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How to get permanent marker off a whiteboard

Read on to find out our top methods for how to get permanent marker off a whiteboard with ease.

Updated Reading Time: 5 minutesBy Cleanipedia Team

permanent marketing drawing on a wall being rubbed off with a cloth
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Anyone who owns or uses a whiteboard will know that permanent markers and sharpies look and feel deceptively similar to dry wipe pens… while producing very different results. If you’ve just realised you can't just swipe away the permanent marks you've just made, don’t panic: our guide will show you how to get permanent marker off a whiteboard with ease. Plus, if it’s not just on the whiteboard but also other surfaces, find out how to remove permanent marker from different surfaces.

How to clean a whiteboard: Important dos and don’ts

Before we show you how to remove permanent marker from whiteboard, there are some other helpful tips and tricks below:

  • DO try baby oil. Baby oil isn’t just for super smooth skin. Rubbing it with a cloth on the surface of your whiteboard can help to shift stubborn marks.

  • DON’T use abrasive cleaners. These can damage the whiteboard’s finish, and compromise the surface – leading to future staining with dry-wipe pens.

  • DO try other methods if. our two favourites below aren’t working for you. You could try out a magic eraser or nail polish remover to remove the ink.

  • DON’T FORGET to keep your whiteboard clean. Always wipe it down after use and clean using a good quality all-purpose cleaner such as Cif at least once a month.

  • DO make sure you keep cleaning products out of reach of children, especially if the whiteboard is in a school or a children’s playroom.

You will need:

  • Dry eraser markers
  • Whiteboard eraser
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How to clean a whiteboard with dry erasers

It may seem counterintuitive, but fighting marker with marker is often very effective.

  1. Go over markings with a dry erase marker

    Draw over the marks you’ve made in permanent marker with a dry erase marker.

  2. Colour a solid block

    Colour a solid block which should completely cover all the permanent marks.

  3. Once dry, wipe clean

    While the ink is still damp, use a whiteboard eraser to wipe the board clean.

  4. Repeat until the marker is removed

    Repeat steps 2-4 until all the permanent marker marks have been fully removed.

How to clean a whiteboard with rubbing alcohol

You will need: Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitiser and two soft, clean cloths

  1. Put rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth

    Using your rubbing alcohol or hand sanitiser, get your clean, soft cloth damp. Make sure it is not soaking as you don’t want it to drip everywhere.

  2. Gently rub away on the marker

    Use your damp cloth to gently rub away the permanent marker stain.

  3. Dry with a soft cloth

    Using a clean, dry soft cloth; dry the area.

  4. Repeat until completely removed

    If the ink stain is stubborn, repeat steps 1-3 until it is completely removed.

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How to clean a whiteboard with toothpaste

Cleaning a whiteboard with toothpaste can be an effective method to remove stubborn marks and stains. Start by applying a small amount of non-gel toothpaste directly onto the stain or mark. Using a soft cloth or sponge, gently scrub the area in a circular motion. The mild abrasiveness of the toothpaste helps lift the residue without damaging the whiteboard surface. After scrubbing, wipe away the toothpaste residue with a damp cloth or sponge. Finally, dry the whiteboard thoroughly to prevent streaks or water damage. However, it's important to test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with your specific whiteboard surface.

How to clean a whiteboard with vinegar

Cleaning a whiteboard with vinegar is an effective and eco-friendly method. Start by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the solution onto the whiteboard surface. Using a soft cloth or whiteboard eraser, wipe the board in a circular motion to remove the dry erase marker residue and stains. For tougher stains, let the vinegar solution sit on the surface for a few minutes before wiping. Once cleaned, dry the whiteboard thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Vinegar helps break down the marker ink and leaves the whiteboard clean and ready for use. Now you have some quick and easy steps to follow to remove permanent marker from a whiteboard, you can keep it clean without fear of stains.

Originally published