Would you like to know how to clean a whiteboard? You would think the process is straightforward and easy to accomplish. However, how many times have you seen a dry erase board with remnants of the last meeting on it? Your frustration mounts when your new content writing becomes a combination of new ideas with old ideas. The problem is that you can’t depend on only erasing your whiteboard. There are various quick, inexpensive and simple methods that completely wipe a dry erase board clean. What follows is a guide for how to start each writing session with a clean, shining whiteboard canvas. You’ll learn cleaning tips and techniques and how to choose the best whiteboard cleaner.
Ways to Clean a Whiteboard
How to Clean White Board
The first step in understanding how to clean your whiteboard is to know which type of dry erase board you’re using. The three white board types are:
Each of these types can be cleaned in a similar manner. However, there are nuances with each that determine how to maintain them in the most efficient manner.
This is the most inexpensive and common whiteboard that you’ll come across. Backed by a pressboard, melamine whiteboards are made from plastic. They scratch easily, are not magnetic and comes with a clear-coat surface to write on.
You need to clean a melamine whiteboard immediately after using it. Otherwise, you’ll notice ghosting and staining if you don’t clean it right away.
This is why these whiteboards are better for occasional usage. Don’t ever use permanent markers on a melamine whiteboard. The plastic clear-coat surface absorbs the ink because it’s a porous material.
These are the most durable of the three types. Porcelain whiteboards have a steel backing and are created from ceramic. This type of dry erase board is typically more expensive than melamine boards and is also magnetic. Ink doesn’t absorb as much into the ceramic surface of a porcelain whiteboard, making it resistant to ghosting and staining.
This type doesn’t usually have an outside-edged border, is made of glass and is more expensive than melamine or porcelain whiteboards. Its glass surface is non-porous so you won’t need to worry about ghosting or staining. Some tempered-glass whiteboards are magnetic.
No matter which type of whiteboard you need to clean, an effective way to perform your cleaning task is to use something non-abrasive that won’t strip or scratch the surface of your board. A microfiber cloth is one of the best tools to use for this purpose.
Use Cleaner for Dry Erase Board
One of the most common whiteboard problems reported by whiteboard users is ghosting. This happens as marker chemicals create a build up that occurs if you only erase the board.
You’ll notice a difference in gloss between the areas where you’ve written content and the unused sections. This gloss difference is called ghosting because there are noticeable remnants of previous work even after vigorous erasing. There are many cleaner options available to take care of this frustrating glossing issue.
Isopropyl Alcohol: This is the best cleaner for dry erase board. You simply dip a microfiber cloth into a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol.
The result is one of the most effective methods for clearing all signs of ghosting from your whiteboard.
Windex: This is another cleaner option for your whiteboard. You can effectively get rid of stains by spraying a little Windex onto a microfiber cloth.
Whiteboard Cleaner: You’ll find official whiteboard cleaner sold online and at many brick and mortar stores.
This is a solid choice when your board needs a good overall cleaning. It’s quite good for getting rid of ghosting and various marker stains.
Water & Mild Detergent: This technique will take you a little more effort than other cleaning solutions, but it will work if it’s all you can find. Mix up a little dish detergent with water and use a microfiber cloth to scrub down your board. It will be more difficult to get rid of marker streaks. However, it will remove oils and residues and help out in a pinch.
How to Clean a Whiteboard Without Whiteboard Cleaner
If you’d rather clean your whiteboard without using an actual cleaner, you might be surprised that there are several effective options available.
Water & Vinegar: Mixing up water with a little bit of vinegar creates a cleaning agent that works in a variety of situations. One such situation is cleaning stains off a whiteboard.
Magic Eraser: You can remove ghosting and stains by wetting down a magic eraser and using it on your whiteboard’s surface.
Water & Paper Towel: This method won’t be very effective long term. However, it will get rid of recent content in between your efforts at removing stains or ghosting using more effective cleaning methods.
Fabric Softener Sheet: Similar to using a paper towel with water, a fabric softener sheet acts more as an eraser than a cleaner. You’ll have trouble getting old marker content off the board with this technique. It will be effective at getting rid of dry erase ink that was used less than 24 hours ago. This method won’t scratch the whiteboard’s surface.
How to Remove Permanent Marker
Have you or someone else accidentally written on a whiteboard with a permanent marker? Here is what to do when you want to know how to get permanent marker off dry erase board.
Use a dry-erase marker for this purpose. It will remove stains caused by pens, Sharpies and other types of permanent writing items. Here are the steps to take in this situation:
- Use a dry-erase marker to copy over the permanent marker writing. Duplicate the text exactly.
- Let the dry-erase marker dry for several seconds
- Use a felt eraser or cloth to wipe away the writing
- Watch as the permanent ink is lifted away with the dry-erase ink
This process works because both the permanent and dry-erase markers contain non-polar solvent. All the ink is detached from the board’s surface as the two types of ink mix together.
You might need to repeat this process a few times until your board is completely free of the permanent marker stains. Use a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water when you’re done to remove any ghosting.
Cleaning a whiteboard sounds like an easy task. As we have learned, however, there is much to think about. Stay clear of anything abrasive that will damage your whiteboard’s surface. The last thing you want to do is vigorously wipe down your board with the wrong solution and discover that you need to buy a completely new board.
Most likely, you’re going to settle in on using isopropyl alcohol with water. The reason is that it will get rid of stains and ghosting without much effort on your part. It’s still a good idea, though, to try a few of the above options until you discover the best whiteboard cleaner that fits your situation.