Best whiteboard cleaner

Whiteboards are a magical invention. As the successor to the blackboard, they’re easier to use in just about every way. But the dry-erase feature of whiteboards isn’t perfect. After heavy use, your whiteboard can lose its luster, especially if you neglect to erase any prior scrawl.

To maintain a pristine writing surface back, you need a whiteboard cleaner that can lift stubborn inks. From wipes and spray to special erasers, the cleaner you choose depends on how often you use your whiteboard and in what setting you do so.

Cleaning a whiteboard

How to use whiteboard cleaner

Whiteboard cleaner uses a special formula designed to break down pigment. When sprayed or wiped onto the surface, the cleaner lifts fresh and dry ink alike.

Spray should go onto a paper towel, which you then wipe across the board (if you spray the board directly, you risk getting rebounding chemicals in your eyes or mouth). Wipes are a convenient alternative to the spray-plus-paper-towel combination and use the same process. Once you’ve cleaned the whole board, let it air out for a few minutes — alcohol evaporates quickly.

Benefits of whiteboard cleaner

Cleaner is particularly helpful for whiteboards that get a lot of use in offices or classrooms. In fast-paced environments where there isn’t a lot of time to erase fully, previous lessons or presentations can fix onto the whiteboard. This is often caused by users erasing small portions as they go so that they can preserve important information while adding new notes.

The problem with this kind of use is that, over time, the ink sets and doesn’t erase as easily, leading to what’s called ghosting. Ghosting describes the smokey patina your whiteboard takes on over time. Not only does it make it harder to write, but it also makes it harder to read what you write. Cleaner restores the surface so viewers won’t struggle to discern critical information against a muddy backdrop. 

Cleaner ingredients

Most formulas are alcohol-based. If you’re worried about toxic chemicals and strong odors, environmentally friendly cleaners remove the harmful ingredients often mixed in with alcohol.

Using the right dry-erase marker

It happens to all of us. Fumbling for a pen, you accidentally grab a permanent marker and start writing, only to find that the eraser won’t remove your notes. This is why you should always use a dry-erase marker. These still build up over time and necessitate cleaning, but they are formulated to work best with whiteboard. If you do use a permanent marker, just draw over it with dry-erase marker and use whiteboard cleaner to remove.

Protecting your whiteboard surface

There are a number of home and DIY remedies out there, but some of these can actually damage your whiteboard’s surface. This can lead to pockmarks and dead spots that ruin its ability to receive ink.

When cleaning, never use an abrasive substance such as baking soda, toothpaste or Comet. Believe it or not, the oils in your skin can also penetrate the surface, and like wax-based cleaners, damage its receptivity to ink. 

Types of whiteboard cleaners

Spray

Cleaner sprays are the most common type of product. These come in a range of sizes. There are large, trigger-sprayer bottles, which work best for big whiteboards that see a lot of heavy use. Or you can get smaller finger-sprayer bottles for smaller whiteboards and little hands, which perfect for use at home or in the classroom.

Wipes

Whiteboard wipes eliminate the need for paper towel when using spray. Combining the two-step process into one, cleaner wipes offer a quick solution on the fly. They make a great ad-hoc tool for speakers who want to clean mid-presentation. Or use them at the end of each day so ghosting never gets out of control. One downside of wipes is that your skin is directly exposed to any chemicals when using these — and alcohol is a known skin dehydrator. 

Erasers

Dry-erasers aren’t great at cleaning your whiteboard. Like chalk, marker pigment settles into a colorful melange of dust that spreads around when trapped in the fibers of your eraser. 

That said, some are better than others at eliminating pigment. Look for erasers that can be saturated with water since many of these have similar cleaning power to sprays and wipes without the chemicals.

What you need to buy to clean your whiteboard

Best whiteboard sprays

Expo Whiteboard-Dry Erase Board Liquid Cleaner

Expo Whiteboard/Dry Erase Board Liquid Cleaner

From the top brand in dry-erase products, this trigger-spray bottle of Expo cleaner uses a non-toxic formula that’s perfect for heavy-duty applications from office buildings to schools. It’s 22 ounces, so it will last a while and can cover a lot of ground. You also get a magnetic eraser that you can hang from your whiteboard.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Essential Values Whiteboard Cleaner Spray

Essential Values Whiteboard Cleaner Spray

Available in assorted multipacks of three, six or 12, these are great for classrooms. The small finger-spray bottles can be operated by smaller hands. The misting non-toxic solution makes this cleaner particularly adept at combatting ghosting with excellent coverage — just let the cleaner sit on the old ink for two to three minutes and then wipe.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Remooble Dry Erase Whiteboard Cleaner

Remooble Dry-Erase Whiteboard Cleaner

Remooble’s spray uses a green formula to limit users’ exposures to toxic chemicals. Their spray is perfect for classroom and home by around children. You can also remove adhesive residue with this.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Best whiteboard wipes

Expo 50 Count Dry Erase Wipes

Expo 50 Count Dry-Erase Wipes

Cut out the need for paper towels with these convenient dry-erase wipes. You get 50 per plastic dispensing canister. One wipe goes a long way, so this is a good substitute for wads of paper towel when cleaning at the end of the day.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Best whiteboard erasers

3M Whiteboard Eraser for Whiteboards

3M Whiteboard Eraser for Whiteboards

Erasers can be the bane of whiteboard’s immaculate white appearance, but this one can actually clean them without worsening ghosting. Just add water and wipe. It even lifts permanent marker without alcohol. The material is more durable than a sponge and is gentle on surfaces such as laminate or glass.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Owlkela Dry Erase Erasers

Owlkela Dry-Erase Erasers

These magnetic erasers come in four cute colors for a delightful little touch to your classroom or home decor. They’re smaller than standard erasers and fit well in tiny hands. When combined with water, these are good at lifting dried ink as well. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.