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Cleaning Permanent Marker Off a Dry Erase Board

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Make notes on your bathroom mirror: Dryerase markers write beautifully on glass. The bathroom mirror is usually one of the first things you see in the morning, so it’s a great place to write reminders, jot down quick notes, or send love messages to your partner.


Whats the difference between wet erase and dry erase?

Dry Eraser Markers

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Tested by: wikiHow Video Team wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 52 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 896,736 times. 25 votes – 72% Co-authors: 52 Updated: December 7, 2021 Views: 896,736

Article SummaryX

To remove permanent marker from a white board, use a rag to rub the permanent marker with rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or acetone. You can also try coloring over the permanent marker with a dry-erase marker and then wiping it all off with a white board eraser. If the permanent marker is still there, scrub the marker with a pencil eraser until it comes off of the board. If you want to learn how to clean off any solvent you used on your whiteboard, keep reading the article!

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The Science Behind These Removal Methods

The secret to these methods? They are actually the same thing.

A dry erase marker contains three elements. Colored pigments, a release agent or polymer, and….can you guess? A chemical solvent, which is a fancy term for, yep you were right, alcohol.

Permanent markers contain an acrylic polymer that helps the ink stick to surfaces. To break down a polymer, you need a chemical solvent. Voila, dry erase markers erase permanent markers. 

The slick surface of the whiteboard won’t absorb ink. This makes alcohol more effective at removal. Ah, science. The thing that lets you erase one marker removes another marker. The chemical reaction between the two cancels the other out.

Q: How do I get permanent marker off of a whiteboard with no smears?

Other than the methods mentioned above, Ethanol works excellent for this purpose. It’ll help you to remove the marks without smearing.

Spray the solvent all over the ink stains and wait a few seconds until you see the permanent ink is dissolving. And then wipe the marks off using a paper towel or clean cloth. If the ink doesn’t go away entirely with the first attempt, repeat the process. 

Q: What removes Sharpie from dry erase boards?

There may have too many ways or tools that remove Sharpie from dry erase boards. But in this article, we have mentioned some popular ingredients to erase those Sharpie stains. They are dry erase markers, rubbing alcohol, and hand sanitizer. Each of them is alcohol-based.

So, when you use these chemical solvents on the permanent ink, they help break down the acrylic polymer in ink. And that’s why these methods work so well on such tough stains.

Q: Does rubbing alcohol damage whiteboards?

We have already mentioned using rubbing alcohol on the whiteboard to remove the permanent marker ink. It really works great in removing tough stains. But don’t forget that excess of anything is bad. Since rubbing alcohol is a chemical solvent, you shouldn’t also use it more than necessary.

So, use rubbing alcohol on the whiteboard wisely. Otherwise, it may damage the surface. Only then you can get your whiteboard as before. 

Q: Can you use Windex to clean a dry erase board?

Though Windex is labeled as glass and plastic surface cleaner, but it works as an all-purpose cleaner. Think of a surface you can’t use for cleaning. In that way, you can also use it for cleaning the dry erase boards. Just spray a little over the board and wipe it with a clean cloth. You’ll get a sprinkling board in no time.

So, nothing to worry about using it on whiteboard surfaces. But remember not to use any harsh or abrasive cleaners on boards, as it can damage the surface.

Q: How do I get old eraser marks off a whiteboard completely?

Suppose you alwaysuse whiteboard eraser to clean the dry erase marks. In that case, hopefully, there will be no such stains as eraser or marker marks. Still, if you face such a problem, you can use any glass cleaners and wipe them away with soft clean cloths.


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  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners, such as scouring powders or baking soda, since they could damage the whiteboard surface and make marks harder to remove later on.[13]

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What about Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

Magic…where? While the bald man may perform miracles on grubby handprints of mysterious origin lining your walls, doors, and light switches (he can even remove disgusting mildew off deck railing, but I digress), he was no match for the power of the almighty Sharpie. The only thing he erased was the top surface of color, and my hope that any of these random household products were going to work.


Did bug spray get rid of my permanent marker?

Disclaimer: The only bug spray we have in our house is a “natural” insect repellent called “Buzz Away” (made by Quantum Health) and its ingredients are as hippy dippy as you’d imagine. While the mix of citronella, ethanol, castor oil, cedarwood, peppermint, lemongrass and eucalyptus essential oils did not work to remove the marker, a standard DEET-based repellent might.


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. Repeat until completely removed

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