:31 PM on November 11, 2006


She did say that she used the thing to SCRUB her hand and it was fine. Somehow I doubt this thing is buffered at pH 10 and that's the problem. The kid had a weird reaction or it was a bad batch of magic bars.
posted by rxrfrx at 2:31 PM on November 11, 2006


And here's a link to an update from Ms. Kerflop.
posted by The Deej at 2:32 PM on November 11, 2006


Teach your kids not to rub cleaning products on their faces, also.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:34 PM on November 11, 2006


Her guess in that update sounds pretty reasonable. Unpolymerized monomer left in the scrubby, or something caused it to break down. Poor quality control. I'd probably sue if I were her. Hippie.
posted by rxrfrx at 2:35 PM on November 11, 2006


She says poison control said they have a pH of 8-10, which is the same alkalinity as hand soap. Meh.
posted by zsazsa at 2:36 PM on November 11, 2006


From this link:


The pH of a few major brands of hand soap.

Soap pH
Camay 9.5
Dial 9.5
Dove 7.0
Irish Spring 9.5
Ivory 9.5
Lever 2000 9.0
Palmolive 10.0
Zest 10.0

I call BS on the "it's too alkaline" charge.
posted by aberrant at 2:37 PM on November 11, 2006


The Magic Eraser pads irritate hell out of my hands. I always use gloves with them.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:40 PM on November 11, 2006


I call BS on the "it's too alkaline" charge.

I call BS on her parenting.
posted by pieoverdone at 2:40 PM on November 11, 2006


I think the moral of the story is: Print warnings on packaging and don't let your child handle cleaning products (apparently when they want to wipe the entirety of their face with it).
posted by Atreides at 2:42 PM on November 11, 2006


I think the moral of the story is: Print warnings on packaging and don't let your child handle cleaning products (apparently when they want to wipe the entirety of their face with it).

Check out the comments. One woman stated she actually used it to try to clean sharpie after her kid drew all over its face.
posted by pieoverdone at 2:45 PM on November 11, 2006


I feel, what you have on the Snopes.com website is the Mr. Clean company skirting around a bit by comparing the chemical compound that makes their product to mere table salt. Salt is a chemical. So is water, a chemical you can drink. If the H20 molecule that makes up water reacts to something that separates the Hydrogen from the Oxygen, it can burn or explode.

I call BS on her understanding of chemistry.
posted by dw at 2:45 PM on November 11, 2006


Keep your kids away. Duh. But the product is, frankly, magic. Whenever I use one I wonder if there is some kind of Dorian Gray picture of my house at the 3M plant getting filthier and filthier. Have I sold my soul for clean walls? If so, I wish they would put appropriate warnings on the package.
posted by The Bellman at 2:45 PM on November 11, 2006 [3 favorites]


One woman stated she actually used it to try to clean sharpie after her kid drew all over its face.

Sharpie is alcohol soluble. Why use the Magic Eraser when you can use just about any form of ethanol or IPA?
posted by dw at 2:48 PM on November 11, 2006


The easy way to test would be to use a neutral abrasive, like sand or glass dust or something, to rough up ones skin, and then rub in some common hand soap. If you get the same reaction, that's all that's happening here. If you get a different reaction, it's either an allergy, or what was in the sponges was not what was supposed to be in the sponges.
posted by Bugbread at 2:49 PM on November 11, 2006


Why use the Magic Eraser when you can use just about any form of ethanol or IPA?

Why not supervise your child so it isn't drawing sharpie all over its face?
posted by pieoverdone at 2:50 PM on November 11, 2006 [3 favorites]


MAGIC ERASER: DO NOT APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD!
(x3)
posted by The Deej at 2:53 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Cleaning Agents Contain Chemicals. Film at 11.
posted by arcticwoman at 2:54 PM on November 11, 2006


Oh if only images were back. This thread needs Ralph Wiggum. Or maybe the comments in her blog do. My face is on fire!
posted by pieoverdone at 2:55 PM on November 11, 2006


Why not supervise your child so it isn't drawing sharpie all over its face?

Why have children?

Also, DO NOT TAUNT MAGIC ERASER.
posted by billyliberty at 2:55 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I've been accused of being obtuse before, but it seems to me that if a product is known for scouring markings off of nearly any surface, some degree of acidity should be assumed.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:56 PM on November 11, 2006


This is my favorite comment from the thread. I think it is sincere:

"P.S.- Its not your fault. There is no way you could have possibly known."
posted by arcticwoman at 2:56 PM on November 11, 2006


some degree of acidity should be assumed.

what
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:56 PM on November 11, 2006


lol, billyliberty
posted by The Deej at 2:57 PM on November 11, 2006


Some mothers even used the magic erasers and Easy Erasing pads on their children to remove magic marker thinking it was a safe product due to the lack of warnings or even a list of ingredients.

