Cleaning a Whiteboard

by Bonnie Roberts
(last updated December 26, 2016)

Not many things are as ugly as a dirty whiteboard. All the marker colors have mixed together to form a dirty gray haze. When you write on it and erase, the marks don't come off; they just get smeared into the rest of the smudgy grime. As a teacher, I know just how bad a whiteboard can get! But when you take a few minutes to clean it, you get an amazing feeling, seeing that grime wipe right off to expose the pristine, gleaming white surface. You, too, can experience this level of satisfaction by cleaning your whiteboard.

Be sure to use a clean, dry eraser made specifically for a whiteboard. Always let the marks dry completely before attempting to erase them or they will smear. Also, writing that is left on the whiteboard for a long time can seep into the board and actually stain it. If you erase your marks soon afterwards, your board will stay in better shape.

If your whiteboard is looking hazy, try dry-cleaning it. With a flat hand, wipe a paper towel firmly and consistently over the board's surface. A paper towel has a flatter and smoother surface than an eraser, so it cleans deeper. Also, a lot of ink residue stays in an eraser, but using a paper towel gets rid of the residue.

If your whiteboard is way beyond the aid of dry-cleaning, follow the steps below:

  1. Obtain a whiteboard cleaning solvent. Expo sells a small bottle of it with their marker sets. There are also convenient wipes sold by Quartet or Motsenbocker's Lift Off. However, there's no need to buy anything expensive, because anything with rubbing alcohol in it will remove stubborn marks. You can use alcohol wipes, or even antibacterial hand gel. I like to use equal parts water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray a small area of the board with the solution and rub with a paper towel or cloth. Most of the marks should come off easily, but for more stubborn marks you may have to scrub harder or spray and wipe multiple times. Continue to clean the rest of the board in this manner.
  3. If you have a marker tray, wipe the dust off of it with one of the used damp towels.
  4. Let the board air-dry for 30 minutes to 2 hours. It may seem dry to the touch right after you clean it, but the deeper layers will still be wet. Your board can stain if you write on it before it's completely dry.

Your board should now be looking good as new. Doesn't it make you feel great?

Author Bio

Bonnie Roberts

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