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How to Erase Permanent Marker From a Whiteboard

Anyone who uses a whiteboard on a regular basis has probably encountered this problem—the always annoying “permanent marker on the whiteboard conundrum”. You may have grabbed the wrong pen when you were in a hurry, or perhaps a well-meaning child decided that your dry erase board was the perfect place for some permanent artwork.

No matter what caused the marks, permanent does not ALWAYS mean permanent. Here are a few tips that may help you restore the appearance and bring back the functionality of your dry erase board. It is important to remember that each marker (and board) is a little different. What works in one case may not work in another. These tips are listed in order of gentlest to most severe—so you can try several options to find the one that works for you.

  • Do NOT scrub the board. Your whiteboard has a thin, functional surface that you can easily rub off if you try to scour it with a scouring pad or gritty cleaning substance.
  • Fight marker with marker. One method for removing permanent marker is to color over the spot with a dry erase marker, then immediately wipe. Often, this will allow you to wipe away all marker, especially if the marks are fresh. However, this WILL ruin your dry erase pen.
  • Mineral oil will sometimes wipe away the marker. Gently dab a bit on the marker and let it sit a few minutes. Then, wipe it away and it may take the pen with it.
  • Baby wipes are also an option that may work for you. This could involve a little hard work, but the chemicals within may be your solution.
  • Rubbing alcohol is another stronger option. Dab a bit on and wipe with a dry cloth. One benefit of this method is that it will usually at least lighten any marker, even if it does not remove it.
  • A pencil eraser, rubbed gently, may remove the top layer of the marker. However, this is not good for your whiteboard surface. Use this option ONLY as a last resort as it will hurt your whiteboard surface—leaving it more porous than it was before.

Removing marks from your board can help you save a much-loved piece and utilize it until you can replace it. However, if you are unhappy with the appearance or you just need an upgrade, check out the options available at Dry Erase Innovations—we would love to help you find the perfect board for your home, business or organization.

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