50 grit sandpaper doesn't include a warning either.
posted by furtive at 2:59 PM on November 11, 2006


It seems to me that if a product is known for scouring markings off of nearly any surface, some degree of it not being like Oil of Olay moisture rich foaming face wash should be assumed.
posted by pieoverdone at 3:00 PM on November 11, 2006


furtive: so are you telling me that I shouldn't have been using sandpaper on my 4 year old's face? I should sue the sandpaper company for not telling me this!!!
posted by arcticwoman at 3:04 PM on November 11, 2006


I just checked my box of SOS steel wool soap pads and they don't have any warning either! Won't somebody think of the children?
posted by furtive at 3:05 PM on November 11, 2006


My kid got a rash from a marker pen. Truly the best of the web.
posted by fire&wings at 3:06 PM on November 11, 2006


If I had a kid, I would totally use 50 grit sandpaper to clean sharpie markings of of them.

I think it's probably a good thing I don't have a kid.
posted by quin at 3:09 PM on November 11, 2006


Metafilter: Some degree of acidity should be assumed.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:11 PM on November 11, 2006


I used to get the same burns when my dad would spit on his thumb and wipe my face clean.
posted by furtive at 3:12 PM on November 11, 2006


IF HAPPY MAGIC FUN ERASER BEGINS TO SMOKE OR SPUTTER, RUN AWAY AND SEEK SHELTER

HAPPY MAGIC FUN ERASER IS NOT FOR USE IN SOME STATES, ON BLUE MOONS OR VERNAL EQUINOXES

HAPPY MAGIC FUN ERASER IS KICKING DR. TRAN'S ASS
posted by loquacious at 3:13 PM on November 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


I was saying "boo-urns…"
posted by horsemuth at 3:16 PM on November 11, 2006


I used Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Power to clean my kid. He disappeared into the sponge. Mrs Kerflop should consider herself lucky.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:16 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Don't let your kids use Easy Erasers or Magic Erasers...

Just supervise them and not be a freaking idiot.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:17 PM on November 11, 2006


STICKS TO CERTAIN TYPES OF SKIN
posted by machaus at 3:34 PM on November 11, 2006


Thanks for the heads up konolia, intention was commendable.

As for usual load of bitchy bitch here, how many of you _actually_ used the product ?( It does actually work and deserves good and free advertisement as it isn't deceptive.)

No smell, no effect on hand skin, looks absolutely harmless and doesn't emit any liquid or smell when in use, it definitely looks like an harmless sponge.

Giving this to a kid comes natural, as opposed to giving them sponges bathed in potentially harmful detergents (other the natural soap)

As for the sandpaper analogy : clearly you didn't use the product..even on skin the sensation is ExTRA SOFT, it is nowhere nearly as coarse as the FINEST sandpaper one could buy on the market, so even the "would you use sandpaper as sponge ? " doesn't fit the actual product which feels like, is soft like , looks like a totally harmless sponge.
posted by elpapacito at 3:35 PM on November 11, 2006


I have it on good authority that charities can collect used Magic Erasers and redeem them for time on a kidney dialysis machine.
posted by JackFlash at 3:37 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Giving this to a kid comes natural

Damn, I had peanut butter cups for Halloween. Oh well. Stocking stuffers I guess.
posted by pieoverdone at 3:41 PM on November 11, 2006


im in ur base burnin ur face
posted by taosbat at 3:42 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Damn, I had peanut butter cups for Halloween

Ahah funny ! Hey pie, got clue about peanut allergy ? Don't give kids you don't know peanut butter cup you bloody fool you may actually throw them into anaphylactic shock => death.
posted by elpapacito at 3:46 PM on November 11, 2006


I'll show Mrs. Kerflop a real burn...
posted by sharksandwich at 3:47 PM on November 11, 2006


As for the sandpaper analogy : clearly you didn't use the product..even on skin the sensation is ExTRA SOFT

Fine, replace sandpaper with fibreglass.
posted by furtive at 3:52 PM on November 11, 2006


"clearly you didn't use the product..even on skin the sensation is ExTRA SOFT..."

I disagree. The first time I bought these I spent some time examining them. Though it is soft, like a mattress can be soft (you can squish it), I can definitely feel that it is abrasive.
posted by glycolized at 3:54 PM on November 11, 2006


I do not recommend using the Magic Sponge to clean marker off of your genitals unless you think Teh Berning is Teh Hawt.

Also, don't use Ben Gay or Aspercreme and then scratch your eye.
posted by fenriq at 4:07 PM on November 11, 2006


dw wrote:

Kerflop wrote: I feel, what you have on the Snopes.com website is the Mr. Clean company skirting around a bit by comparing the chemical compound that makes their product to mere table salt. Salt is a chemical. So is water, a chemical you can drink. If the H20 molecule that makes up water reacts to something that separates the Hydrogen from the Oxygen, it can burn or explode.

