Friday, August 3, 2012

Having trouble erasing your dry erase board?

What good is a dry erase board that doesn’t erase?
Many different factors can contribute to a whiteboard not erasing, but with a little knowledge and some tips & tricks you can easily get that board clean or at least know when the time has come to replace it.

Use the right tools
Traditional felt chalk board erasers were not designed to be used on whiteboards. Instead of trapping the ink, they tend to push the dry ink around the surface of the board. They leave a trail of dry ink debris on the surface, causing the board to look messy and dirty.
A soft microfiber cloth tends to work better than a paper towel or a rag because the fibers trap the ink and get it off of the surface while polishing the smooth dry erase surface.  Microfiber cloths have negative charges that actually attract dust, ink, dirt, etc.

For the stubborn stains
If simply wiping the cloth over the stain does not remove the stain, adding water to the cloth may be the next step. Wetting the cloth in a way reactivates the ink. It loosens the ink particles making it easier for the fibers to clean the board. A damp microfiber cloth should erase the simplest of stains.  

For resilient stains
For resilient stains try using a whiteboard cleaner. Whiteboard cleaners are designed to erase stains while cleaning and conditioning the whiteboard. You can make your own whiteboard cleaner using a solution of 50% water and 50% isopropyl alcohol.
If the cleaner does not seem to be doing the trick, increase the proportion of isopropyl alcohol to water, this should erase the hardest of removable stains. Using straight isopropyl alcohol, or isopropyl wipes should be the next step if increasing the solution does not erase pesky stains.  

Helpful Trick
Sometimes simply re-writing over the stain with a dry erase marker and then erasing the ink will remove the stain underneath. Writing on a stain with a dry erase marker in a way reactivates the ink and when it is erased it pulls the old ink into the cloth along with the new ink; resulting in a clean board. This has been known to erase permanent marker stains and is an easy trick if you are out of dry erase cleaner, or if there is no water nearby.

The worst thing you can do for your whiteboard would be to use abrasive cleaners that could potentially scratch or harm the board. Magic erasers, tile/tub cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, bleach; harsh chemicals such as these can ruin a board.  

Resurface or Replace?
If the staining gets out of hand and the previous solutions do not work for your whiteboard, then it might be in your best interest to either resurface or replace the whiteboard. See our post on resurfacing dry erase boards


  1. Thank you, that was just the information I needed. Will mix a potion up for school and try it on Monday.

  2. Hi, have recently bought a new whiteboard. Don't know why but the whiteboard ink is getting dried up on the surface of the whiteboard in half an hour. I am literally using a lot of force to wipe it off. Where as ink on the whiteboard at my office gets wiped off comfortably even after 5 days with no force at all. I am assuming that the shopkeeper has given me an inferior quality whiteboard and now when I am asking about replacement, he is reluctant to do so saying that i have already used it. I guess the whiteboard surface is not as glossier as it should have been and that's why the ink is probably getting absorbed by the surface of the whiteboard. Moreover there are some scratch marks on some portions on the whiteboard which I could not see while purchasing it from the shop. Is there any way by which I can fix the whiteboard surface? Any paint or chemical which will make my whiteboard surface more glossy and will even put those scratch marks?

    1. Hello, The scratches make it sound like you might have a melamine board those tend to perform less well than more expensive options out there. However before you resurface your board it may be worth testing a couple of troubleshooting solutions first.

      1. Make sure your board is clean and don't use common glass or surface cleaners (ex. 409, lysol) Try cleaning with Isopropyl Alcohol available at drug stores, department stores) The problem could be that build up on the surface could be trapping the marker ink on the surface and making it difficult to get off.

      2. Try different markers, sometimes as markers age (even before you buy them) the ratio of ink pigment to carrier fluid gets off as the carrier fluid evaporates. This lease the marker with too much pigment which can be difficult to erase.

      If all else fails there are ways to resurface you board you can see a few good options on this website

  3. Like having a backup for your whiteboard.

  4. I’m eager to find the valuable information and for me this is the right place to get the good stuff. ReMARKable white board

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