I have this white board in my office, and it has all of my strategies, ideas and sayings about work, along with a few doodles that my husband made for me (which I don’t have the heart to erase).  It’s pretty personal so I’m not going to photograph it.  But, if you’ve ever had one, you’ll know what I mean.

And like every human whose ever used a whiteboard, I’m perpetually disappointed with the felt eraser provided with the white board.  It streaks, leaves dusty crud behind, doesn’t get everything off etc.  Further, heaven forbid you leave anything on your whiteboard longer than a week, it becomes nearly impossible to wipe off.  You’re always left with something, a little ghost of ideas past.

white board 3
See all those orange dots? That’s what I want to clean..
white board 4
Even with vigorous erasing, no luck.

What I’ve tried

To try and tackle this, I’ve used cleaning products, water, microfiber cloths (bad idea) and a whack of other cleaning tools and products.

Time and again, my whiteboard never looks, well, white.


What I did

I had a bottle of rubbing alcohol in my office (which is perfectly normal if you do what I do) and recalled hearing that rubbing alcohol gets any whiteboard clean. I felt inspired! So I broke open the bottle, grabbed a tissue and tried it out.

White board rubbing alcohol
Simple rubbing alcohol to the rescue!

You’ll need:

  1. Rubbing alcohol
  2. Tissue paper

I got to work, and within one gentle wipe, all of those stubborn marks came off with ease and literally no effort.  Look!

white board 2
Wipe on..
white board 1
Wipe off..
white board 6
..and repeat!

Yeah baby!  Look at this tissue, it’s full of marker stains that I would otherwise never have been able to tackle.

Messy cloth after cleaning whiteboard
..and that’s not a sneeze!

Rubbing alcohol FTW!

Now it’s your turn.  Give it a try and see what you can do with your white board!

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The Cleanest White Board Ever!

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  1. I just started teaching and have a white board that has a lot of residue from the last use which was over 2 years ago. I cannot seem to get it off. What would work well but isn’t very toxic? I wish I could post a picture. Isn’t so bad that I cannot write on top of it.

  2. One of the simplest ways to remove dry erase markers off a dry erase board, according to some, is to use dry erase markers! This may work, but you may not be able to wipe the board perfectly the first time. For stubborn dry erase marker stains, you may need to repeat the process.

  3. Hey Melissa! I’ve got an even BETTER solution for you! I’m a special education teacher in California and I’ve developed the #1 Whiteboard Eraser on the Planet! It’s called, Teacher’s Pet, and it not only cleans a whiteboard like nothing else on the planet but it also does quadruple duty as a keyboard/bookshelf duster, a monitor/glass cleaner AND it also soaks up at least 24 oz. of spilled coffee! (Alas, one of those accidental discoveries). Check us out at http://www.teacherspet4u.com. If you’re interested, I’d be more than happy to send you one!

  4. Thanks for the tip. However, it worked on some but not on others. So, I tried adding baking soda to it and voila! everything disappeared. Alcohol + baking soda – it worked.

  5. Don’t used any kind of solvent or alcohol on any whiteboard. Alcohol dries out any material made out of plastic. And removes the clear coating on the board. Try replacing your eraser with a new one. Spam cooking spray reconditions the coating.

  6. Thanks so much!! I found an old whiteboard with writing on it from 2008 and it came off so easy with the rubbing alcohol!

  7. I work in a lab and I use the rubbing alcohol the students use to clean their benches to clean the white board. Otherwise the dry erase removes the marker, but you can still see a faint outline of what I wrote before, which annoys me lol

  8. Just a note to be very careful when using substances, other than whiteboard cleaner, on your whiteboard. Melamine and coated surface boards can be stripped by alcohol or abrasive cleaners. Once stripped, any future writings will severly stain the board, rendering it useless.

    Using anything besides Quartet Cleaning Solutions or just water on your Quartet board will void the warranty. Even other brands of board cleaners may cause issue with some Quartet boards, due to the protective coating they use.

  9. When I erase, I rub a little chalk dust on the eraser first, and it takes all the marks off. Probably the slight abrasion does the trick.

  10. The thing about alcohol is that if you use it too much, the white board will dry out. It has happened to my board. So what I did is to use just a little bit of WD-40 or other lubricants. The board will stay clean and moisture (the pen will slide again).

  11. Alcohol is definitely the thing. Also, on my classroom boards, I use a wool felt chalkboard eraser instead of the dry erase erasers—much better at getting them clean, immediately and a few days later.

  12. Another simple way is to write over the old marks with the dry erase marker and immediately wipe it off. The old marks will disappear at the same time as the new one.


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