How to Clean a Chalkboard/Blackboard


Patrick asked: How do I clean a blackboard? At my work in a restaurant, most of our menus are written on blackboards. When we wipe them clean, we have to use a wet chux cloth and just do it over and over again until there is no chalk residue left. Is there an easier way?

Whether you’re in the restaurant business, a teacher or just have a chalkboard hanging in your home, it will no doubt need to be cleaned from time to time. Fortunately, the best cleaning product for blackboards is that which all of us already have – water. While there are no fancy removal products, there are some methods to speed up the job and make your efforts more effective. Use these cleaning tips and methods to get your board sparkling in no time.

Washing the Old Fashioned Way (old, but effective!)

You Will Need:

  • Water
  • Soft Cloths
  • Bucket
  • Eraser or soft cloths

Steps to Clean the Blackboard:

  1. Remove as much of the dry chalk as possible. The less that’s on there to begin with, the easier the cleaning will be.
  2. Fill the bucket with warm water. If the chalkboard is really dirty, add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the water for some extra cleaning power.
  3. Moisten a soft cloth with the water. Wring it out so that it is still wet, but not dripping.
  4. Start at the top corner and wipe straight across to the other top corner. Turn or fold the cloth so you have a clean wiping surface.
  5. Move the cloth down and wipe across again. Keep using a clean portion of the cloth, rinsing as needed.
  6. Continue with this “stripe” cleaning method until the entire board has been wiped. It is more effective than cleaning in a circular pattern because there is less reapplication of the removed chalk.
  7. Repeat if necessary.
  8. Once clean, go over the entire board with a dry, soft cloth. Allow the board to air dry completely.

Squeegees Make the Job Quick and Easy

You Will Need:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Window squeegee
  • Bucket
  • Eraser or soft cloths

Steps to Clean the Blackboard:

  1. Begin by removing the bulk of the chalk with an eraser or soft cloth.
  2. Fill the bucket with warm water.
  3. Add one half cup of vinegar to the water.
  4. Use the window squeegee to spread the water and clean the board. Window squeegees are relatively cheap and are available online or at hardware/home improvement stores.
  5. Slide the squeegee across the board to remove the water. Start at the top and work your way down.
  6. Repeat if necessary.
  7. This method can also be completed with plain water.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • There are special chalkboard cleaning cloths available at teacher supply stores. They are designed to remove the chalk dust more efficiently. They are reusable and typically last a year with normal use.
  • Ensure the blackboard is dry before writing on it again. Wet chalk dries to the board and can be difficult to remove.
  • While there are a variety of chemicals and soaps that can be used to clean blackboards, select your cleaners carefully. Many of these products will clean the board quickly, but will cause damage to the surface with repeated use.
  • Want your board to shine? Add a few drops of lemon oil to a soft cloth. Place the cloth in a sealed, plastic bag and allow it to set overnight. Rub the cloth over the board the following day for a beautiful finish.
  • While it can be tempting to wash a blackboard every day to keep it clean, it is not good for the board itself. Constant exposure to water can result in a damaged board that will become increasingly difficult to clean. Rather than washing daily, erase the board completely and only wash when necessary.
  • Dusting or cleaning sprays, such as Endust, can be used to clean the board without streaks.


  1. Sarah says:

    Use Coke!!! Works so well – totally amazing!
    It’s unbelievable how good Coke or cola cleans it, like it’s brand new.

  2. Annie T says:

    A green scrub pad, a cleaning product of your choice, and a rag to wipe residue.

  3. Amanda says:

    Is it just Coke? So, do you just put Coke on a cloth and wipe the chalkboard? Does it make the board sticky?

  4. JL says:

    Really??????????? Does Coke actually work? Doesn’t it make the board sticky and make it attract wasps and flies?????

  5. C says:

    I wiped it with water after Coke; it took away the smell and feel, and had no problems.

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