If that solution doesn't work, keep reading this page for more solutions that have worked for people.
Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
Accidents happen, such as when you grab a permanent marker instead or a dry erase one to write on your whiteboard. This is a guide about removing permanent marker on a whiteboard.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I work in the school setting. I 'accidentally' used a regular marker instead of a dry erase marker on a dry erase board. Needless to say, the ink would not come off or what I could remove left a horrible smudged stain.
I was using the dry erase marker and wrote right over that smudge and then erased it. The dry erase marker must have a solvent agent in it as it removed the smudge. I found I sometimes must scribble over the site and immediately rub off with a tissue for a clean dry erase board.
By Antaria from Chino Valley, AZ
My husband gets this stuff called GP66..It worked like a charm. Ssprayed it on, left it for a about a minute and used a magic eraser and all the permanent marker came off! Looks brand new too! :)
I just tried the alcohol and it worked like a charm!
It took me two times of doing this but it definitely saved my butt from getting grilled! I did that on my best friend's roomie's board. Thanks so much!
Thank you so much I bought permanent markers thinking they were dry erase and wrote on my whiteboard it came right off after that. Thank you, thank you so, so much!
My kids scribbled all over their new dry erase easel with a ballpoint inkpen, and I thought it was ruined! I tried this. It only took me 10-15 minutes to do the whole board, and it looks like new again. Wow! Thanks for the tip.
How can I remove permanent black marker from a whiteboard?
Cover the mark with a dry erase marker and erase as usual. Repeat as needed and this should do the trick.
WD-40, nail polish remover, Mr Clean eraser-pretty easy to do but also hide the Sharpies!
Lisa is correct. This will work. You can also use the cleaning spray that is specifically for cleaning the boards. Most offices have this available, as the boards need to be cleaned periodically to remove the actual dry erase marker.
Use rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer to clean dry erase boards. As a teacher, I found board cleaner did not get my boards completely clean. I poured alcohol into a spray bottle and only use it on my boards now. Much cheaper than board cleaner.
By Kelli from Sentani, Indonesia
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I accidentally used a marker on my dry erase board, and am not able to erase it with the dry erase spray. It is faded but still visible to the eye, and I would hate to have to throw the huge board away. Any ideas on how to get this off? It would be very appreciated.
Sherry from Staten Island, NY
My secret cleaner is naphtha, sold as lighter fluid. Extremely flammable of course. It's oily, use a gentle cleaner afterward. Did the trick for my white board. (10/18/2008)
By Jill in Maryland
I know I accidentally did the same thing at work, and all we had at the time was Windex and Goo Gone. Not sure which one I used or possibly even both. It took some scrubbing, but I got it off. (10/18/2008)
My high school teacher wrote with permanent ink by accident on the white board. We were in a visiting classroom. She took toothpaste and the grit in it scrubbed the letters off. (10/19/2008)
I have used Goo Gone to successfully remove permanent marker. (10/20/2008)
For general care I use baby wipes or vinegar. When I have a harder problem I use vinegar and the magic eraser. Magic eraser if great stuff. I use it after I labeled my food container with permanent ink. (10/20/2008)
I have used WD40 to successfully remove permanent marker. (10/20/2008)
At our school we had a special spray that was used to clean the board, and that took it off. I expect that this would be available at Staples or some place like that. I don't remember the name of the product. (10/20/2008)
I have used waterless hand cleaner to easily and successfuly remove permanent marker from 2 different white boards. Toothpast and SOS may remove the marker, but they will certainly rough up the white board and make it harder to get clean in the future. (10/20/2008)
This is going to sound rather crazy but it works. A teacher at school had a student to write in permanent marker on his dry erase board. He simply picked up a DRY ERASE MARKER and wrote over line over line all that had been written on the board. That's dry erase over permanent. Then he erased it and ALL was gone. It takes off everything and you have a clean board. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. I just went and tried it on my board to make sure I was remembering correctly. It works! (10/21/2008)
By Connie H.
