How To Clean A Whiteboard

Best Way To Clean A WhiteboardDry erasers clean whiteboards effectively. Unfortunately, the surface doesn’t stay as fresh as when you removed the protective wrap for the first time.  Even well looked after whiteboards have stains that are difficult to remove.

How do you look after your whiteboard? Are household items safe to use? What happens if you accidentally write with a permanent marker on the whiteboard?

Standard Procedure How To Clean A Whiteboard

Before using the whiteboard for the first time, clean it with a damp microfiber cloth. Dry the surface with a dry microfiber cloth.

Erase the writing with the whiteboard eraser after use. Use the dry erase board cleaner for a more intensive cleaning that prevents marker build-up. Non-toxic cleaners are environment-friendly and safer to use in classrooms and at home with young kids in the vicinity.

5 Easy Steps to Clean A Dry Erase Board

  1. To clean the eraser before using it, run it under cold water and allow to air dry.
  2. Wipe the board with the eraser or a soft, microfiber cleaning cloth. Erase the markings by firmly pressing down while wiping in a circular motion.
  3. Spray a thin layer of non-toxic dry erase board cleaner onto the board or on the markings the eraser didn’t remove.
  4. Wipe off the dry erase board cleaner with a dry cloth. Apply firm pressure in circular motions.
  5. Wait for about two hours for the surface to dry before use.

Homemade Dry Erase Board Cleaners

Commercial dry erase board cleaners contain bleach, alcohol or other cleaning ingredients found in households. Using a homemade dry erase board cleaner may be an inexpensive alternative to the commercial cleaners or is it?

The availability of everyday household items can be convenient alternatives to commercial whiteboard cleaners. Unfortunately, these items aren’t always the safest or the best if you want to use the whiteboard for a long time.

  • Hand sanitizer. Apply a small amount of hand sanitizer to the dry board eraser or a clean cloth.
  • Spray the hairspray directly onto the whiteboard and wait about two minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth. The hairspray may leave a stickiness if left too long before wiping it away.
  • Antibacterial wipes. Generic wipes contain alcohol that will clean the whiteboard.
  • Dilute vinegar with equal parts water before cleaning the board.
  • Pour non-acetone nail polish remover on a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the board.


Paper towels or a clean cloth saturated in rubbing alcohol wipes away board markings. For stubborn stains, spray the isopropyl alcohol directly onto the marks and wipe away with a clean cloth.

Alcohol may clean the whiteboard to your satisfaction, but the persistent use of alcohol or alcohol-containing products could damage the board. Alcohol destroys the lubricating layer. Initially, the dry erase board looks as clean as it was when you bought it. By damaging the protective coating, the color pigments penetrate the boards, and ghost markings appear. After a while, the whiteboard loses its ability to wipe clean.

Ironically, using isopropyl alcohol with soft fiber cloth is sometimes the only way to remove the stubborn ghost markings and stains.

Abrasive Cleaners and Cloths

Glass cleaners effectively clean whiteboards. Some glass cleaners, however, may be too harsh and could scratch the surface of the dry erase board. It’s recommended to use a soft damp cloth to wipe glass cleaner solutions from the board surface.

Microfiber and other soft cloths work best for cleaning. Be mindful that some manufacturers deem a fabric that isn’t soft enough, rags, and paper towels as abrasive cleaners. Lifetime warranties may become void with the usage of harsh cleaners and cleaning materials.

Removing Tough Stains

The oily lubricant layer on a whiteboard makes the whiteboards nonporous. It prevents the ink pigments from penetrating the board. Older boards and much-used boards form a ghost layer when the lubricant layer deteriorates.

Rubbing alcohol may remove tough stains when sprayed directly on the marks. Wipe the marks away with a clean microfiber cloth. Keep in mind that alcohol or alcohol-containing products may effectively clean the board but do harm the protective layer.

Removing Permanent Markers from the Whiteboard

The longer the permanent marker stays on the board, the more difficult it will be to remove.

Permanent markers are tough stains to remove.

Removing permanent markers with dry erase markers

  • Trace with a dry erase board marker over the permanent marker writing.
  • Make sure the marks are completely covered. The solvent in the dry erase marker dissolves the permanent marker solvent.
  • Then erase with a dry erase board.
  • Repeat the process until the marks are gone and the board is clean.

Removing permanent markers with household items

  • Pour non-acetone nail polish remover or hand-sanitizer on a clean, soft cloth.
  • Wipe the permanent marker writing away.
  • Use another soft damp cloth to wipe the remainder of the stains and the nail-polish remover or hand-sanitizer.
  • Dry with a dry soft microfiber cloth.
  • Wait for the board to be completely dry before using it again.

Use the pencil eraser as a last resort

  • If the previous two methods don’t work, then use a pencil eraser and rub the marks.
  • The rubbing movement may damage the surface of the board.
how to clean a whiteboard

Dry Erase Board Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

  • Clean the dry erase board monthly.
  • Never use liquid dry erase board cleaner on wet ink marks.
  • Avoid using wet erasers, chalkboard, or felt erasers.
  • Avoid using permanent markers on a dry erase board.
  • Never use thinners or paint remover on a whiteboard.
  • Always use a clean cloth or eraser. A dirty cloth or eraser may leave ink stains behind when wiping the whiteboard surface.
  • Keep the marker tray clean from dust and debris that could stick to the eraser and attach it to the whiteboard surface during a cleaning process.
  • Avoid scratching the surface when dragging magnets over the board surface.


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