Rubbing the right way


April 11, 2004|By Sarah Kickler Kelber and Lori Sears | Sarah Kickler Kelber and Lori Sears,Sun Staff

Maybe the kids used the walls as a canvas in a Picasso-inspired spurt of crayon creativity. Or the smudges around the light switches just won't budge. A wand won't help, but Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser might.

The disposable cleaning pads feel like a dense foam brick, but when soaked and wrung out like a sponge, they're ready to rub out stains like a pencil eraser. We tried it on some stubborn soap scum that had refused to give way to harsh cleansers and, with a little elbow grease, had much success. Long-lived scuffs in the entryway also disappeared.

Though the company doesn't say what the Magic Eraser is made of (the most they'll say is it's "a unique material that gets into those tiny surface textures that trap dirt and grime"), it does seem less harsh or, at the very least, less smelly than a bleach- or other chemical-based cleanser.

A two-count package is $2.19, and a four-count package is $4.19. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is available in grocery stores. For more information, visit

Gloves you'll really dig

Been itching to do a little spring planting? Now's the time. If you're in need of some new gardening gear, check out the latest goodies from MidWest Quality Gloves.

New this season are the Gingham Checked Print Garden Gloves (pictured at right, $3.99), made of soft cotton jersey with knitted cuffs, and with PVC dots on the palm and thumb for gripping. Also new are gardening eyeglasses, knee pads, a tulip planter, kneeling bench, lawn tarp, a supply-bucket organizer and more.

MidWest Quality Gloves sells a full line of gardening gloves, outdoor gloves, work gloves, lawn and garden footwear and various garden accessories. Products are available at Wal-Mart, Target and Sam's Club.

Call 800-821-3028 or visit


* The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., presents the 15th annual "Art Blooms," 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through April 18. The museum's medieval galleries will be festooned with floral arrangements from 30 area garden clubs designed around the theme "Jewels of the Knight." To complement the theme, there will be a jewelry fair as well. London floral designer and author Jane Packer will offer a lecture Friday at 9 a.m., and Saturday morning at 9:30 will feature lectures by three Walters curators on the role of jewelry throughout history. Saturday night, the Jewels of the Knight Gala will kick off at 7. Admission to the floral displays and fair is free with museum admission. Tickets are $25-$150 for the lectures and gala. Call 410-547-9000, Ext. 305.

How to flow as they grow

Kids grow up so fast. But their rooms can keep up with them with a little paint. Glidden offers a few ideas for keeping children's rooms in tune with their lives.

* For newborns, pale green or yellow can create a sophisticated yet cozy space (left), while a nursery-rhyme mural makes it age-appropriate.

* Grade-schoolers' rooms can be a learning-friendly atmosphere with soft yellow, blue or green and stencils of the ABCs along the perimeter.

* Middle-school age kids are usually ready for bolder colors, at least on one accent wall. Play up a child's hobby with stencils.

* Teens have developed enough personal style to help choose a color palette of three or so favorite colors (right). The lightest shade operates as the base and gets some oomph with stripes in contrasting colors.

Glidden lists other project ideas at

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Lori Sears, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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