WD40 worked for me. Just spray the board then wipe with a clean, dry, soft cloth. (10/21/2008)
I have tried a lot of things to completely clean my dry erase board, but the thing that works best for me is lacquer thinner. The product can be purchased at a paint or hardware store. Simply apply a small amount of the lacquer thinner to a soft cloth an wipe the board. Turn the cloth as it becomes dirty an apply additional lacquer thinner as needed. When the board is clean applying a coat of liquid car wax might help in maintaining your board. (10/31/2008)
By Bill at Batesville, AR
Try coloring over the unerasable marks with an erasable marker, an old one that barely writes will work. Color over all the marks, then erase. It has worked for me with sharpie marks. (11/01/2008)
I couldn't believe how easy it was to get the marker off by simply going over it with the dry erase marker. Nice trick. Thanks for the info. (01/08/2009)
By NewNotes Recording
I have used De-Solve It to remove sharpie from whiteboards and plastic with great success. you need to let it work for a few minutes before wiping it off with a paper towel (I use windex to cut the oily remover), good results! (04/12/2010)
I took it off with baking soda and water mixture. (05/08/2010)
If your dry-erase board was "gratified" by a permanent marker, use a dry-erase marker to color over it. It will erase it like magic.
By Dawn O. from St. Louis, MO
This morning I was erasing an appointment from our dry-erase board, and I realized I'd written part of it with a permanent marker. I got it off using hand sanitizer; the alcohol is what works. (09/21/2009)
Crayola, dry erase on top did not work. Mr Clean Erasers didn't work. Read through all the other tips and looked around what I had in my desk at school and I tried white toothpaste (our hand sanitizer at school is alcohol free argh). With a lot of elbow grease it worked pretty good. I'm concerned about the finish now so I might also follow the post that said wipe on some baby oil before using again. (BTW this was thanks to my son who hangs out in my classroom after school and the student who left a crayola marker on my white board ledge....argh) (10/14/2009)
We have permanent marker on our dry erase board! We have tried board cleaner and alcohol, but the shadow remains. Any suggestions?
Betsy from New Orleans
Another thing that works is to use the same permanent marker over the original writing. Just do a little at a time and then wipe off. I learned this the hard way, right after joining our church my kids decided to write on one of the dry erase boards with a sharpie marker. My son actually figured it out. I was so glad! I thought I was going to have to buy a new board. (10/31/2004)
You can try rubbing alcohol (10/31/2004)
Will this also work with a chalk board? Thanks! (11/02/2004)
Here's an easy fix. Color over the permanent marker lines with a dry-erase pen and erase off while still damp. It really worked for us!
Obviously wouldn't work on a chalk board, but best thing for dry-erase boards is to go over the permanent marker with a dry erase marker. Everything wipes right off. (11/11/2004)
Mr Clean Magic Eraser might work. It cleaned permanent marker off the side of my fridge.
Going over with dry erase marker works pretty well, but to remove all traces, finish by spraying with "Krud Kutter" (got it at Home Depot) and let it sit for a few minutes. Looks good as new! (11/30/2004)
To remove permanent marker from something (like a note board), trace over the writing with a dry erase marker and wipe away. It may take a little bit but the permanent (?) marker will leave.
By Melanie (12/06/2004)
I tried the aqua net and it didn't work for me but 91% rubbing alcohol worked awesome. (02/28/2005)
I didn't have alcohol or time to get to a store. I was at work when my 10 year old decided to draw on the board in our board room. The only thing I could find was Windex all surface cleaner W/Vinegar. Worked like a charm! You just have to be careful of the color running down the board and onto something else, it works instantaneously.
Angie in Kentucky (04/05/2005)
Use Acetone, the ink will wipe off like butter! (04/07/2005)
I got instant, perfect results with Windex followed by rubbing alcohol. If you use just alcohol it takes longer. (04/14/2005)
By Mary in Talent, Oregon
Just tried using acetone and the dry erase marker. acetone works like a charm. (04/30/2005)
I just used the Mr Clean Magic Eraser, it took the marker right off. (05/20/2005)
I've tried acetone, vinegar, and Windex. It's not permanent marker even, it's a dry erase that just spreads everywhere. Any more ideas? (08/14/2005)
I love the internet! My five year-old daughter just started practicing her vowels by writing on my dry erase board ...with a Permanent Marker!
I went directly to the internet and found this site. I used the suggestion of the acetone. Dabbed a paper towel with my fingernail polish remover and it magically disappeared! Thanks folks! (12/22/2005)
AHHHH, love you guys! Thanks, I really did not think I would find a thing. ACETONE, works great! I just used toilet paper with polish remover, came off...red perm marker like it was never even there! Try this! (02/22/2006)
Wow, it really works when you trace dry erase marker over the permanent marker the permanent marker comes right off, forget the acetone and windex. (02/28/2006)
Use hairspray. It worked for me. (03/21/2006)
Try cream(not gel) toothpaste. Works great! (03/28/2006)
By Jo Ann
How brilliant! Polish remover works great. Thank you very much! (04/01/2006)
All the things above work fine. But, what if there no board. I mean is, what if the board is replaced with other material like plastic sticker that you put from inside your car. Because, I have that kind of problem. (04/07/2006)
Thank you so much! Writing over the permanent marker with Dry-Erase marker actually worked, how I don't know. But you do have to go over it a few times!
