How to Clean a White Board

What You'll Need
Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

A white board can serve a variety of purposes around the house, but they are known for becoming dirty over time, especially if they see a lot of use. Knowing how to clean yours is fairly simple if you follow these straightforward cleaning tips.

Step 1 - Preparation

Though there are many commercial whiteboard cleaners available on the market, they are rarely any better than plain isopropyl alcohol, which is cheap, readily available at any drug store, and useful for a wide variety of things. Isopropyl alcohol is a great cleaning product, but unfortunately it can produce harmful fumes. To avoid any negative side effects, be sure to do your cleaning in a well ventilated area. You can substitute acetone for alcohol with similar results, but it will produce more fumes.

Step 2 - Cleaning

Apply the rubbing alcohol to your whiteboard. Isopropyl alcohol is a powerful solvent that can handle a wide variety of stains, but you will need to wait a few minutes for it to dissolve your whiteboard ink. Once a few minutes have passed, wipe your whiteboard down with your rag. You may need to wipe it many times before the stains go away completely, but your whiteboard should be as good as new when you are done. Isopropyl alcohol will remove standard whiteboard marker ink just fine, and it will even remove other types of ink not meant for whiteboards, such as permanent marker, as well as the dirty grey stains that tend to accumulate on old whiteboards.

Step 3 - Finishing

This step is easy to forget, since your white board is now clean. However, it is important for your health. Wash all of your cleaning materials immediately, and store them outside your house — for example, in your garage. Failing to do so could lead to residual fumes.

Step 4 - Maintaining a Clean White Board

You can greatly decrease the amount of cleaning required to keep your whiteboard spotless by maintaining it properly. Do not leave ink on your whiteboard for more than a few days. In fact, the earlier you can erase your marks, the better. The longer you leave ink on, the more likely it is to stain. In addition, use only whiteboard specific markers — it's easy to accidentally get a permanent marker mixed in with the ones for your whiteboard, but they cause a lot of stains, and are probably the most difficult to remove. Isopropyl alcohol will still remove most permanent marker stains as well as ones from old ink, but it's easier to avoid the stains in the first place.