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How to Clean a Whiteboard Effectively

Whiteboards are an excellent tool in so many settings, from boardrooms to classrooms, providing a platform to present ideas, brainstorm, and, of course, teach. But if you want to look after them, you need to know how to clean a whiteboard properly. So let's show you everything you need to know, with the best practices for cleaning whiteboards effectively, ensuring they stay pristine and ready for use every time.

Prepare and Gather the Right Supplies

Before you start cleaning your whiteboards, it is essential to have the right supplies in your arsenal. One of the key ingredients is isopropyl alcohol because this effectively removes stubborn marks without damaging the surface. 

Additionally, a soft, clean cloth, such as a microfibre cloth, is ideal for wiping the board. If you are trying to figure out how to clean a whiteboard with old marker on it, water and mild detergent may also be necessary, and a spray bottle can be handy so you can apply the cleaning solution evenly. 

Once you have your supplies ready, it's time to prepare the whiteboard. Start by erasing any fresh dry marker marks with a whiteboard eraser, which prepares the board for deeper cleaning. For stains or permanent markers, make sure you write over them with a fresh dry-erase marker, let it dry, and then erase it, as this method effectively lifts the stubborn marks from the surface, making them easier to clean.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution

The most effective cleaning solution for whiteboards is a 50/50 mix of water and isopropyl alcohol, which effectively breaks down grease and grime while disinfecting the surface. However, there are natural alternatives; for example, a mixture of vinegar and water can be equally effective. 

There are other solutions, for example, WD40, but it should be used sparingly to prevent residue buildup. If you are looking for the best way to clean a whiteboard, lots of people consider abrasive cleaners; for example, toothpaste. However, these can damage the surface and reduce the lifespan of the whiteboard.

Applying the Cleaning Solution

Begin by dampening a paper towel or microfibre cloth with the solution and vigorously wipe the entire surface to remove any residue or ghosting. At this point, pay special attention to stubborn stains and apply extra pressure as necessary to lift them from the surface. 

For any stubborn stains, you should let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping. After, rinse the cloth and wipe the board with clean water to remove any excess cleaning solution, and dry the board completely with the clean, dry cloth, as this prevents streaking or water damage.

Wiping Off Dry Marker Residue

Regular cleaning is essential to prevent the buildup of this. You should use a whiteboard eraser to remove fresh marks every day or two days, because this will help maintain the surface of the whiteboard, ensuring that any new marks can be erased easily without leaving behind traces of older ones. 

For any stubborn stains, be sure to repeat the process of writing over them with a fresh marker, letting it dry, and then rubbing it off with a cloth or eraser, which effectively breaks down the persistent marks and makes them easier to remove during the cleaning process.

Erasing pen on whiteboard

How to Remove Stubborn Stains

Stubborn stains can be a nuisance, but they are not impossible to remove. We've already spoken about different methods, such as using dry-erase markers, vinegar, and toothpaste, but there are also others, such as hand sanitiser and acetone. 

While each method requires specific steps, they can effectively lift stains from the surface without causing damage. For example, rubbing alcohol can be applied directly to the stain using a spray bottle or a microfibre cloth, and the dry-erase marker method we’ve already mentioned is a time-honoured tactic.

Disinfecting & Sanitising the Surface

A key part of cleaning a whiteboard effectively is disinfecting and sanitising whiteboards on a regular basis to ensure your whiteboard stays clean and germ-free. The best approach is to use a 50/50 mix of water and isopropyl alcohol, or you can use a vinegar and water solution. 

When using a vinegar and water solution, the best method is to mix vinegar and water in equal parts, but also be sure to use white vinegar and not other types and stick to the ratio of one teaspoon of vinegar to roughly 250 ml of water. Be sure to apply the solution to a microfibre cloth or spray bottle for even distribution, and then wipe down the entire whiteboard thoroughly after use.

Drying the Whiteboard Thoroughly

After cleaning, it is essential to prevent streaks or damage by thoroughly drying the whiteboard. Ensuring there's no excess moisture left behind is the key, and using either paper towels or dry cloths can ensure you wipe the surface completely dry. Once you have wiped it down, visually inspect the whiteboard to be sure and run your fingers across the surface to check for any damp spots. 

If necessary, allow the board to air dry for at least two hours, or a full day if possible. The best time to clean and dry the whiteboard is at the end of the day, ensuring that it can dry naturally overnight. Be sure to avoid using heat sources if you are in a rush to dry your whiteboards, as they can damage the surface and compromise the integrity of the board.

Tips for Maintaining a Clean Whiteboard

  • Regularly erase content from the whiteboard to prevent ink from seeping into the surface and causing staining.

  • Replace worn-out whiteboard erasers regularly to ensure effective cleaning.

  • Use appropriate cleaning solutions to avoid damaging the surface.

  • Clean the board regularly with non-scratching materials.

A clean whiteboard is essential, and by following these approaches, you can guarantee your whiteboard looks great and is ready for you in any setting. If you are looking for high-quality whiteboards, at Creative Solutions Direct, our selection of custom-printed whiteboards are ideal for any environment. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch.

Posted on April 4th 2024

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