Whiteboards and dry markers are among the coolest writing instruments ever invented. They are very easy and fun to use, and can be found pretty much everywhere from homes and schools to hospitals, offices, and training venues.
When compared to the classic chalkboards, whiteboards are very easy to clean and maintain. Also, they have a longer life than their predecessors. Nevertheless, even the best whiteboards will deteriorate and get damaged over time.
However, not all is lost when stubborn stains and ghost lines appear, not even when the writing surface fades to gray. There are ways to restore your trusty old whiteboard and extend its life. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the restoration process.
The Restoration Process
An old and damaged whiteboard shouldn’t be thrown away, as it can be restored rather easily. Depending on its condition, you will be able to restore more or less of its sheen. However, you shouldn’t expect to restore it back to its original glory. With that out of the way, let’s get on with the restoration process.
Clean the erasers
When restoring an old whiteboard, you should start with the erasers, as the problems with whiteboards usually start with dirty and poorly maintained erasers. After each use, the erasers will retain board dirt, dust, and ink if not properly cleaned. You should beat the erasers out, brush and then wash them. Also, make sure to vacuum them.
Once you get the erasers up to shape, cleaning the board should be much easier. Likewise, regular cleaning and maintenance after the restoration process should also go a lot smoother. If the erasers are beyond repair, you should buy new ones.
Clean the board with erasers
Next, you should erase the board using the freshly cleaned (or bought) erasers. Try and get as much dirt, dust, and stains off as you can with the erasers before moving onto the next step. The success of this step will largely depend on the state the board is in.
You will most probably not be able to get every stain and mark off the board in this step. Don’t worry if some stains remain. You shouldn’t spend too much time on this step, as its goal is to prepare the board for the subsequent steps. Make sure to clean the erasers at the end of this step.
For this step, you will need a whiteboard cleaner solution and a clean cloth. If you don’t have a cloth at hand, you can use paper towel. Pour or spray (depending on the cleaner’s package) some solution on the cloth and start rubbing the writing surface of the board. Make sure you don’t use any other cleaners or solutions, as they might damage the board even more.
Once you’ve finished the cleaning, grab a clean cloth or towel and wipe the cleaner and the remaining bits of ink off the board. Keep rubbing until there’s no more dirt on the board. Use only soft cloths and towels to avoid damaging the board.
Call in the cavalry
Once you have removed all stains and marks from the board, it is time to polish it. WD-40 is recommended for this, as it is a pretty mild oil. It will protect the board and keep it slick. You should keep in mind that the board might become a bit slippery after you apply the WD-40.
Grab a dry cloth or paper towel and spray some WD-40 on it. Rub the surface of the board in gentle circular movements to spread the oil evenly. Once you’re done applying the oil, take a clean cloth (or a piece of paper towel) and dry the board. Now, your board is ready for the test drive.
Test the board
Now that the board is cleaned and oiled, it is time to test it with a marker. Grab a marker and jot down a couple of letters or draw some lines on the board. Leave the ink to dry on the board for 15-20 minutes. Now, grab the eraser and try to erase the letters and lines. You shouldn’t have any problems removing the ink. If it all went well, congratulations, you have restored your whiteboard.
Stained and damaged whiteboards are generally not hard to restore to a usable state and shouldn’t be thrown away just like that. Usually, you won’t need much more than towels, warm water, soap, cleaning liquid, and WD-40 during the restoration process.
After your board is back in use, you should make sure to clean it regularly to maximize its lifespan. However, over time your board will develop new stains and ghost marks and you’ll need to repeat the process eventually.
With past experience and the steps described in this article, you shouldn’t have any problems restoring your whiteboard once again.