I call BS on her understanding of chemistry.

Huh? Water reacts with potassium exactly as Kerflop described. Which statement do you disagree with? All are corrrect.
posted by ryanrs at 4:12 PM on November 11, 2006


MetaFilter: usual load of bitchy bitch here.

Also, don't use Ben Gay or Aspercreme and then scratch your eye.

Brings to mind the fifth-grade joke: How do you make Ben-Gay? Squeeze his tube.
posted by ericb at 4:15 PM on November 11, 2006


Ah -- and must'nt forget the nasty prank of putting Ben-Gay in someone's jock strap.
posted by ericb at 4:16 PM on November 11, 2006


dw wrote:

Kerflop wrote: I feel, what you have on the Snopes.com website is the Mr. Clean company skirting around a bit by comparing the chemical compound that makes their product to mere table salt. Salt is a chemical. So is water, a chemical you can drink. If the H20 molecule that makes up water reacts to something that separates the Hydrogen from the Oxygen, it can burn or explode.

I call BS on her understanding of chemistry.

Huh? Water reacts with potassium exactly as Kerflop described. Which statement do you disagree with? All are corrrect.


Now I'm totally lost. Where does potassium come into play? Is there a case being made that the sponges cleaning power comes from a chemical reaction in which spare hydrogen atoms are breaking free of the water molecule, pulverizing the offending grime? It seems that Kerflop's speculations are just that. There seems to be no evidence that a chemical reaction is taking place for this to work.
posted by glycolized at 4:24 PM on November 11, 2006


Hey, did you snarkopolitans even read her posts?

She sounds to me like a reasonable person who exercised reasonable parental caution who is asking the manufacturers to do a reasonable thing.
posted by ottereroticist at 4:33 PM on November 11, 2006


As I pointed on her blog, pH only tells you how acid or alkaline the solution currently is. It doesn't tell you anything about how many more the acid/base can release when you start neutralizing it the hard way by making it react with your face. Soap may have a pH of 9, but most of its bulk is made up of organic molecules which only have a minute influence on the H+/OH- equilibrium.

So, yes, something with a pH of only 9 may very well cause alkaline burns if concentrated enough.
posted by Fruny at 4:37 PM on November 11, 2006


hey elpapacito, if some strange kid came asking me for a present, fuck if I care if they have a peanut allergy. If they don't know they do, then they'll find out someday by eating it anyway. If they do know, then they shouldn't eat the damn Peanut Butter Cups.
posted by jacalata at 4:40 PM on November 11, 2006


glycolized, I am not suggesting the sponges contain potassium metal. I'm not really sure what dw was objecting to in the first place. I only mentioned potassium as an example of a chemical that can break down water and cause it to burn. I didn't mean to imply that it was responsible for the burns described in the blog post.
posted by ryanrs at 4:45 PM on November 11, 2006



No smell, no effect on hand skin, looks absolutely harmless and doesn't emit any liquid or smell when in use, it definitely looks like an harmless sponge.


They are insidious little beasts. The danger with them stems from their innocuous appearance and the lack of any obvious danger signs. Though I've never had a problem with them and neither have my kids, who are regularly made to clean up after themselves with them.

(You guys and your neurotically over protective selves are so funny, my kids regularly use a variety of chemicals to help keep this place up. Up to and including hypochlorite and water mixtures. But then, they know not to drink, bathe in, play with or torture each other with these things.) (Usually :)


I call BS on her understanding of chemistry.

It's at least as good as the ridiculous salt comparison the mfgr sent her.
posted by IronLizard at 4:45 PM on November 11, 2006



Why not supervise your child so it isn't drawing sharpie all over its face?

Clearly you do not have children.
posted by Zinger at 4:59 PM on November 11, 2006


These things look like sponges (I have some). They feel like sponges. They are actually sandpaper.

The kid didn't rub his face with the eraser, Mom did. She cleaned his face with sandpaper that didn't look like sandpaper to her, and his face got all red, and she freaked out that he was "burned", because she still doesn't believe the erasers are sandpaper.

Not a chemical burn. A friction burn. Caused by Mom.
posted by jellicle at 4:59 PM on November 11, 2006


WARNING: DO NOT USE INTERNALLY
posted by blue_beetle at 5:00 PM on November 11, 2006


fuck if I care if they have a peanut allergy. If they don't know they do, then they'll find out someday by eating it anyway.

So shoot them, they would find out if they allergic to lead anyway ! Christ , leave your genitals at the counter !

my kids regularly use a variety of chemicals to help keep this place up.

Sounds more like an high school party !
posted by elpapacito at 5:01 PM on November 11, 2006


pieoverdone : "Why not supervise your child so it isn't drawing sharpie all over its face?"

The amazing thing about becoming a parent is that, once you have progeny, you no longer need to do the conventional things that non-parents do, like cooking dinner, using the restroom, taking out the garbage, getting the mail, taking a shower, or the like.

