Posted on: January 12, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 2

Whether in a classroom or an office conference room, having a clean white board is always a must. Not only does it look neat and organized, it also makes writing easy. If your white board is clean, people can easily read and understand what you’ve written on it.

To make sure your board remains white, you must clean it often. Even so, there are times when markings aren’t totally removed. No matter how many times you run the eraser over it, a shadow of the writing remains, making an unpleasant stain over the white board. Oftentimes, the marks are too much, that the board loses its gleam and becomes a very light shade of gray. Another problem is when you accidentally use permanent marker instead of the recommended marker. You’ll certainly find the markings hard to take out. Your first impulse then would be to replace the board with a new one.

You don’t always have to do this, though. Instead of wasting money on a new board, there are ways on how you can bring back the whiteness of your old one and remove all those annoying stains. Here are several helpful tips you can try.

Erase A Mark With Another Mark

Yes, you read it right. To erase a mark, you have to create a new one first. It sounds surprising, but this is the most popular tactic used by many people, and it works very well. It even works on markings made by a permanent marker. Here’s how.

  1. Get a dry eraser and a dry erase marker. It’s best to use a darker shade, so the marks will disappear easier.
  2. Draw over the marks you want to erase, with a slow motion, so the new marks will fill in the old ones better.
  3. Erase over the marks. You’ll be surprised at how everything goes off, including the old marks you’ve made.

If everything isn’t removed during your first application, you can repeat the procedure again. It may take a few tries before the marks completely vanish, so your dry marker might run out of ink after the procedure. It’s worth it, though, when you see your board gleaming white again.

The Pencil Eraser Is Stronger Than The Marker

Another strange method many people use for their white boards is by taking out the mark with a pencil eraser. It might seem ineffective at first, but for subtle and small marks, it can work pretty well. Here’s what you should do: first, take a good-quality pencil eraser and rub the mark well. Most of the ink will come off. Then, get a swab of cotton, dampen it with rubbing alcohol, and rub what remains of the mark. Wipe off the stain that spreads out using a paper towel or wet rag. To clean off the mark, wipe what remains with some nail polish remover or a deep pore cleanser.

Lacquer Thinner Works

If it works on old paint, then it’s sure to remove old white board marks in a cinch. Lacquer thinner is a strong solvent, with dissolving properties. You can easily buy it from a hardware or paint store. If you use lacquer thinner for those unpleasant stains, they be gone in an instant.

Put a small amount of lacquer on a soft cloth, then wipe the board slowly. When the cloth becomes dirty, turn it around, as not to spread the dirt. Apply more lacquer if needed. Soon, all the marks will be gone.

Look Around Your Home

Do you know that there are numerous products found around the home that can solve your white board problem easily? Before you rush to the hardware store or department store, check out if these home products will solve your white board dilemma.

Ordinary Toothpaste

Not only does it whiten teeth, it also strips away any white board mark residue. Get plain white toothpaste, since it’s water-soluble and contains a very mild abrasive. Put some on a paper towel, then slowly work into the mark. Wipe it clean with another paper towel. If the mark doesn’t disappear, repeat the process. After you’re done, your board will be smooth, clean and minty-fresh.


You might hear this product often used for various stain removal tactics. It also works well for cleaning clogged inkjet heads, which has ink that’s nearly the same kind as that of permanent or dry erase markers. Just apply a small amount of peroxide on a piece of cloth, then slowly rub onto the white surface.

Baby Wipes

Although they’re designed for more gentle cleaning tasks, you can use regular baby wipes for very minor white board stains. Just take a few pieces, fold them in a neat square, then run them all over the board’s smooth surface, rubbing as briskly as you can. You’ll soon see the mark slowly fading.

The Water-Vinegar Solution

No one can disagree with vinegar’s cleaning prowess around the house. It can bleach, disinfect, and even remove bad odor. It also works well when removing white board marks. Just mix an equal amount of vinegar and water. You can use either white or apple cider vinegar. Get a clean, plain cloth, dampen it with the mixture, then press on the mark. rub it slowly, but firmly, until you see the vinegar doing its work. Keep repeating, until all the marks are gone.

Muscle Cream

Muscle cream works great for muscle cramps, but it’s also great for removing markings on white board. It acts like toothpaste, although it’s less abrasive and it contains alcohol that works as a better cleaning agent. Dab some onto the affected surface, then rub it in with a paper towel, using medium pressure wiping action.


Even that stuff you use on your armpits can miraculously loosen ugly markings on white board. For this method, it’s best to use the spray-type, rather than the roll-on kind. Just spritz a small amount on the board, then rub and wipe clean with a tissue.

Neutral Shoe Polish

While this method is more ideal for cleaning and polishing the white board surface, it can also remove light, ugly-looking white board stains. Use it like you would on shoes: add a small amount, then spread it with a clean cloth. Watch as the surface becomes smoother, and the marking starts to fade away.

Oxy Clean

It’s said to work as well as peroxide, when it comes to white board stains. Mix it with water, until you make a soft paste and, using a soft cloth, rub into the board. When you see that all markings have disappeared, rinse away the residue using water.

Old Dryer Sheets

If you have dry eraser marks that are very old, then this might surprisingly solve your dilemma. The sheet’s softener and rough surface can help remove the marks. Make sure to use old ones, though, because new dryer sheets won’t work.

A dirty and stained white board is very unsightly, and nobody likes to have one in school, office or home. Solve this problem by trying the methods above. You might need to scrub and wipe a bit, but the resulting sparkling gleam from your white board’s surface will be more than worth it.

Click here for more information on how to get rid of white board markings.

2 People reacted on this

  1. Remove white board markings with nail polish remover. Pour a small amount onto a rag or paper towel and rub off.I get a few funny looks from work collegues when I take it out but but it works brilliantly!

  2. For whatever reason, on certain board surfaces, things like 409 and especially abrasives like Barkeeper’s Friend or even toothpaste can mark the surface and cause ghosting to occur more frequently from then on.

    The trick I’ve always used is to mark over the dried on ink with an erasable marker, wait 10 seconds, and then erase it again – repeating as necessary. After that is done, I spray the board with Green Erase board spray and wipe the board off. I’ve never had that combination not work on a board.

    Thanks for the info!

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