Straightforward, whiteboards are incredibly versatile tools. And the main attraction of the tool is right in the name. A whiteboard surface continuously offers a fresh white slate, ready for new ideas, drawings, lists, and schedules.
But what happens when a whiteboard no longer stays white?
Mostly, when walking into classrooms, offices, or homes, you’ll see whiteboards that look slightly worn, with remnants of the last lesson or meeting erased but still reflecting on the board.
The process for how to maintain a whiteboard’s peak performance is a simple, inexpensive, and quick practice. Still, many owners aren’t aware that erasing content isn’t enough to keep a whiteboard clean.
Follow the six whiteboard tips and tricks below to keep your board looking brand new or transform one that has seen better days back to its original shine.
Tips and tricks
1. Follow the maintenance instructions
This first tip may seem obvious, but people often need to pay attention to it when using a whiteboard. PolyVision is a world leader in producing white and chalk CeramicSteel boards for various environments. And our scientists at PolyVision say the number one way to keep a board looking new is to read the maintenance instructions before ever writing on the surface.
2. Use erasers and cleaning solution.
While erasing works wonderfully at first, its effectiveness wears off if more cleaning isn’t done. “Occasionally, we’ll receive a question about boards becoming more difficult to erase over time,” says Becky Lewis, a customer service representative for PolyVision.
When the customer is asked if they’ve ever cleaned their board, they’re often surprised that it must be done to maintain performance. Cleaning the board with a recommended solution always solves the issue of erasability with CeramicSteel.”
Note: keep your erasing tools clean or replace them when needed
3. Remove whiteboard ghosting
If only erased, chemical from whiteboard markers builds up and forms a residue on the board. This residue causes a gloss difference on the board between unused areas and areas where the content was written. The gloss difference causes “ghosting” or outlines of previous work even after erasing.
To remove ghosting, wipe the board with a cloth dipped in a mix of isopropyl alcohol and water — the most effective whiteboard cleaner.
4. Homemade whiteboard cleaner
Again, a mix of isopropyl alcohol and water is the best solution to clean a whiteboard, but various other options work just as well.
Using a cloth moistened with whiteboard cleaner is enough to keep a board clean if used every week. Warm soapy water, window cleaner, and peroxide also work well.
Note: Avoid wax-based cleaners as they leave a pesky film on the whiteboard.
5. Clean the whiteboard frequently
Depending on the use of the board, it should be cleaned at different frequencies. When a teacher writes on the board all day, the board should be wiped daily with whiteboard cleaner. In the office, many teams keep notes and schedule up on a board for some time, making erasing and cleaning every day a hassle. In these instances, the content should be erased and the board cleaned before rewriting the content again at least once a week.
6. How to remove permanent marker
Worry may set in if you realize a permanent marker was used on a whiteboard, but don’t fear; even a permanent marker can be removed. Trace the permanent marker content with a dry-erase marker, erase it, and you’ll find a clean slate due to the non-polar solvent in dry-erase markers. Any cleaners mentioned above also contain organic solvents like 2-butoxyethanol that can help erase permanent pigment.