Going over the permanent marker with a dry erase marker worked perfectly! Thank you! (06/23/2006)
Wow, using the dry erase marker overtop the permanent marker really works! This is the first site that came up in Google when I did a search and I'm so glad it did! Your feedback has helped me immensely. Now my white board at work won't be permanently ruined by my stupidity! Thanks! (07/14/2006)
WOW! Thanks a bunch. Using the dry erase marker over the permanent works. (08/31/2006)
Thanks so much. I'm working at a school as a internship for a year. 2nd week in and I pick up a permanent marker, so before anyone noticed, I went over it with a dry marker. Thanks! (09/14/2006)
Thank God for this site! I am new at work and accidentally used a permanent marker on the dry-erase board, despite the huge sign! It's gone now. Thank God for this site! (09/28/2006)
By Dr. Reese
Awesome solution! Thank you so much! (10/24/2006)
Wow! This is amazing!(11/03/2006)
Go over the permanent marker writing with a dry erase marker and then clean it with the dry erase eraser. Repeat until you get all the smears off. (12/02/2006)
1st link in google = I look like a pro on my 3rd week at work as I fixed up somebody else's mistake. Who would have thought it's so easy to repair. (02/01/2007)
OMYG, whoever thought to do this is an absolute genius and should be rewarded greatley! Thank you, thank you thank you! It's funny how the stupidest little think could brighten up your day! (02/16/2007)
By M AND R
This worked SO great. I was at work and had my daughter and her friend with me at my office. Being 13, they naturally don't pay enough attention to what they are doing. They BOTH drew with permanent marker on my boss's white board and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't come off. I told them the board would cost them each $40 if they couldn't get it off. I did a search and this was the first thing. Both girls sighed HUGE sighs of relief as the permanent marker came of very easily with no effort. WHEW! (04/06/2007)
Thank you!! Co-worker moved into a new office today and I left him a funny note. Unfortunately in permanent marker. Writing back over with dry erase worked well even if you have to do it a few times! Whew. (04/10/2007)
Mr Clean Magic Eraser takes magic marker off a dry erase board. Sybil (04/18/2007)
By Sybil McQueen
A combination of dry erase over and acetone worked for me, my mistake was that I used the scratchy side of the sponge and you will never get any marker to come off correctly after that, it was my shop/garage board so no big deal. (04/19/2007)
By Nuggy Nobody
Thanks a million! My boss asked was there anything that would remove permanent marker and I came to this site. Your solution worked like a charm! You rock! (05/24/2007)
Thanks for the permanent marker tips, it totally saved my dry erase board! (07/22/2007)
My mom is a school teacher with dry erase boards and said Mr. Clean Magic Eraser work or there is a spray you can get at office supply stores that is dry erase spray. (08/25/2007)
Nail polish remover with or without acetone makes the permanent marker come off instantly. (08/26/2007)
I just realized that I had used a black Stanford 336 Permanent Marker on my white board several days ago. From the previous advice I first used Acetone. This really broke up the ink, but tended to smear it over a larger area, leaving a light gray film, as I wiped it. I then used naphtha (lighter fluid), and this took the gray film off completely. Naphtha by itself didn't do much to the ink. (09/12/2007)
Just go over it with a dry erase marker and wipe away. (10/08/2007)
Nail polish remover (10/17/2007)
By Karen Kalocinski
There is a product called "INK-OUT" it takes permanent ink off a white board like dry erase board cleaner takes off dry erase marker- that easy that quick. I found the product at the local janitorial supply place and it was about the same price per oz as dry erase board cleaner.
I am not a sales rep for this company I run a small school in Arizona and have found this product to be priceless in removing graffitti and the like from various different surfaces.
Whiteboards stain after years of abuse (not cleaning them on a regular basis) easiest way to fix that problem is replace the dry erase board-. You can buy an eight foot by four foot sheet of it at a "HOME DEPOT" or "LOWES" for usually under $20.00. (10/25/2007)
Goo Gone or Goof Off and then Windex to clean off the oil residue. (11/19/2007)
I was at work and wrote on my dry erase board w/ permanent marker. I was amazed at how easy it was just to go over it with the dry erase marker and then wipe it way. I love the internet. Thank you to all the strangers out there who post all this helpful information! (12/04/2007)
Writing over the permanent Marker with Dry Erase Markers worked very well. I had to do it a couple times but it still came off very easily and it was something I had at the office to use right away. (01/07/2008)
I did the writing over it with a dry erase marker, it got most of it off but was really smeary. So I used Fantastic with Oxy Power and the board is gleaming white. (01/08/2008)
Paint remover works best. Try it. (01/16/2008)
Listerine works wonderfully. I did the great "oops" and was looking around the house for something with alcohol in it. (02/01/2008)
Purell Hand Sanitizer takes it off very easily. (02/07/2008)
Someone out there is an absolute genius! Thank you for the tip of using the dry-erase marker over the permanent ink on my dry-erase board to get it off. I scribbled over the entire word (one word at at time) as if I was trying to scribble the whole word so no one could read it (as I often did in grade school when we went from pencils to pens and I didn't want anyone to see my stupid, wrong answer.)
Word by word, I got the whole paragraph off my dry-erase board. I work alone at home, so no one else saw my blunder, but YOU GUYS ARE LIFESAVERS!! Thanks so much for the tips.
One more thing to those who haven't tried this yet, I'd recommend small, quick wipes with the eraser or tissue, because the longer the stroke, the greater the likelihood you'll create a smear. You can still get the smear off, but it means more scribbling and erasing. (02/26/2008)
By Elaine in Seattle
Aquafresh toothpaste with tartar control works really well! Especially if nothing else works! (05/28/2008)
By band kids
Dude, dry erase markers really worked! Pretty clean, too. Definitely a great quick fix. (05/29/2008)
Man, I've tried dish detergent, bleach, alcohol, toothpaste, Purell, fantastic, fingernail polish remover, paint remover; NOTHING works like the dry erase marker over the permanent marker that Chuck suggested; skip the rest, go straight to that. If you have a lot of marks, like I did, it will still take a bit of elbow grease. Thanks Chuck! (06/08/2008)
Wow, was I nervous, my neighbor loaned me a dry erase board, he said probably 3 times, "make sure you use a dry erase marker." Well I had a few colors marked "dry erase" but I also had a few crayola markers, that I thought would act the same way. WRONG. I didn't find that the dry erase marker technique works on "crayola" but the gel toothpaste thing works like a charm. I applied it like wax and dry shined it off! Try for the toothpaste trick! (07/07/2008)
Wow! I didn't believe it would work but just tried it and it works perfect! Thank you (07/30/2008)
After reading a few suggestions from above, I reached for my husbands favorite soap, LAVA, in bar form. It was slightly damp on one side, so I rubbed it on the dry erase board where the permanent marker had been used by mistake, then rubbed with a paper towel. Woolaa! All permanent markings disappeared, as expected. Saved again by LAVA soap. Thanks for this forum. It saved me $$
By Debra K from Longmont CO/p>
Like everyone else I tried the polish remover and alcohol but the toothpaste worked really good. It removed 98% of the marks that were made by every sort of marker my kids could find and by just using the toothpaste and a washrag it brought it off. THE TOOTHPASTE WORKS. (08/14/2008)
I tried the dry erase pen to remove the permanent ink from the dry erase board and it really works just like it's stated. I didn't have access to toothpaste so I tried this method. (08/15/2008)
I had a For Sale sign I needed to get the number off and I used toothpaste let it sit for 1 minute and then scrubbed it off with alcohol. (08/17/2008)
By Robert S. (Georgia)
Propylene does the trick! (08/18/2008)
There is always hope! Toothpaste! (08/29/2008)
Get this, I bought a 4 pack of dry erase markers that I used to write on this GIANT white board my dad made for me (he took the time to build a frame and everything). Turns out 2 of those 4 markers were actually permanent markers. They were labeled in small print on the markers, but the pack they came in CLEARLY said "dry erase markers for use on white boards"
I was so worried until I read this. Thanks guys. Dry erase markers over the permanent marker took it right off. (08/30/2008)
I never thought it would work but I tried the dry erase marker over the permanent and it totally worked. It's all gone! (09/02/2008)
Yesterday I picked up the wrong marker too. After I sprayed it with Fantastick and everything else I had handy in the kitchen I was left with a smear.
