Whiteboards are used everywhere. We see them in classrooms, businesses, offices, restaurants, and even our homes. I’m sure you have experienced issues like your markers not writing well, residue, scratches, stains and ghosting. Most people just use their dry eraser to wipe their boards down, but never actually take the time to clean them every once and awhile. Not taking care of your whiteboard properly can lead to permanent damage to the surface of your whiteboard.
Full Disclaimer: We are an office furniture dealer and sell some of the products we review. To learn more about the products we sell, our review process and why you can trust us, please visit: Why we’re different. Who is BTOD.com and The Breakroom Blog?
How to Clean a Whiteboard Links
- Types of Whiteboards
- How To Clean Whiteboards With Chemicals
- How To Clean Whiteboards Without Chemicals
- What Not To Do With Dry Erase Boards
- Tips To Make Dry Erase Boards Last
- Bottom Line
How To Clean Whiteboards Video
Types of Whiteboards
There are three main different types of whiteboards: melamine, porcelain, and glass. While all of them can be cleaned similarly, they have different qualities that determine how to care for them.
Melamine whiteboards are the most common and most inexpensive whiteboards on the market. Melamine is a plastic that is backed by pressboard. There is a clear-coat surface that allows you to write. These boards are not magnetic and can scratch easily. This type of board is best for occasional use because it should be cleaned immediately after use; otherwise, you will see staining and ghosting. The plastic coating is a porous material and will hang onto ink colors, so be sure to never use permanent markers on these boards.
Porcelain whiteboards are made of ceramic and backed by steel, making it the most durable. These boards are typically magnetic and more expensive than melamine whiteboards. Unlike melamine boards, the porcelain board is resistant to staining and ghosting because the ink won’t absorb.
Tempered Glass Whiteboards
The most expensive out of the three are tempered glass boards. They are made of glass and typically don’t have an outside border or edging. Because it is glass, it is non-porous which means it will resist staining and ghosting. Glass boards can also be magnetic.
How to Clean White Boards With Chemicals
When cleaning your whiteboard, there are numerous ways to safely clean it without ruining the surface. With any of these cleaners, we suggest you use a microfiber cloth, or something that is non-abrasive so you don’t scratch or strip away the board’s surface. We have tested various ways to clean a whiteboard and these are the results.
Isopropyl Alcohol: After testing, this combination is very effective in cleaning a whiteboard.
Whiteboard Cleaner: This is an obvious choice for cleaning your whiteboard and is quite effective in removing stains and ghosting. It is a non-toxic cleaner that you can buy at the store.
Windex: I found Windex to be a very effective cleaner. By just spraying a small amount onto a microfiber cloth, you can easily remove stubborn staining while cleaning the surface.
Mild Detergent & Water: I used a drop of Dawn dish soap and water on a microfiber cloth. Even though this method took a little more effort to remove the old marker, it was a great way to clean the surface to remove residue and oils.
How to Clean Whiteboards Without Chemicals
If you are looking for a chemical-free way to clean your dry erase board, there are a few ways for you to keep your whiteboard clean.
Magic Eraser: By wetting a magic eraser, you are able to clean the whiteboard’s surface while removing stains and ghosting.
Used Fabric Softener Sheet: A fabric softener sheet will not scratch the surface of your whiteboard, but can effectively remove dry erase ink that is on the white board for less than 24 hours. If an old marker was used, there may be some stains/ghosting. This isn’t technically a cleaner and will act more as an eraser than a cleaner.
Vinegar and Water: People have been using vinegar and water as a cleaning agent for years. You can add one teaspoon of vinegar per cup of water; use a microfiber cloth to clean the whiteboard.
Paper Towel and Water: This is a quick, chemical-free way to clean the surface of your board, but may not remove old stains or ghosting.
What Not To Do Cleaning Dry Erase Boards
With any whiteboard, you are going to want it to last a long time. There are a few things that can ruin or damage the surface of your whiteboard that you are going to want to stay away from.
- Stay away from wax-based cleaners. That also means, no polishing your whiteboard’s surface. They end up leaving a film residue on the whiteboard.
- Do not use abrasive cleaners. They will physically scratch the surface of your board.
- Never clean a board by wiping the ink off with your hands. Your skin contains natural oils that stay on the surface and can ruin it over time.
- Some people may use toothpaste, Bengay, or Comet, but these are all abrasive cleaners and can damage your whiteboard.
Tips To Make Your Dry Erase Board Last
- Clean your dry eraser regularly. They hold onto the ink and won’t be as effective.
- Use a dry erase marker to remove permanent marker.
- Always use a soft, non-abrasive cloth to remove ink, such as a microfiber cloth.
- Wait until the ink is dry before you erase it to prevent staining.
- Don’t slide magnets on the surface.
- If your whiteboard is used daily, it should be cleaned daily.
- Goo Gone is a great way to remove dry erase markers, but not wet erase markers.
- If there are stickers or tape on the surface, remove only with Goo Gone.
- Follow the maintenance instructions, if provided.
Although cleaning your whiteboard may seem like a simple task, it is something that should be done regularly and correctly so that it lasts a long time. You’ll want to stay away from abrasive materials and cleaners that could potentially damage the surface of your whiteboard. There are many types of cleaners that can effectively clean your whiteboard to keep it as good as new. With just a little bit of extra care, your whiteboard can look as great as the day you first got it.