Cleaning and Refurbishing a Whiteboard

Cleaning and refurbishing a whiteboard

With the right care and attention your ThinkingWall or custom whiteboard will provide many years of trouble free service.

The most common issues we hear about are ghosting (when a light shadow of the writing is left behind after wiping the ink) and smudging when cleaning. Both are caused by the residue build up from the oily solvents in the drywipe marker which hold onto the pigments in the ink. A good whiteboard cleaning routine will help prevent these issues from occurring.

We have a number of tips and recommendations for cleaning and refurbishing a whiteboard to keep it ready for use.


Using a good drywipe pen is our first tip and once you have found a brand you like and works well stick to that one. In our opinion a good drywipe marker is one which contains enough solvent to be effective as a dry erase and doesn’t distribute excessive amounts of ink and pigment.

We have found in our testing that all brands of pen use different chemicals and pigments. When combined these tend to form different compounds that build up a staining effect on the surface.

We regularly test various brands of drywipe marker to see which perform best our whiteboards and drywipe surfaces. We recommend Edding pens as these has always performed well in terms of writing and the amount of ink they lay on the boards but also how well they clean.

Cloths and wipes:

We recommend using a soft cloth for cleaning our whiteboards – either a microfibre cloth or piece of towelling works well. They are non-abrasive and the fibres help gather the ink from the whiteboard surface. It also helps to let the ink dry first before wiping as this avoids smearing and staining. Try to always use a clean cloth to avoid smearing and smudging or rubbing old ink back into the whiteboard.

Avoid the hard sponge or felt cleaning pads as they tend to smear the ink rather than wipe it which can lead to staining. Also avoid wet wipes and paper towels as they have a slightly abrasive finish which can damage the surface of the whiteboard.


Where ink can’t be removed by a dry cloth alone we suggest using a non-abrasive spray cleaner. Our whiteboard cleaning spray has been thoroughly tested by us and contains a small amount of alcohol to help remove stubborn marks.

We recommend using a spray cleaner at least once a week to help remove any ink residue left behind when wiping.

Whiteboard Cleaning


For really stubborn stains we suggest using methylated spirits, or we sell a deep clean foam spray as part of our cleaning kit which will also remove permanent marker should anyone have accidentally used one! (In an emergency you can trace over the permanent marker with a drywipe marker, let it dry then wipe away and the permanent marker will also be removed)

If you google ‘how to clean a whiteboard’ there are a number of tips and tricks, the majority of which we have tried out. Of these some do work but others are to be avoided:


Isopropyl Alcohol – similar to methylated spirits the high alcohol content when used with a soft cloth helps to dissolve and loosen stubborn ink whilst also degreasing the whiteboard surface helping to prevent staining. The alcohol evaporates leaving a clean surface behind. You may however need to check with H&S before using this in the office.


Toothpaste – leaves a mess and some toothpastes are slightly abrasive so this can damage the surface of the whiteboard

Hairspray – again it leaves a mess behind that then needs cleaning off and the success rate depends of the type of hairspray and what chemicals it is made up of

Nail Polish Remover – this does work as a cleaner however some nail polish remover contains acetone which can deteriorate and damage the surface of some whiteboards making it much harder to clean in future.

Baking Soda – this can also work and is typically used in a solution with water however like toothpaste this can be slightly abrasive and damage or scratch the whiteboard surface. These small scratches fill with ink next time it is used and can be very difficult to clean.

Top cleaning tips:

Our top cleaning tips:

  • Find a brand of drywipe marker that works well and keep to that
  • Use a soft cloth and for more stubborn marks a non-abrasive spray cleaner
  • Allow ink to dry before wiping
  • Give your whiteboard a regular deep clean to remove any grease or marker residue that can lead to staining

Whiteboard cleaning and refurbishment service

We are always happy to advise on the best cleaning products to use or ways to get the most of your whiteboard.

We also offer a deep clean service so if your whiteboard is looking a little tired or is a few years old we can arrange a visit. During this visit we can assess the level of cleaning required and using specialist products get the whiteboard surface back to a nice clean and usable finish.

If for any reason it can’t be cleaned we can suggest ways to refurbish or replace the whiteboard.

Just get in touch to find out more.


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