How to Clean a White Board

Even when proper markers are used, when they sit on the whiteboard surface for an extended amount of time, they can be difficult to remove. has done research with a variety of cleaning products. These top picks will get your whiteboard clean, sparkling and ready for use.

You Will Need:

  • Cleaning product (choose one)
    • Acetone
    • Isopropyl alcohol
    • MB 10W whiteboard cleaner
    • Nail polish remover
    • Greased Lightning
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Clean the Whiteboard:

  1. Select a cleaning product from the list above.
  2. If the product causes fumes, open the windows and ensure the area is well-ventilated.
  3. Apply the cleaning product using a soft cloth. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers as they can damage the surface.
  4. Rub the ink with the soft cloth until it is clean.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • The longer ink sits on a whiteboard, the more likely it is to stain.
  • Some inks are easier to remove than others.
  • The products above can be substituted for other products containing the active ingredient. For example, many hairsprays have a high alcohol content and will also remove ink from the surface.
  • For tough areas, the Magic Eraser is effective in removing ink and staining. However, use it sparingly as it can remove some of the protective surface.


  1. Antonio says:

    Take a coconut soap, wet it, and with a soft cotton fabric, rub over the board till it is clean!

    After that, spread some furniture polish over the board to preserve it clean longer.

  2. Talitha says:

    Dry erase boards are nice, but a real pain to get clean sometimes.

    Just get a dab of creamy peanut butter on a dry paper towel, and smear it around. Then take another dry paper towel or two, and start wiping it off. You will be amazed how much ink you get off. Even ink that you can’t really even see; it pulls it right off!

  3. Bill says:

    To remove dried dry erase markings on a dry erase board (that won’t just wipe off freely), simply write over it with a newer dry erase marker. The wetness from the new markings will help free up the dried markings.

  4. Donna @ Graystone says:

    Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol removes both dry erase and permanent marker ink.

  5. Fiona says:

    Spray water on it and then just wipe it off with a paper towel.

  6. Barbie says:

    I purchased a special white board spray bottle cleaner especially for white boards and it works great!


  7. Sandi says:

    409 works like a charm, just spray and wipe off.

  8. Jaxmac says:

    Windex and paper towels will make a whiteboard like new. If you need to remove permanent marker, write over the permanent marker with a dry erase marker and then erase both. Works every time.

  9. Sharon says:

    How do you clean a whiteboard that has been damaged from the use of harsh cleaning chemicals and it no longer cleans easily?

  10. Lyle says:

    My white board may be too clean. Have used various cleaning supplies – 409, Windex, etc., and now when I write on it, within a few seconds the words start to vanish- it’s as if the board repels the marker and the marks just bead up and go away. Is there anything I can do to refinish the board or apply something that will allow the white board to accept the markers again?

  11. Bob says:

    My white board was in pretty bad shape. I laughed out loud when I read… smear it with peanut butter. I laugh even louder when it worked. How in the world did you come up with peanut butter? Did your kid smear your white board with it? In any event, Ta.

  12. TCDoan says:

    Isopropyl alcohol was the only suggestion that worked on my board.

  13. Marni says:

    To the peanut butter lady: Works great, uses very little. My white board is like new. Rub the p. butter, then wipe off with a wet wash cloth and spray with furniture polished and wipe dry with a paper towel. Took me 3 minutes… Awesome, thank you!

  14. Gina says:

    Great suggestion — worked like a charm, and I didn’t have to worry about stripping the white board of its shiny protective finish.

  15. Valerie says:

    I tried water with no success. Rubbing alcohol did the trick! : )

  16. Helen says:

    The peanut butter worked great! Then I sprayed a little Old English furniture polish on, and the white board is as clean as new. I wrote on it too, and it’s perfect.

  17. Gavin says:

    A toothbrush and toothpaste or soap got Sharpie off of my white board and it looks cleaner than when I got it.

  18. Vicki says:

    Saw this on another site and figured, why not? Well it worked like a charm and restored the whiteboard’s ability to repel phantom writing! Hooray for WD-40!

  19. Al says:

    Thanks. The peanut butter worked great!!

  20. Harv says:

    The pumice (moon dust) that BonAmi uses does NOT appear to damage my board and I’ve used it more than a half dozen times.

    Avoid all others, as they all use very harsh abrasives that will dull the board and leave permanent marks the first time you write over the surface you’ve marred.

  21. Bonnie says:

    After trying everything in the book, my son (a teacher) went to Google and read about peanut butter. Fabulous. With very little elbow grease, I now have a clean white board that I thought I might have to throw away. Thanks!!!!

  22. K. Snook says:

    Also, be sure to clean your dry ERASER with hot, soapy water (rinse very thoroughly) and leave it to dry overnight. That way you don’t smear the dirt all over your newly cleaned board.

  23. Tyler says:

    How well do the boards work after you have used the peanut butter trick? Doesn’t it leave an oily film on the board after you wipe it?

  24. Phil says:

    Hand sanitizer works the best. I’ve tried lots of products, and time and time again it works. The reason it works is it’s made of mostly ethanol.

  25. Allison says:

    The peanut butter trick may work well, but it shouldn’t be used in a classroom due to the growing number of students with peanut allergies. If you call a kid to the board and they get peanut oil residue on them, they will have a reaction. Just a thought.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you, Allison! My daughter is allergic to peanuts, so unfortunately, we will not be able to try that trick to clean our white board at home. I appreciate you speaking up!

  27. Jennyne says:

    OMG! The peanut butter worked so quickly and easily! Great idea!!! For those with allergies, wear gloves to clean and then wipe off with soap and water. No problems.

  28. Brian says:

    The reason the peanut butter works is because of the oil in it, just like the oil in WD-40. The oil in it helps dissolve the marker ink. It is the same reason that some people use peanut butter help get bubble gum out of hair — it is not the peanut part itself that is doing the work, it is the oil in the peanut butter. You can get almost the same results just by using vegetable cooking oil in hair to remove bubble gum, so people may want to try different kinds of vegetable oil if they can’t use peanut butter and they don’t want the harsh smell of WD-40.

  29. Swanny says:

    The hand sanitizer works really well. The board is now clean and smells nice too. Thanks so much for a very good idea.

  30. Lizzie says:

    I’ve used vegetable oil with success.

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