How to Clean a Stained Dry-Erase Board

Rubbing alcohol is one of the best solutions for cleaning a stained dry-erase board. If you don’t have a special whiteboard cleaner, dampen a microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol and wipe away old marks.

While dry-erase boards are common in offices, schools, and for home calendars, they tend to show ghost lines and develop stains over time. You can clean a dry-erase board with simple household staples to bring it back to new.

The Best Cleaner for Dry Erase Boards

How to Clean a Stained Dry-Erase Board

There are many homemade solutions to clean a dry-erase board, but rubbing alcohol works best. Even most store-bought dry-erase cleaners list denatured alcohol or isopropyl alcohol as one of their main ingredients.

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol in your home, hand sanitizer will work because of its high alcohol content.

How to Clean a Dry Erase Board: Step by Step

Using rubbing alcohol will get your whiteboard clean and white. But don’t use straight rubbing alcohol too often, or it can wear down the top layer of your board. Instead, use it when you’re dealing with stubborn marks. 

Here’s how to clean a stained dry-erase board with rubbing alcohol. 

Step 1: Remove Old Marker Lines

Before wiping down your board, grab a dry-erase marker and trace over any existing lines. Then go over them with an eraser. Often, this trick is enough to eliminate dried-on marker stains.

Step 2: Wipe the Board with Rubbing Alcohol

Mix a solution of half water and half 90% isopropyl alcohol. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution and wipe the entire board. 

You can use full-strength isopropyl alcohol on problem areas. Apply to the stains, let it sit for 30 seconds, and wipe away.

Step 3: Keep Your White Board Clean

To keep your whiteboard in the best condition, use a felt eraser after new marks have dried. 

If you wipe away the dry-erase marker before it’s dried, it will leave ghosting. If you leave the marker on too long, it will stain. 

Aside from using your felt eraser, you can wipe the board with a soft microfiber cloth dampened in water as needed or about once per week.

Other Home Solutions for Cleaning a Dry Erase Board

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer and are wondering how to clean a stained dry-erase board with other products, here’s what to try. 

  • Hydrogen peroxide – Apply directly to a paper towel and wipe away stained areas.
  • White distilled vinegar – Apply to a paper towel and wipe away stained areas. Since vinegar has a high acid content, don’t use it too often, or it can ruin your whiteboard’s outer layer.
  • Windex – Spray Windex on the board and wipe off with a soft, lint-free cloth. Don’t use Windex on a melamine-based whiteboard, or it will ruin it.

Never use Comet, baking soda, Bar Keeper’s Friend, or toothpaste to clean a whiteboard. Each of these products includes mild abrasives which will leave scratches.

How to Remove Permanent Marker Ink off a Dry Erase Board

To remove permanent marker ink from a dry-erase board, start by tracing over the marks with a dry-erase marker. Then go over it with a felt eraser. If the permanent marker lines are still there, dampen a paper towel or microfiber cloth with full-strength 90% isopropyl alcohol and wipe away the stains.