Whiteboards are more practical to use and easier to maintain than chalkboards. They are also more affordable and do away with chalk dust. That’s pretty much why it’s almost impossible to find the old chalkboards anymore, except maybe in certain museums.
Of course, as awesome as they are, whiteboards are nowhere near perfect. They deteriorate over time and still need their due maintenance and cleaning in order to stay in top shape.
There are many ways to clean a whiteboard, with a vast range of solutions already hiding in your kitchen, bathroom, or garage. In this article, we’ll examine some of the most common ways to clean a whiteboard.
The first and the most common way to clean a whiteboard is the whiteboard eraser. After each use, make sure to wipe your board with the eraser. From time to time, you should clean the eraser to avoid messing up the board. When the eraser deteriorates too much, replace it with a new one.
Dry Erase Marker
Dry erase markers are great for removing stains made by other dry markers and permanent markers. To clean the board with it, you will need to cover all stains and ghost marks with a new layer of dry ink. This will soften the old ink and make it erasable again. Once all the stains and ghost marks are covered, use a whiteboard eraser to remove both the new and old ink.
If you decide to clean your board with vinegar, you will need to mix it with water first. Pour some white vinegar and water into a bottle (preferably a spray bottle). Make sure to pour them in equal amounts. Close the bottle and shake it.
Next, you should spray the solution over the stains and marks on the board. Grab a clean rag and wipe the board. Some stains might remain, so you should repeat the process as many times as necessary. This method should work for mild to moderate stains.
Rubbing alcohol is one of the most popular ways to clean a whiteboard. You should use only the 90% to 99% rubbing alcohol, as this is strong enough to remove stains without causing damage. Steer clear of the more popular 70% mixture as it is too weak for this task.
Pour some alcohol onto a clean cloth or paper towel and start rubbing the board. When the stains are removed, grab a fresh cloth or towel and wipe the alcohol and remaining ink off the board. If the stains are severe, you might want to rub the alcohol directly onto them with your fingers.
There are two ways to clean a whiteboard with coffee – with coffee grounds and prepared coffee (the one you drink). In the first case, pour some grounds over the stains on your board. Take a damp cloth and give the stains a good rub. Moist coffee grounds are abrasive enough to remove the old ink, but not enough to damage the board. When done, use a dry cloth to remove the remains from the board.
In the second scenario, dip a dry cloth into your coffee and start rubbing the surface of the board in gentle, circular motions. Similar to the ground coffee method, the stains should come off easily without damaging the board. Use water, soap, and a clean cloth to finish off the board.
The good old baking soda has an endless list of uses and it can help you with your messed-up whiteboard as well. Pour some baking soda into a bowl of water. Mix the two until you get a thick white paste. Take a rag or a paper towel and run it over the paste. Rub the paste in circular movements on the board.
When you’re done with the scrubbing, take a wet rag or towel and wipe the paste off the board. After that, leave the board to dry. Once it is dried, the board will be ready to use.
Thanks to its mildly abrasive nature, toothpaste is a great whiteboard cleaning option. You won’t need any special kind for this, just grab the tube you have in your bathroom. First, squeeze some toothpaste onto a paper towel (or directly onto the board) and rub it on the board in circular movements.
Make sure you spread it evenly over the stains. Once you’re done, take a dry towel or cloth and wipe the ink and the paste off the board. Note that you can use toothpaste on stains made by both dry erase and permanent markers.
In order to keep your whiteboard in a pristine state and maximize its lifespan, you should clean it regularly. Make sure not to let the ink stay on it for more than several days. Ideally, you should clean it every day.
If it, however, happens that you forget to clean your whiteboard for a while, start with the basic methods – erasers and dry erase markers. If they don’t do the job, slowly move to the stronger cleaners. Rubbing alcohol should be one of the last resorts.
While there are many other ways to clean a whiteboard, the methods described in this article should be enough for even the severest cases.