EatTheWeak : "I've been accused of being obtuse before, but it seems to me that if a product is known for scouring markings off of nearly any surface, some degree of acidity should be assumed."

Well, yes, since the problem here is apparently alkalinity, which is the exact opposite of acidity, you're either obtuse or, far more likely, just don't remember much from chemistry class. Which is fine. I don't remember much of calculus, and my wife barely remembers what she learned in English class. It happens.
posted by Bugbread at 5:06 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Wow, you must be one of the few people who know that shooting deaths are usually attributed to a hitherto unnoticed allergy to lead...idiot.

Explain how my genitals could possibly be related to my comment?
posted by jacalata at 5:11 PM on November 11, 2006


Woo! Genitals!
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:19 PM on November 11, 2006


jellicle has it.

IANAD, but her description of the wounds sounds just like abrasion to me. Note she put soap on the kid's face after it turned red and it hurt more; I'm sure that's why the poison control tech was talking about alkalinity (soap is alkaline.) I know if I was on the phone convinced my kid was poisoned I might not catch every nuance in what the person on the other end of the line was saying.

I know I'm not going to swing anybody who feels otherwise, but if the products contained any chemical irritants the directions would tell you to use gloves. The MSDS doesn't say anything about irritants. Why aren't people getting these red marks all over their hands? Because they aren't scrubbing their hands.

Look, the lady screwed up. I understand it's easy to make mistakes like that, and maybe they should put a note on the product saying "Don't scrub yourself or anybody else with these!" It's not really obvious, and the things don't exactly feel dangerous or especially abrasive. But I don't think anybody's lying to her about what happened, and to persist in claiming they are in the face of evidence to the contrary isn't going to win her any friends among more composed, rational people.
posted by Opposite George at 5:22 PM on November 11, 2006


bugbread - ah, yes, fine - let's just drop "corrosive" in place of the offending word and call it a night ... oy ....
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:35 PM on November 11, 2006


As a kid-washer of two years experience, that abrasion pattern looks to me exactly like where you scrub your kid's face when it's dirty. Just saying. It's pretty easy to grab one sponge instead of another.

Also, it looks like abrasion, and not chemical burns. I have used these things, and I have a very hard time believing there's any chemical juju going on. They look and work just like extremely fine-grained abrasives. And yes, they don't feel abrasive unless you really pay attention.
posted by rusty at 6:00 PM on November 11, 2006


Things I have learned today on Metafilter:
  1. Do not rub your kid's face with a cleaning pad that can take permanent marker off a hard surface with only a couple of mild scrubs.
Ok... check.
posted by clevershark at 6:08 PM on November 11, 2006


Ditto jellicle and Opposite George - look at the MSDS (which Kerflop mentions but does not link to, perhaps because it does not substantiate her story) - no alkali, just polyurethane foam and melamine foam.

Sorry, Konolia et al, no conspiracy here, no coverup, and no chemical burns.
posted by kcds at 6:12 PM on November 11, 2006


Goddamn, the chorus of idiot "mommybloggers" commenting on that post is hilarious. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with blogging about your kids while female — mimi smartypants is my favorite personal blog ever, and it only got better when she adopted a kid. I have a problem with this culture of moron suburban mommybloggers. Uggh. It's like the LJ whores all got older and more conservative, spawned, and moved to blogger/MT/WP.
posted by blasdelf at 6:21 PM on November 11, 2006 [3 favorites]


It's at least as good as the ridiculous salt comparison the mfgr sent her.

The "ridiculous salt comparison" was in response to accusations that the erasers contain formaldehyde, which it does, in the same way that salt contains sodium (and chlorine!).

Here is what Magic Eraser is made from (PDF). The MSDS does say not to use it with bleach, and lists it as a possible skin irritant, though I suspect the latter has more to do with it being used as an abrasive coupled with the tiny particles that could themselves be irritants, sort of like fiberglass. Note that the MSDS does not give a recommendation that gloves be worn while using the product. Given that this was the only case of "chemical burns" from melamine that I could find through Google (yeah, I know) despite years of this stuff being used in construction, I submit that the kid was using it with bleach (which would probably have caused the burns all by itself), happens to be allergic to melamine, or the mother is mistaking an abrasion burn for a chemical burn.

BTW, you can buy a sheet of melamine foam off the internet for less than the equivalent amount of magic eraser, if you don't mind having to cut it yourself.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:22 PM on November 11, 2006


Quoting from the MSDS:


3.2 POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS

...
Skin Contact:
Mechanical Skin irritation: Signs/symptoms may include abrasion, redness, pain, and itching.

Contact with the skin during product use is not expected to result in significant irritation
...

