Clean Whiteboard Stains: Tips and Homemade Solutions

whiteboard smiley

Maintaining a clean whiteboard is crucial for effective communication, especially in a professional setting. 

However, whiteboards can be difficult to keep clean due to the various types of stains that can occur. 

In this article, we will discuss how to clean whiteboard stains and provide tips on how to keep your whiteboard looking like new.

Let’s begin.

Materials Needed for Cleaning Whiteboard Stains

Before we start cleaning, it’s important to have the right supplies on hand. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Microfiber cloth or eraser
  • Whiteboard cleaner (or a homemade solution)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water

The microfiber cloth or eraser is used to wipe the whiteboard clean, while the whiteboard cleaner is essential for removing tough stains. 

Rubbing alcohol is a great alternative to whiteboard cleaners and can be used to remove stubborn stains like permanent markers. 

Water can be used to dilute the alcohol and to rinse the whiteboard after cleaning.

Steps to Clean Whiteboard Stains

Preparation steps before cleaning the whiteboard

  • Turn off fans or open windows to ensure good ventilation.
  • Remove any paper or items from the whiteboard.

Cleaning steps for various types of stains

  • Dry-erase marker: use a microfiber cloth or eraser to wipe the board clean. For stubborn stains, use a whiteboard cleaner.
  • Permanent marker: dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently scrub the stain. Then, wipe the board clean with a microfiber cloth or eraser.
  • Ghosting (faint marks left on the board after erasing): mix equal parts water and whiteboard cleaner in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the whiteboard and wipe it with a microfiber cloth or eraser.

Homemade Solutions

Making your own cleaning solution can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to clean your whiteboard. Here are some homemade whiteboard cleaner recipes:

  1. Vinegar solution: Mix 1/2 cup of water and 4 tablespoons of white vinegar in a spray bottle. This solution is effective at removing stains, and the vinegar helps to disinfect the board. Be sure to wipe the board with a clean, damp cloth after using the vinegar solution to remove any residue.
  2. Baking soda solution: Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water. This solution is great for removing stubborn stains and works well on ghosting. Simply apply the solution to the board with a clean cloth, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
  3. Rubbing alcohol solution: Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 2 parts water in a spray bottle. This solution is great for removing permanent marker stains and can also be used to clean the board in between deep cleanings. Simply spray the solution onto the board, and then wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth or eraser.

When making your own whiteboard cleaner, be sure to test the solution on a small area of the board first to make sure it doesn’t damage the surface

Additionally, it’s important to wipe the board down with a clean, damp cloth after using the solution to remove any residue. 

By using these homemade solutions, you can keep your whiteboard clean and in great condition while avoiding harsh chemicals.

Tips for Preventing Future Whiteboard Stains

  • Use only dry-erase markers on the whiteboard: Using other types of markers, such as permanent markers or highlighters, can leave stubborn stains that are difficult to remove. Be sure to use only dry-erase markers on the whiteboard.
  • Avoid pressing too hard when writing on the whiteboard: Pressing too hard on the whiteboard can cause the marker to seep into the board, leaving difficult-to-remove stains. Instead, write with a light touch and let the marker glide smoothly across the surface of the board.
  • Clean the whiteboard regularly to prevent stains from building up: One of the most effective ways to prevent whiteboard stains is to clean the board regularly. By wiping the board down after each use with a microfiber cloth or eraser, you can prevent the marker from setting in and becoming more difficult to remove. This will also help to extend the life of the whiteboard by preventing damage to the surface.

Other tips for Maintaining a Clean Whiteboard

In addition to the steps above, there are other things you can do to keep your whiteboard looking like new.

  • Daily cleaning and maintenance tips: wipe the board down with a microfiber cloth or eraser after each use to prevent stains from setting in.
  • Weekly and monthly deep-cleaning tips: use a whiteboard cleaner or homemade solution to clean the board thoroughly once a week or once a month, depending on how often the board is used.


In conclusion, keeping a whiteboard clean is crucial for clear communication. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily clean and maintain your whiteboard. 

Remember to use the right materials, take precautions when cleaning, and implement preventive measures to keep your whiteboard looking like new.

Looking for a more specific step-by-step guide for general whiteboard cleaning? Read How to Clean a Dirty Whiteboard Safely and Effectively: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Thanks for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy

Image by PDPics from Pixabay