Cleaning a Chalkboard

by Bonnie Roberts
(last updated June 29, 2020)

A chalkboard can be a difficult monster to keep clean. When you erase it, the chalk dust doesn't go away; it just gets spread around. It creates a fine new layer of dust across the board which can build up and make it difficult to write on. Not only that, the dust gets everywhere, and after a while you find yourself breathing it in. What's more, as a teacher, I know how annoying it can be to brush up against a dirty chalkboard when wearing black clothing.

Chalkboards can become damaged by frequent cleanings with water or chemicals. That's why you should dry-wipe your board often with a piece of cloth just to cut down on the amount of dust. It is recommended that you begin in the upper left-hand corner and wipe in an up-and-down motion to the lower right-hand corner so that the dust doesn't form irregular patterns on the surface of the board.

If you have heavy chalk dust buildup on your blackboard, though, this kind of dry-cleaning won't do much good. As long as you don't use it too often, the following method is effective:

  1. Erase all markings from the board with a common felt eraser.
  2. Wipe dust from the board with a piece of soft fabric, moving from one side of the board to the other using an up-and-down motion.
  3. Put a tablespoon of liquid soap into a gallon of warm water, then use a sponge to wipe the board down from one side to the other in an up-and-down motion. Return the sponge to the water often to remove more dust.
  4. Clean the chalk tray after the whole board is clean because it probably has the most chalk dust buildup. Wipe the wet sponge across the entire tray. You may want to hold your water bucket at the end of the tray and wipe the excess dust into that so it doesn't get on the floor.
  5. Rinse the board using the sponge and plain warm water, using the motion described previously.
  6. Dry the board with a clean, soft cloth or towel. Allow board to air dry for an additional 12 hours minimum. Writing on a chalkboard while it's still wet makes the markings very difficult to remove.

Now your board should be pristine and beautiful. Remember to regularly clean out your erasers so that your chalkboard stays cleaner longer.

Author Bio

Bonnie Roberts

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