But the same MSDS claims:

SECTION 9: PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

....
Density Approximately 20 kg/cm3

How could that kid lift the sponge?
posted by Dataphage at 6:31 PM on November 11, 2006


That MSDS is bog-standard lawyer speak for a piece of plastic foam. The irritation warnings are typical of anything that causes mild physical irritation (the MSDS for sand is fairly similar, for example).

It's a very mildly basic plastic. pH 8-10 is about the same as hand soap, as many other people have pointed out.

Dataphage: it's 10 g/L (see bottom p3), an sg of about 1%.

It's pretty clear what happened: the kig got his face scraped by the eraser which also is effectively a mild detergent. Has no one ever washed a friction burn or road rash with soap? Washing cuts with soap really burns. It's not at all surprising that the kid's cheeks were swolen. And yes, flushing scrapes with water numbs the pain.

Poison control over-reacts like they did because it's much better for them to over-react than under-react. Just like calling emergency services, they're going to presume the worst in every situation. It's not surprising she got the advice she did. Poison control don't want a toddler suffer serious burns the next time somebody decides to wash their kid's face with peroxide or bleach or something. They can't differentiate someone scrubbing their kids face too hard with a stiff sponge from a serious burn on the phone. I'm just surprised the paramedics weren't called.
posted by bonehead at 7:12 PM on November 11, 2006


But the same MSDS claims:

SECTION 9: PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
....
Density Approximately 20 kg/cm3

How could that kid lift the sponge?


But also (from the Mr. Clean MSDS):

Specific Gravity (H2O=1): <0.01

That is one magic sponge. Or maybe Mr. Clean lives on the surface of a brown dwarf and is using kgf in the density measurement.
posted by Opposite George at 8:00 PM on November 11, 2006


Well, you know what they say, any sufficiently advanced chemical cleaning technology is indistinguishable from Magic Erasers.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:04 PM on November 11, 2006 [6 favorites]


Huh? Water reacts with potassium exactly as Kerflop described. Which statement do you disagree with? All are corrrect.

I think I was objecting to her tone. Of course things react with water. NaCl separates H2O, and yet salt water doesn't burn or explode. I know the alkali metals react to water with nasty consequences, but here she's talking like some "chemical" is in there "reacting" with "water, the chemical you can drink."

It sounds like she's using the word "chemical" as a bogeyman there. And that just makes me not want to buy into her fear.
posted by dw at 8:26 PM on November 11, 2006


IAaP - I say anyone who lets their kids use cleaning products (especially products claiming to have magic properties) should be tried and punished by metafilter (with extreme prejudice).
posted by strawberryviagra at 8:38 PM on November 11, 2006


I agree with the abrasion diagnosis.

My kids EAT the shit.

In my family - The Nietzsche Family my wife calls us - we were victims of not only excruciating but tempered neglect but also subjects of a careful social Darwinian experiment in child rearing.

The experiment started before birth. Mom smoked and drank while pregnant. We lived - released like wild animals - in hostile war zones all over the world. We played with fire. Guns. Rockets. Chemicals of all kinds.

I don't think they hated us or were being intentionally cruel. In fact they always seemed pleasantly surprised to see us if we made it home alive. Dinner waiting and all that.

I think they had a point, though.

Start exposing your kids to PCBs and lead a little at time as babies. The ones that make it to puberty? Great. You now have your own army of Atomic Supermen.

So far it's worked for our kids. SSlippy - the oldest - is smart as a whip. Not surprising given the three heads. And Gigantor III? What a sweet kid. In spite of the radiation problem and size 19 sneakers.
posted by tkchrist at 9:05 PM on November 11, 2006


"Kerflop and The Magic Eraser"

you can't make this sh*t up.
posted by Frasermoo at 9:24 PM on November 11, 2006


I think it's pretty obvious what really happened here.

The kid was using a sharpie all over the walls of his bedroom, and the mother got pissed. So, mom, in a fit of rage, takes little Davey or whatever his name is and rubs his face into the carpet for a while telling him what a piece of shit he is.

Distraught that this time she left a mark, she had to think fast. And there it was, the tool she used to clean off little Bill's mistake quickly became her way of escaping the DHS wrath.

What a fucking monster.
posted by cellphone at 9:51 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Kerflop and The Magic Eraser"

The next J.K. Rowling franchise, surely!
posted by ericb at 9:51 PM on November 11, 2006


Now, just as water is safe to drink as long as the molecule is intact, it’s probably pretty safe to use a melamine foam cleaning pad with your tough skinned hands to clean grime from your walls. But, if a chemical reaction occurs which changes or breaks down the co-polymer, your skin can come in contact with direct formaldehyde, direct melamine, or direct bisulfate. What could cause the co-polymer to break down? I don’t know. Maybe ink on your walls, or the oils on your skin, maybe makeup an adult has on her face, or the self tanner she’s trying to clean off her leg. In our case, whatever caused it, when the melamine foam pad touched my son’s face, hydrogen moved somewhere, altering the co-polymer causing a chemical reaction. - The Update

This is like a bad joke. The hydrogen... moved somewhere?! Come fucking on!

