Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
For teachers, cleaning a whiteboard of all its remnants can be near impossible, but if you used WD-40, it will look new again!
By AlaskanAurora from Dutch Harbor, AK
I use fingernail polish remover to clean the dry erase board. Works like a charm, and gets all old ink off immediately.
By Rita H.
I have an old whiteboard with difficult-to-remove markings. I grabbed my bottle of Jergen's hand lotion and applied a little to a rag. The board is now like new!
I simply use household cleaner spray (409 in my case). Everything comes off easily. A few spots might need a little scrubbing, but not much. And the board comes out sparkling white.
By Cricket from NC
I check out some of the other email postings. I recently received an easel board from another family member - they had a lot of writing with grease markers on it, and they don't know how long it was on there.
So we, my other half and I, tried rubbing alcohol, then nail polish remover, and then hand sanitizer gel. None of them worked. Then we tried Permatex Fast Orange - hand cleaner. This works great with a little extra scrubbing.
I bought some Lysol wipes for my ladies' Sunday School class because we kept getting sick with colds. Aside from wiping down the table, chairs, and doorknobs, I found the alcohol content made it perfect for cleaning dry eraser marker writing from our dry erase board!
By Vivian P.
Liquid hand sanitizer works well to clean a dry erase board.
By Sue from Illinois
My three year old scribbled all over my dry erase board. I was clueless and used plain water to clean it. Big mistake. The water marker smeared and it would not come off. I tried so many things, alcohol, hand sanitizer, acetone, etc. I gave up.
I always clean a dry erase board with alcohol.
Writing on a white board with a permanent marker is common mistake. The good news is that the permanent marker can be easily removed.
I tried all the other methods listed and none were satisfactory. I put some acetone on the white board and everything from sticky residue to caked-on ink came off immediately without streaking.
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 cleaned my whiteboard with a Scotch pad and water and now the markers just sink in and won't erase. This cleaning procedure was demonstrated to me on another board and it worked well. What do I do to fix my board?
To get Sharpie marker off of a whiteboard, color over it with an Expo marker and erase with a whiteboard eraser.
Scotch-brite is certainly safer than solvents such as WD-40, but it IS an abrasive, and it WILL take *something* off the whiteboard surface. Re-waxing your surface is probably a good idea. In the future, I suggest using a cleaning chemical with a low toxicity if it won't come off.
Use toothpaste (the regular kind) and put some on a rag and scrub over the board where the ink is not coming off, then rinse, wipe with a clean cloth and dry.
By Lisa T.
This is awesome! It works wonderfully. My dry erase board looks just like new!
That works great! Any kind!
OMG. Half of my board has been bad for over a year. Couldn't believe how easy it came clean.
Thank you! My son used an ink stamp on all of my boards. I tried a half-dozen things that didn't work - but toothpaste took it right off! It also took off the old discolored residue from years of use. My white boards look new again.
Toothpaste worked like a charm! My children's Crayola dry erase board was smeared with dry erase marker that had been sitting for months. Now it looks brand new, seriously :) Thank you!
Does the spray eyeglass cleaner you buy and then get free refills from Walmart work on dry erase boards? It would be bargain if it does. Does anyone know?
By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN
I use a damp cloth with a little spray (on the cloth) of Scrubbin' Bubbles with bleach. It works like a charm. The board comes clean as a whistle.
I would think that any cleaner with bleach would work. It certainly hasnt hurt my white board, and it comes up like new everytime.
I use windex.
I bought a can of denatured alcohol at the hardware store and put it in my original Dry-Erase Cleaner spray bottle. Doesn't take too much to clean the board. I spray it on a rag and wipe. For red ink I spray it right on the board.
My fiancé and I bought our daughter an easel for Christmas. It has a chalkboard on one side and a dry erase board on the other. As soon as my wonderful man put this awesome Christmas gift together I decided I was going to clean it so it would be nice and shiny when our daughter found it Christmas morning. I used Windex.
