Buy It & Try It: Do-it-all cleaners

(National) June 29, 2004 - Mr. Clean Magic Eraser's commercial says all you have to do is wet it and you can wipe away all kinds of marks and grime from all kinds of surfaces.

First stop, some marks on a wall. They disappeared. Consumer Reports tester Rich Handel says next was some filth on the front of a refrigerator, "It's a little easier on the refrigerator. It came off more quickly."

As for greasy handprints, Rich found the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser did a good job on those too.

Consumer Reports marked paint strips with black crayon to check another Mr. Clean claim. Though it took some work, but they eventually got the crayon off. Mr. Clean warns against using it on glossy or satin paint because it can mar the finish.

Consumer Reports' Joan Muratore tested two other do-it-all cleaners, Oxiclean and Didi Seven Ultra. She subjected them to a variety of tough fabric stains: ketchup, mustard, lipstick, coke, chocolate syrup, salad dressing, red wine and ballpoint pen.

Once she'd pretreated the stains with the cleaners, the fabric swatches went in the washing machine. Nearly all the swatches came out cleaner. Muratore says most looked white again, but neither Oxiclean nor Didi Seven Ultra could remove everything, "There were a couple of stains they couldn't get out very well. One of them was pen, you see here. Another was lipstick, here."

Testers did find that on hard surfaces like walls and floors, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser did a better job than Didi Seven or Oxiclean. The Magic Eraser costs a little over $2 for two pads.

No matter which product you use, testers advise always read the directions. For example, Oxiclean only works when used with warm water. Also read label warnings so you don't damage whatever you're trying to get clean.

Reported by Judi Gatson
Posted 5:45pm by BrettWitt

All Consumer Reports Material Copyright @ 2004 Consumers Union of U. S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED