Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Remove permanent marker from a dry erase board

by: Chica

Dry erase boards are incredibly useful and handy in the home and office, as long as you remember to always use a dry erase marker on them. However, mistakes will happen, whether from uninformed children or absentminded adults, and eventually somebody will use a permanent marker on the whiteboard and ruin it.

Oh but wait… it’s not ruined! You can actually remove permanent marker from a marker board with tools you already have.

To show you how much I trust this technique, I’ve purposefully written on my marker board with a Sharpie marker (Fig 1) so I could show you how to clean it.

  • Take a dry erase marker and scribble directly over of the permanent marker (Fig 2).
  • Now just give the ink a few seconds to dry and then erase it with a regular whiteboard eraser or a paper towel (Fig 3). Both inks will wipe away instantly and easily!
  • If you miss a spot, just go over it again with the dry erase marker and wipe when dry. Your board will look good as new (Fig 4) in no time.

P.S. If you have stubborn stains from dry erase marker that has been left on the whiteboard for too long (this is especially rampant with red ink), a little rubbing alcohol on a soft towel will work great at removing it. It’s just as effective as bottled whiteboard cleaner, and MUCH cheaper.

21 comments so far:

  • 1
    Rose 09/24/2008 at 10:16 am

    Great tip! I haven’t made the mistake yet but I want to do it just to see it work. Thx!

  • 2
    Gretchen 09/28/2008 at 6:22 pm

    I feel like you just peeked into my conference room!! Thanks for the very timely advice!

  • 3
    Chica 09/29/2008 at 7:28 am

    I hope this solves your problem, Gretchen. Let us know :)

  • 4
    Sue 01/23/2009 at 11:31 am

    It works! But, I have a dry erase board that is covered in permanent ink. Trying to go over the whole board with a Dry Erase Marker was maddening. So, I am going to go the Alcohol route and see what happens. If the board was in my home I’d take the time but it’s at church so I need something fast acting.

  • 5
    anna 09/27/2009 at 4:45 pm

    What makes it do this?

  • 6
    Jo 09/27/2009 at 8:44 pm

    We aren’t quite sure but think it might be magic. Readers? Any other suggestions?

  • 7
    Gurgi 01/13/2010 at 3:30 pm

    If you have permanent marker on a smooth surface you can use icy hot (also known as theragesic or bengay) to remove it. Wear gloves, rub it it, then wipe it off. Great for desks, floors, and dry erase boards. Also, gives off a nice minty smell.

  • 8
    Chica 01/13/2010 at 3:58 pm

    That’s a clever tip, Gurgi. Thanks for sharing!

  • 9
    Larry Stoulil 05/18/2011 at 11:19 am

    I know you can rub off the permannent marker using rubbing alcohol very easy, it will also come off using the 70% alcohol swabs but you have to rub a littel harder.

  • 10
    Antaeyx 06/21/2011 at 3:33 am

    Superbe matinée à tous,

    Pour commencer , offrez-moi l’opportunité de vous démontrer ma gratitude pour toutes les très “à propos” connaissances que j’ai lues sur cet fantastique forum .

    Je ne suis pas sure d’être au bon endroit mais je n’en ai pas vu de meilleur.

    Je proviens de Nanticoke, us . J’ai 33 années et j’ai 4 très gentils enfants qui sont tous âgés entre neuf ou 15 années (1 est adoptée ). J’aime beaucoup les animaux et je tempte de leur présenter les biens qui leur rendent la vie plus diversifiée .

    Merci d’avance pour toutes les superbes délibérations à venir et je vous remercie de votre compassion pour mon français moins qu’idéal : ma langue de naissance est le vietnamien et j’essaie de m’enseigner mais c’est très difficile!

    A une autre fois


  • 11
    Chica 06/21/2011 at 1:07 pm

    Merci pour vos commentaires sympa, Arthru. Nous sommes heureux de vous avoir comme un fan de notre blog!

  • 12
    SC 11/04/2011 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks! This tip worked great! I shared it at work.

  • 13
    jesse stader 05/09/2012 at 12:31 pm

    wow yall r some good help thank u guys alot

  • 14
    Mia 07/24/2012 at 4:07 pm

    Thx so much for the tip chica :D

  • 15
    Tabitha 08/15/2012 at 6:05 pm

    I am a food truck owner who wrote on my white board with a permanent marker out of necessity when I needed to post my menu in a hurry while on my truck, but didn’t have a dry erase marker. I was going to throw my white board away until I tried your tip. Not only does it work, it works very well. You saved me from spending more money on a new board. If you are ever in Memphis, TN come get your “Munch on” with Memphis Munchies. Thank you.

  • 16
    Chica 08/17/2012 at 6:55 am

    Happy to hear that we saved your board, Tabitha! We’ll keep you in mind if we’re ever in the area :)

  • 17
    susan 08/24/2012 at 11:57 pm

    My whiteboard at school was marked on with a permanent marker by a custodian over the summer; so it’s been there for two months. I have tried the dry erase method, alcohol, acetone and WD-40. HELP! I really need to fix this. Trying these things have faded it considerably, but I use my easel daily…HELP! It is still visible.

  • 18
    Chica 08/27/2012 at 8:10 am

    Ugh, Susan, sounds like you’ve got a bad board. You’ve tried everything I can think of… not sure what else to suggest!

  • 19
    RoseAnn 06/07/2013 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks a million!! Your tip saved our board!! Not sure why there were permanent markers NEAR the dry board… It was a very heavy black line across the board that came off very easily as instructed.

  • 20
    Chica 06/07/2013 at 3:51 pm

    Yay! So glad this tip helped, RoseAnn.

  • 21
    An k 09/27/2015 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the tip! I tried the dry erase marker trick and it worked like a charm! But using rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover can end up stripping your whiteboard over time
    I found some helpful tips in this article:
    Good Luck!

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