We bought the expensive Crayola dry erase markers for her board, but for some reason they refuse to erase unless I but a lot of weight on the rag or eraser. I've begun to just continuously use the Windex for the job. Is there anyway to make the makers erase properly or is it the markers? What should I do?
A very simple online search for "clean dry erase board" produced many good replies. You can try a search yourself and this very helpful site:
Is there any product I can make or buy to renew the finish on a very old dry erase white board?
Steps for restoring your whiteboard:
Clean your whiteboard erasers using your vacuum cleaner or a sturdy brush. Remove as much dust as possible from the erasers.
Using a clean cloth and dry erase cleaner clean you whiteboard. Remove as much of the marks as possible from the whiteboard.
Now clean the whiteboard again using whiteboard cleaner and paper towels. If you can't find whiteboard cleaner don't use another cleaner. Just use a damp cloth to clean the board with.
Use WD-40 to spray a light coat over the surface of the board. The WD-40 has light oil that will allow you to write on the board so the ink won't dry or leave permanent marks.
Use a clean cloth to spread the WD-40 over the surface of the whiteboard. The board needs to feel slick with oil when you touch the surface. There shouldn't be large pools of oil on the board. When spreading around the WD-40 use circular motion.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
WD-40 is great for cleaning permanent marker from dry erase boards.
By Lisa T. (10/17/2004)
You should avoid using Window cleaners on DRY ERASE surfaces. They will damage the finish, and shorten the board's life span. Many window cleaners have ammonia which is harmful to plexi glass, acrylic, and surfaces with plastic finishes. (11/13/2004)
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will clean your dry erase board. (03/09/2005)
I used rubbing alcohol. I'm not sure if it's bad for the surface, but it all came off instantly.
I found "Off" the bug spray will polish it clean. Don't know if it damages it or not, but cleans perfect.
Alcohol will eventually ruin the finish. Spend a couple of dollars on dry erase spray cleaner, found in office supply stores. Some colors are harder to clean off. Go over color with black and clean as you normally would. Black breaks down the color. (07/25/2005)
How do I remove highlighter from a dry erase board?
I know that if a permanent marker was used on a dry-erase board then all one needs to do is to reactivate the permanent marker with a dry erase marker, then just erase.
However, this does not work for highlighter...anyone with some ideas?
By In Trouble
Discovered a sort of new one...
Clear gel type hand sanitizer! Mostly alcohol. Took care of the stuff even WD-40 could not touch!
My sub used a baby wipe on my dry erase board and now everything smears. How do I clean it? I have used Mr. Clean, water, and dry erase board cleaner. Nothing works.. (02/21/2007)
By Jan F.
- go to this website for your baby wipe board. It has a few ideas to renew the surface. (04/17/2007)
The harsh cleaners you suggest, especially the finger nail polish remover, will ruin your board. A dry erase board is dry erase because of the top protective coat on the board. Removing or damaging that top layer with hard cleaners or abrasive towels will create permanent staining. The mild formulas of the manufacturers, I like Expo, are best.
By Karen J
Thank you! I accidentally used a sharpie marker on my dry eraser board. I scribbled over it with an expo marker and then when I wiped it off, it ALL came off! Thank you for the suggestion. (06/06/2008)
Awesome, WD-40 took off the Sharpie pen my kid used on it. Thanks to this board. (09/11/2008)
Believe it or not, Gin works just fine. (12/31/2008)
By Mr. Gin
How do I restore my dry erase board to it's original surface? I can no longer erase any markers easily.
Jeff from Chicago, IL
I generally use rubbing alcohol on mine; and at the preschool where I work, if there is not alcohol handy, I just use the hand gel, which is mostly alcohol anyway.
The magic erasers will work, but you do "Not" want to use them often, as they will abrade the surface and shorten the life of your board. You can purchase special cleaners at the office supply store. (03/03/2009)
Coke works to take permanent marker off the dry erase board. It also works to clean a toilet. (03/04/2009)