This, people, is why we need to focus on basic science education in school.
posted by phrontist at 9:56 PM on November 11, 2006


So apparently I no longer need to check my email to get Important Warnings sent to me by Deeply Caring Individuals who are all a-tizzy over extremely dubious anecdotes....wow, metafilter saves me more time every day.
posted by tkolar at 10:18 PM on November 11, 2006


Listen, my wife and I put a magic eraser on our counter and it didn't even ping on my chem-dar, so these accusations are clearly baseless.
posted by maxwelton at 10:42 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


People are dumb. Kids are dumber. The internet let this woman get a bunch more fame than if she blathered about this at her church social.

News at 11.
posted by porpoise at 10:50 PM on November 11, 2006


my wife and I put a magic eraser on our counter and it didn't even ping on my chem-dar

Know what I mean, nudge nudge.
posted by gompa at 10:55 PM on November 11, 2006


Mr. Yuk means NO!
posted by Kudos at 10:58 PM on November 11, 2006


I just picked up the Magic Eraser that happens to be lying on the corner of my desk and purposefully scrubbed the back of my left hand with it vigorously.

My hand is still fine.

I love these things.
posted by mrbill at 11:23 PM on November 11, 2006


Replace "magic eraser" with "latex dildo" and see how that reads.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:41 PM on November 11, 2006


that actually wasn't directed at you, mrbill. it's more of a meta-comment in the vein of maxwelton's above. but to answer my own question, that would read "funny."
posted by Hat Maui at 11:44 PM on November 11, 2006


It removes godammed permanent Magic Marker and frickin' wax crayon. There some potent magic in them thar cleaners that they aint tellin ya about cuz well... its magic...probably diluted acetone or stronger. Bad combination of name ("magic"...ahhh...mommy and baby wuv magic) designated use ("childrens wall art.") How children and potent chemical cleaner might come together isn't too hard to imagine. Bad product. Not hard to see who has children and who doesn't in this comment thread. Anyone who has had a child knows that at some point in their development they consider a wall a blank art canvas (thats the essence of innocence) and furthermore knows it's reasonably conceivable that they will get some on themselves. I could possibly a young mother saying..."oh! works so well on the wall I'll just wipe that lttle smudge of marker off Johnnys face. " The word magic plays into our own very deeply buried images of innocence doubly removing us from the potential harm of what is basically an abrasive substrate laced with a chemical solvent. Bet the damn thing is vanilla scented too. Rushing out to buy one. Collectors item.
posted by Muirwylde at 11:47 PM on November 11, 2006


Replace "magic eraser" with "latex dildo" and see how that reads.

Or how about "magic dildo?"

"Magic dildo, my ass!" /farkfilter
posted by Opposite George at 12:43 AM on November 12, 2006


I'm all for clear labeling on products. The better informed you are, well, the better informed you are. The company that makes this Magic Crap (probably carcinogenic, too) should print warnings. But, hey, using something like this on human skin (your kid's, your own) is just frickin stupid, that's all there is to it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:15 AM on November 12, 2006


The only way in which pH is relevant here is in the fact that this thread is a litmus test.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:51 AM on November 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Do they sell these Magic Erasers in the UK? Because my kids get weird shit on their faces as well.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:01 AM on November 12, 2006


Here's an article on this stuff from BASF, who manufacture it.

"On curing, melamine resin becomes almost as hard as glass", explains Dr. Christof Möck, responsible at BASF for the global business management of this special foam. "The hardness of this material is one of the secrets of its cleaning talent: like extremely fine sandpaper, the foam eraser rubs the particles of dirt from the surface.

So, this woman scrubbed her kids face with the equivalent of extremely fine sandpaper. What on earth did she think was shifting that crap from the walls? Genuine magic?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:12 AM on November 12, 2006


The woman in the post did NOT scrub her child's face with it-another woman who talked to her did.

But the point is that young children need to be supervised because if there is any possible way they can hurt themselves with something they will surely find it.
posted by konolia at 3:24 AM on November 12, 2006


But the point is that young children need to be supervised because if there is any possible way they can hurt themselves with something they will surely find it.

Pfft. Sometimes kids need to learn the ways of the world by getting up to some good old fashioned mischief. No harm, no foul. I bet the kid thinks twice before he starts rubbing stuff all over his face again.
posted by The God Complex at 4:07 AM on November 12, 2006


The degree of ignorance of basic chemistry in in this followup is quite staggering.

It's one thing to not understand science. That's not a problem. When it becomes a problem is when even though you KNOW you don't understand what you're talking about, you speculate wildly and pretend to be some kind of authority on the subject.

