DIY Cleaning & Organizing

How To Clean a Dry Erase Board

Keep your dry erase board looking brand new by following these four simple steps.
Savannah Sher Avatar
how to clean a dry erase board

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Whiteboards have replaced blackboards in many classrooms and are also commonly used in workplaces and home offices. While they’re a great tool for jotting down ideas or conveying information to a group, they have a tendency to become stained with heavy use. Cleaning your dry erase board regularly will keep it in good condition for years to come. If it does get stained, however, there are ways to make it look brand new again. Read on for four simple steps for how to clean a whiteboard.

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Before cleaning your whiteboard, first, establish what it’s made of. Dry erase boards are typically made from melamine, porcelain, or glass. The most affordable and commonly available dry erase boards are made using melamine. Recommended cleaning methods are similar for all three materials, but certain chemical products may negatively affect whiteboards made from melamine, which can be porous.

how to clean a dry erase board

STEP 1: Use a fresh dry erase marker to remove stubborn marks.

Have you ever accidentally used a permanent marker to write on a dry erase board? If so, don’t panic; it doesn’t mean your whiteboard is ruined. Simply grab a fresh dry erase marker and draw over the stained area with it. Allow it to dry, then use a whiteboard eraser to remove the fresh markings, and the old stains should be erased in the process. If the stains are still visible, repeat the process for the best results. This trick also works to erase markings from dry erase markers that have stained the board. Keep in mind, however, that melamine boards are most susceptible to permanent staining and ghosting and may not respond to this technique.

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STEP 2: Clean the board with a cleaning solution and a soft cloth.

Once you’ve removed any visible stains, it’s time to give the entire board a thorough cleaning. While you can use a specially formulated whiteboard cleaner like Expo Whiteboard Cleaner (available on Amazon), there are also a number of household products that you might already have in a drawer or cupboard that will get the job done. Rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, nail polish remover containing acetone, vinegar, and Windex are all safe to use on a whiteboard. To clean the whiteboard, dampen a cloth and use it to rub in the cleaning product of your choice. Rinse the cloth with cold water and use it to rinse off any remaining cleaning solution.

how to clean a dry erase board

STEP 3: Wipe the board with a damp cloth daily. 

The best practice for keeping your whiteboard clean is to erase any markings when you’re done using it. Always wait until the markings have dried completely before erasing them to avoid ghosting, but note that markings that stay on the board for longer than a day or two are more likely to leave stains behind. This is particularly true for dry erase boards made from melamine. For everyday cleaning, simply use a felt whiteboard eraser. For a more thorough regular cleaning, a damp cloth will suffice. Use a clean, dry cloth to dry the board.

STEP 4: Don’t use abrasive cleaners that can damage the whiteboard surface.

Abrasive cleaners like toothpaste, Comet, and baking soda all contain tiny particles that can scratch the surface of a dry erase board. Avoid using abrasive cleaners as well as wax-based solutions, which may leave a thin film on the whiteboard’s surface. Similarly, avoid wiping a whiteboard with your bare hands because the oils from your skin can penetrate the surface and cause damage over time.

Keeping a whiteboard clean may seem like an easy task, but regular maintenance is essential to ensure its longevity. By following these four steps, you’ll be able to keep your dry erase board looking new for years to come.

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