A dry erase board can be a useful household tool for keeping the home organized. But Cleaning a Dry Erase Board and eraser can be a challenge, depending on how long the marks have been left on it.
I have a dry erase board in my kitchen. I use it to keep track of the things that I start to run out of to make my shopping list easy to make. I also use it for some notes of things I need to do later, and sometimes these notes will sit on my board for weeks until I actually get around to doing them. Having those marks there for several weeks can make them quite difficult to remove with a normal dry eraser. Even normal week-to-week markings can accumulate and make a mess of the board over time.
I walked into my kitchen the other day and looked at my dry erase board and knew that the time for cleaning it was upon me. It was a mess of smudges, lines and colored markings. There are retail products available for Cleaning a Dry Erase Board, (One is called MB10W – a white board cleaner that works very well by most reports) but I wanted to try some common household items to see if they would also perform well at a lower cost.
I decided to test a few ways to clean it so that I could share them with my readers. These were some of the ways I tested in my Cleaning a Dry Erase Board project with varying degrees of success.
- Dry Eraser – This is the way I keep the board clean week to week, but when the markings have been on there for a long while, it takes a LOT of pressure to get them off with the eraser and it only does a so so job. Very good results for normal markings that have not been left to sit, though.
- Soft Cloth – Slightly less effective than a dry eraser
- Wet Cloth – Slightly less effective than a dry eraser and needs additional wiping when the job is done.
- Wet Cloth with Dish washing Soap – A bit better than the wet cloth but needs rinsing AND wiping when done.
- Household Vinegar – Does about the same job as using a wet cloth but has an odor as well.
- Orange Cleaner – too abrasive to use on the white board surface without damaging it but does a great job cleaning the plastic edge of the board that the other methods won’t clean. I keep a container of this stuff under the sink in the kitchen. It’s AMAZING stuff!
My Two Favorite Ways of Cleaning a Dry Erase Board:
My test gave me two very strong results with items that most of you have on hand:
Both of these do a very good job in getting the marks off at a very little cost. I used a paper towel that I wet with each of the products. The Witch Hazel left a few smudges but got the marks off beautifully with a bit more wiping. But HANDS DOWN THE WINNER WAS the nail polish remover (without Acetone) The paper towels in the photo above shows the results clearly! One swipe of the paper towel with the nail polish remover got ALL of the markings off compared to MOST of them coming off with the same pressure using Witch Hazel. You can see how well the nail polish remover works in this photo:
Seeing such dramatic results, I wiped the rest of the white board with the Nail Polish remover, using clean pieces of paper towel as I worked. The nail polish remover would not clean the plastic edges and that is where my orange hand cleaner product worked very well (so well that it removed the words Dry Erase completely off the bottom corner of the board!!) For this reason, I would not recommend using it on the surface of the dry erase board, since it will affect the finish.
Once my Cleaning a Dry Erase Board project was finished, the board was all ready for my new list of things for my shopping list!
Once my board looked neat and tidy, I wanted to make sure that the eraser was also cleaned as well, so that it would not transfer messy ink back to the cleaned surface. It had a lot of built up marker ink on it.
I used a soft bristled brush (a baby brush works well) and went over the felt area with a circular motion, being careful not to rub too hard, since this would affect the felt finish.
You can see how much left over ink one of these erasers picks up over time. Just wiping mine got my eraser pretty clean. If yours is still not clean after brushing it, you can mix a small amount of mild detergent with water and dip the brush in the mixture and scrub it a bit more, using circular motions. Then rinse completely in cold water.
My dry eraser is now clean and ready to use on my newly cleaned Dry Erase Board. The whole process took me about 5 minutes and cost me pennies. Since the nail polish does the job so well, I am very happy with my test results.
What do you use to clean your dry erase board and eraser? Do you have some other tips to share with us? Please leave them in the comments below.
For more cleaning tips, be sure to Visit my Household Tips Board on Pinterest.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."