This morning in disgust I stood there rubbing the mark with my fingertip and it started coming off. That gave me the idea that a small amount of oil might work. I sprayed a tissue with a little PAM, and rubbed the gray smear right off. Then I wiped the oil off with Fantastick.
The board's like new. So, before you rush out to buy anything, try a little spray cleaner, a dab of oil and spray again. (09/12/2008)
OMG! It really worked. All you have to do is get any kind of toothpaste and put it on top of the permanent marker and scrub. It really works!
I had an old Dry Erase Board with black lines and faded colored words, some over a year or more old. Before I found this site, I tried nail polish remover which mostly got rid of the black lines, but didn't touch the pink and red words nor any of the scratches. When I saw the postings on this site, I first tried writing with a dry erase marker over the words (I used a fair amount of force and was persistent) but this did nothing.
I then tried some old toothpaste, which worked like a champ. I began with the words, spreading toothpaste over the letters, letting it sit a minute and with a soft tissue began rubbing and rubbing. To my delight the letters began to fade and with a little more toothpaste and elbow grease totally disappeared. I also noticed that the board became really white where I had rubbed. After my first go-round I used a damp washcloth (damp with water) and wiped off the whole board.
I could then see that the parts I hadn't scrubbed with toothpaste looked dingy and gray so I cleaned each area. It almost looks good as new and feels really smooth. Thanks for your help. (09/14/2008)
Jewel Disinfectant Wipes(other disinfectant wipes may do); wipe it off, throw it away! No spraying, no tracing, no mess at all! They remove permanent marker as easily as removing the dry erase marker itself! (09/24/2008)
Fab! Toothpaste works! (09/27/2008)
I was able to clean a dry erase board at work that had permanent marker on it close to a year. Thanks for the tip. The dryerase maker certainly did the trick! (09/29/2008)
I have to do a project on what products take off permanent markers off of a white board. It figures out that hairspray, rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer and mouth wash works best. All separate, of course. Wooow, they work. (10/08/2008)
By shania w 7th grade science project...
WD-40 worked for me when all the other suggestions didn't. (10/16/2008)
Goof off works the best and doesn't take the finish off! (11/10/2008)
My boss grabbed a random marker (which turned out to be permanent) to write on the white board I JUST bought for the office not a week ago. Toothpaste works! I used Colgate paste not gel. (11/13/2008)
Hand sanitizer worked like a charm! Thanks. (11/13/2008)
Thanks for the help. I wrote on my dry erase board with a sharpie by accident. I tried the spray from the dry erase. It just made it worse. I tried the dry erase marker over the marker, which I have seen work before. Still the sharpie was unfazed, so I turned to the internet and found this site. One application of toothpaste and voila. Better then new! (12/03/2008)
By Stevie M.
PB Blaster works too which is pretty much the same as WD-40. (12/16/2008)
TOOTHPASTE! Freaking amazing! Thank you, you saved me from the wrath of my 3 year old daughter - I messed up her brand new dry erase easel board that she got for Christmas! (12/28/2008)
Toothpaste! Best advice I'd had. I was skeptical at first but it worked amazingly well. Not a trace of the permanent marker left! (12/30/2008)
The toothpaste worked first time! You do need a bit of elbow grease, but this was a perfect, though odd, solution. (01/02/2009)
Great idea, whoever thought of this is genius. (01/29/2009)
By Juan and Nikki
Toothpaste only really works if its been on there for a couple of minutes. I use this product called the Amodex Ink and Stain Remover. Its a cream and really takes Sharpie off. It should its recommended on their website! (01/30/2009)
Pepsodent toothpaste worked - even for the MONTHS old permanent marker! :) (02/01/2009)
By Laura Tes
I am surprised so many people do not know this but to remove permanent marker from a whiteboard, all you need to do is scribble over it with dry erase marker and then wait 30 seconds or so. Then erase with a regular eraser. The permanent marker comes off along with the dry erase marker. (02/01/2009)
By Kyle S.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I used hand sanitizer and it worked great. (02/16/2009)
I was shocked. My sons wrote on my dry erase board with a permanent marker. I just wrote over it with a dry erase marker and both wiped right off.
I have two boards and certain colors do not erase off of the one and nothing erases off of the other one. How do I restore the original finish to them? (02/25/2009)
I use soft scrub with bleach and a dry paper towel on the boards at work that get permanent ink on them. Works for me. LOVE all the suggestions listed, you guys/gals are GREAT! (03/08/2009)
I found after trying all of these things and more. Things such as nail polish and jewelry cleaner work the best. (08/30/2009)