How to Clean Dry Erase Boards: 10 surprising tricks.


It is the bane of every teacher and public speaker’s existance– dry erase marker stains that won’t come off your dry erase board. EXPO & Quartet make  great dry erase board cleaners that get rid of stubborn stains, but if you don’t have any on hand, there are a surprising number of products found in nearly every home and maintenance supply closet that should do the trick.

Clean dry erase board marker stains with:

  1. Isopropyl Alcohol
    Make sure you are using the 99% or 90% solution. The 70% stuff doesn’t work nearly as well.
  2. Peroxide
    No 99% Isopropyl alcohol on hand to clean your dry erase board? Try peroxide.
  3. Hand Sanitizer
    Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are better than “natural” sanitizers at cleaning your dry erase board — better at killing germs on your hands too.
  4. WD-40
    At this point, I want to know if there is anything WD-40 can’t do. (Answer: yes.)
  5. Hairspray
    Spray on, wipe off, then get rid of the sticky residue with soap and water.
  6. Toothpaste
    Actually, toothpaste removes stubborn stains from most smooth, non-porous surfaces.
  7. Ben-Gay
    Slightly abrasive like toothpaste, and contains alcohol for added cleaning power.
  8. Comet
    Abrasive with proven cleaning power. Your dry erase board will look brand new.
  9. Coffee Grinds
    Of course, once you’ve used coffee grinds to scrub off dry erase marker stains, you have to turn around and clean off the brown coffee residue. Still, works in a pinch!
  10. Vinegar
    Should probably list this first, since vinegar and water are my go to solution for most cleaning projects.

Do you have any tips and tricks for keeping your dry erase board looking new? We’d love to here them. Share your advice in the comments.

Sources: WikiHow, Gizmodo

397 comments on “How to Clean Dry Erase Boards: 10 surprising tricks.

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  • Tiffany Miller says:

    I used hand sanitizer on a micro fiber hand towel and if wiped right off!! However, if the board is heavily stained I could see hand sanitizer probably not cleaning it all.

  • Mechanic orange hand cleaner with pumice work for me. A lot of elbow grease though. The writing had been on the board for years.

  • I used a clorox wipe, but it stripped the “writable” surface…I don’t know how to fix this new problem…

  • becki berry says:

    Toothpaste was the winner! Hand sanitizer didnt work, clorox bleach wipes worked a little, peroxide did not work at all. All were attempted with microfiber cloth.

  • Gacha Hybrid beauty says:

    THANK YOU I WAS IN SO MUCH TROUBLE WITH ME GRAMMA! then I cleaned it and now I’m so happy!

  • Thank you! I had ink that had been on my board for years. Tried all the tricks I knew, but nothing worked. 91% isopropyl alcohol worked like a charm!

  • My board has writings on it from a few years ago. Tried baking soda and vinegar, toothbrush and lots of elbow strength. Most of the marker stains were removed. I tried hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball to remove the leftover stains. It only removed some. Eh, I can finally use the board.

  • Hey everyone! I have just become the guru of sandwich board repair. I lent my double-sided sandwich board to a store I rent a space in. Mistake! Instead of her looking up any of your great suggestions on how to clean dried (waterproof) marker off the boards, she globbed on coats of paint (likely chalkboard paint) between marker usages. What a mess! At first look, I thought maybe it was food or something caked on the board. As I started to use the advanced cleaning products, it started to wear off the paint, reveling even more ink. What I was seeing was layers of paint drips before drying. I soaked the board with comet, vinegar, baking soda, goof off, but to no avail. I even tried using my dremel sanding bit and a putty knife to see if those would work. Then I chipped a little piece of the ink off with my fingernail, and eureka! I’m an artist and fortunately have clay sculpting tools – basically assorted shaped scrapers. I used a larger angled one and it worked like a charm!!! It took me over 2 hours but I was able to scrape down to the ribbed eraser board. The board is resilient and held up perfectly during the operation. Over 5 hand fulls of crap was scraped off the board. After I wiped off both sides of the board, I towel dried it and finished it with WD40 and a paper towel. It looks quite close to new again! So if the ink (especially the metallic) is sun-dried and beyond stuck on the board – or if some idiot acrylic paints your dry eraser board – a generic clay sculpting/scraping tool, some elbow grease, and WD40 is your answer.


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