I was going to pick out something she wrote and explain what's wrong with it for anyone who didn't do at least high school chemistry, but there's just too much. Almost every single sentence she writes which contains a chemical name is either nonsensical, impossible, or betrays a serious misunderstanding.
posted by thparkth at 4:13 AM on November 12, 2006


Sometimes kids need to learn the ways of the world by getting up to some good old fashioned mischief.

Yeah, I've always thought that was one of the most critical parts of learning. You screw up, it hurts, you learn not to do it again. It's a process that starts as a child, and goes on for the rest of your life.

It also seems to be much ado about nothing. From her description, I expected to see a kid that looked like a leper or a zombie with half his face missing, yet from the picture, all I can see is a little redness. I've no doubt that it's sore, but it hardly looks life-threatening. In fact, it looks exactly like what happened to me as a kid when I decided that fibreglass was an interesting material to play with.

But the thing that bothers me most about this is her continual assertions that the poison control people insist that these are chemical burns due to alkalinity. Despite what people claim, she doesn't offer any documentation for this assertion -- she's simply reporting a conversation that she may have misunderstood, or that may have been with a clueless person.

Good to see that she doesn't let any dissenting opinions remain in her comments, either.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:14 AM on November 12, 2006


Good to see that she doesn't let any dissenting opinions remain in her comments, either.

I wondered if anything negative was getting through when she stated, "I’m going to leave comments open for a while, though they are moderated somewhat."

Apparently she scrubs her blog too.
posted by itchylick at 5:10 AM on November 12, 2006


The amazing thing about becoming a parent is that, once you have progeny, you no longer need to do the conventional things that non-parents do, like cooking dinner, using the restroom, taking out the garbage, getting the mail, taking a shower, or the like.
About a week after my 3-year-old arrived from China, I was standing at my kitchen counter, eating jellybeans for breakfast and feeling grateful for the opportunity. Kids get into trouble in about .4 seconds and there's not a whole lot you can do except put the guns away.
posted by etaoin at 6:10 AM on November 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


Goddammit, how can anyone be this stupid? How can you blame the manufacturer when you scrub your kid's face with a cleaning product? "Oh, um, he did it himself." Sure he did. I'm sure 3M's deep pockets have nothing to do with it.

I hope this woman sues, has her case dismissed, and goes bankrupt from the attorney's fees. No one this criminally stupid should be allowed around children.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:32 AM on November 12, 2006


Poor kid. Here's to making it to puberty safe and unharmed from obsessive mothers with weblogs.

And good thing he didn't end up with sodium laureth sulfate in his eyes! Imagine the drama!
posted by pleeker at 1:45 PM on November 12, 2006


China, India, et al. are going to eat us (America) alive.
posted by dozo at 2:29 PM on November 12, 2006


"So apparently I no longer need to check my email to get Important Warnings sent to me by Deeply Caring Individuals who are all a-tizzy over extremely dubious anecdotes."

That's what annoys me most about this -- that you just know it's going to spread like wildfire through forwarded e-mails, and half the parents in America, if not more, will believe it. And when you tell your relatives to stop sending you the goddamned stupid e-mail forwards, you'll just get the sanctimonious "if I protect even one child by sending that e-mail then it's worth it! Don't you care about the children???" response.
posted by litlnemo at 3:20 PM on November 12, 2006


Plainly that kid was not spongeworthy.
posted by fish tick at 3:31 PM on November 12, 2006


For the love of Pete, give her the benefit of the doubt. Y'all are awfully judgmental*.

First of all, this woman insists that she didn't scrub her kid's face with a Magic Eraser, and there's really no reason not to believe her. I read her entire post -- did any of you "What a dumb mom!" posters?

Yes, her knowledge of chemistry is deficient. But she doesn't sound like she has any intention of suing 3M, and there's nothing in her blog to make me think she's an idiot; her son appears to have either scrubbed his own face with it and not told her, or he had some weird reaction to the not-entirely-inert (?) (note: IANAC) melamine foam.

I once had a really, really horrible reaction to grapefruit-scented glycerine soap I bought from Whole Foods. I used it on my face, but it stung, and even though I washed it off right away my face looked like it had been seriously sunburned for about a week. There was nothing unusual in the list of ingredients (no retin-A, for example), and yet my face looked like raw hamburger for two days. I threw it away and never used it again. I guess if I'd been stupid enough to let my son use soap y'all'd be telling me what a terrible mother I am, too.

*Oh, right... this is MetaFilter.
posted by jenii at 5:54 PM on November 12, 2006


jenil wrote...
I guess if I'd been stupid enough to let my son use soap y'all'd be telling me what a terrible mother I am, too.

I dunno. Would you have created a website full of incredibly poor science and manufacturer conspiracy theories?

