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How to Clean a Whiteboard

How to Clean a Whiteboard

Last updated on 9/6/2022

Whiteboards are an excellent communication tool, but over time they can become messy with permanent marks. Accidental use of permanent markers and pens leaves notes behind that can’t be wiped away. Removing dry-erase or wet erase marker right away is easy enough, but if the notes are left on the board too long, even these markers will leave stains.

Most whiteboards will come with a felt eraser you can use for cleaning, but it doesn't always do the trick. If your whiteboard has collected stains and marks from frequent use, check out these simple ways to keep it looking like new.

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How to Clean a Whiteboard Video

Watch the video below for a step-by-step walkthrough of how to clean a whiteboard:

Dry Erase marker writing on whiteboard

How to Clean Dry Erase Boards

To clean your whiteboard, start by dampening a cloth and applying a small amount of the cleaner of your choice to the cloth. Rub the damp cloth in a circular motion over your dry-erase board, applying the cleaning solution to different areas of the board. When finished, wash your cloth in cold water and use it to rinse any remaining cleaning solution off the board. Repeat this process until your board is fully cleaned.

How to Clean a Whiteboard That Is Stained

Over time, residue can build up on your whiteboard, staining it and leaving marks where the board was previously used. Mixing isopropyl alcohol and water will create a powerful cleaning solution capable of washing most stains away. To avoid staining your whiteboard in the future, ensure that you’re using the correct markers and erasers for the board. Alternatively, you may want to upgrade to a type of whiteboard that doesn’t stain as easily, such as porcelain or glass.

How to Remove Permanent Marker from Dry Erase Boards

You can actually use a dry-erase marker to remove permanent marker from your whiteboard! This is a quick and easy trick to remove stains from Sharpies, pens, and other permanent writing tools. If someone has accidentally used a permanent marker on your board, just follow these steps:

  1. Use a fresh dry-erase marker to write over the top of the stains, covering them completely
  2. Wait a few seconds for the marker to dry
  3. Wipe away all marks with a cloth or felt eraser
  4. The dry-erase ink will lift away the permanent ink

What Are Dry Erase Boards Made Of?

Dry-erase boards are usually made from melamine, porcelain, or glass. Melamine dry-erase boards are a great economical option, but they are also the most difficult to clean and least durable. Porcelain dry-erase boards are easy to keep clean and free of marker residue, but they tend to be extremely heavy and difficult to move. Glass dry-erase boards are incredibly durable and easy to clean, making them a great all-around option.

Whiteboard Cleaning Hacks

Dirty dry erase board

If you need to clean your dry-erase board in a hurry, there are some household items you can use to clean your board. Here are the most effective household items you can use to clean a whiteboard:

What Cleans Dry Erase Boards

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover
  • Peroxide
  • Hairspray
  • Vinegar
  • WD-40

Whiteboard Cleaning

Follow these instructions using any of the liquid solvents above to clean your whiteboard:

  1. Pour a small amount of liquid onto a sponge or soft cloth
  2. Wipe the entire surface of the board
  3. Wipe the board a second time using only water
  4. Dry the board completely
  5. Repeat the process if necessary

Can You Use Windex to Clean a Dry Erase Board?

Yes, Windex can be used to clean a dry-erase board, but only on certain types of boards. For porcelain and glass dry-erase boards, Windex is an effective chemical-based cleaner. However, Windex can damage the surface of melamine dry-erase boards, so it is not recommended for these types of boards.

Whiteboard Maintenance Tips

Cleaning your dry-erase board with a whiteboard cleaner every 2 or 3 days will help to keep it looking its best. Cleaners come in spray bottles or convenient disposable wipes. Regularly cleaning the board ensures that your dry-erase ink doesn’t sit on the board for too long, which can cause stains.

Whiteboard Cleaner Ingredients

Whiteboard cleaners are made of a solution containing water and a powerful solvent, allowing the cleaner to easily remove markings. If you have no whiteboard cleaner on hand, you can easily make your own substitute with common ingredients. Simply mixing water with ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol or peroxide can quickly create an effective homemade whiteboard cleaner.

How to Clean Whiteboard Erasers

Cleaning and maintaining your whiteboard erasers is a key component of keeping your boards spotless. A whiteboard eraser can get filled with marker ink residue, hampering its ability to clean your dry-erase board. Lightly sweeping over the surface of your erasers with a soft-bristled brush will remove most of the residue accumulated in your eraser. If deep cleaning is required to remove hard-to-remove residue, dip your brush in a mixture of dish soap and water before scrubbing.

You don't have to live with a messy whiteboard in your office and cubicle. Keeping the board clean ensures that your notes are legible and your ideas are well-communicated. Use any of our ideas to wipe your board clean for your next presentation.

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