If so, I'm guessing you'd be getting the same treatment.
posted by tkolar at 9:10 PM on November 12, 2006


I seriously smell something rotten here. I'm adding my voice to the "mother did something dumb that she's not telling us" crowd. The kid drawing on his own face and the mother magic-erasing it off with vigor seems very possible.
posted by tehloki at 2:36 AM on November 13, 2006


The general lack of basic chemistry knowledge in the, uh, 'mommyblogger community' (mommyblogosphere?) is amazing. It's basically "oh my god, chemicals = bad!"

If you do even a little reading about what this product is, it's obvious that the 'sandpaper effect' is to blame, at least for the initial abrasion, and that rubbing soap in the wounds probably made them worse (the 'alkaline chemical burns').

While the chemistry conspiracy theories (omg formaldehyde!) are obviously pretty silly, though, I think it's perfectly justified to say that the companies should put a warning on these things. How does the average person know that the "magic" in question here is that the sponge is very, very abrasive? For all they know from the labelling, it could just as well be some kind of detergent, or something else entirely.

The sheer number of people who seem to have had no problem rubbing this thing on their kids clinches that for me -- if you're going to make something potentially harmful that looks like a sponge, you'd better make sure to write on it "hey, this ain't your average sponge".
posted by reklaw at 6:38 AM on November 13, 2006


First of all, this woman insists that she didn't scrub her kid's face with a Magic Eraser, and there's really no reason not to believe her.

Maybe its the picture of the kid with the abrasions that look a lot more like a mother having wiped a kid's face, than a four year old aimlessly running a sponge he was given to clean up with over his skin.



p.s. I did read all the comments.
posted by Atreides at 7:40 AM on November 13, 2006


First of all, this woman insists that she didn't scrub her kid's face with a Magic Eraser, and there's really no reason not to believe her. I read her entire post -- did any of you "What a dumb mom!" posters?

Yes, I read the entire stupid thing, including her stupid follow-up.

Here's a clue: kids don't scrub their faces, especially when it hurts to do so. It's blindingly obvious she's full of shit.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:44 AM on November 13, 2006


I think it's perfectly justified to say that the companies should put a warning on these things.

But why really? this is a housecleaning product, a sponge that's not supposed to be used on the body. It's not a bath sponge, it's not a makeup sponge, it's not even a dishwashing sponge, it is what it says on the tin.

Else, we might as well expect toothpaste manufacturers to add warnings about all possible unintended uses of toothpaste - 'not suitable for enemas, eye washing, scrubbing on open wounds and squirting in your little bro's pants'.
posted by pleeker at 9:31 AM on November 13, 2006


A note about pH: pH is sometimes referred to as the power of the hydrogen ion in aqueous solution, and refers to the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance in water. The scale of 1-14 (with 7 being neural) is logarithmic, meaning each full unit is different by a factor of 10 from the one adjacent to it. For example, a pH of 9 is ten times more alkaline than a pH of 8.

I happen to have a pH tests at the studio. (Macherey-Nagel) I also happen to have 3 different brands of "magic erasers". A quick swipe test reveals:

Brand1: 8.5
Brand2: 9
Brand3: 9

Detergent bar; (commercial bar soap made from sodium laurel sulfate) 10

That picture certainly suggests a pattern of parental scrubbing, rather than a chemical burn.
posted by dejah420 at 9:31 AM on November 13, 2006


But why really? this is a housecleaning product, a sponge that's not supposed to be used on the body.

Well, that's what I think they should write. As it is, most just say "a magic sponge that can remove all stains!" In the absence of a specific "do not use on body/skin" warning, I don't think it's a huge mental leap to say "hmm, maybe this could take those pen marks off my hands?" or something similar.

And yeah, I agree that she totally wiped the kid's face with it -- just look at the picture. But maybe I've been playing Phoenix Wright too much.
posted by reklaw at 10:58 AM on November 13, 2006


In the absence of a specific "do not use on body/skin" warning

reklaw, my washing liquid bottle doesn't have a "do not use on body/skin" warning either, so if I use it as shower gel and get a skin rash, should I blame the Evil Company that didn't warn me of everything its product should not be used for? Usually telling you what it is for is enough.

The magic eraser & similar products all carry clear labelling on how to use on walls, furniture, surfaces, plus pictures/drawings of the same in action. They're sold in the housecleaning section of supermarkets. They have the same brand and logos as other famous housecleaning products. Hey look ma, there's Mr Clean smiling at you from the package, did you ever see Mr Clean scrubbing someone's face?

If anyone wants to ignore all that and deliberately use the thingy to scrub skin, then I'm sorry but they get the skin rashes they deserve - if they're kids, that's one of the myriad small incidents that teaches them playing with things is not always fun, if they're adults, they're idiots, or are desperately trying to make some claim and get some money or even just publicity.

The Evil Company has no responsibility here and the idiot has no legal recourse, unless the whole idea of companies protecting themselves from people's idiocy (or cunning) has gone much further beyond the realms of logic than I suspected.
posted by pleeker at 3:00 AM on November 14, 2006


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