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   Remove permanent marker from a dry erase board Posted by Chica 
September 24, 2008 


  • permanent marker on dry erase board
    Fig 1: Permanent marker on a dry erase board
  • permanent marker on dry erase board
    Fig 2: Color over with dry erase marker
  • permanent marker on dry erase board
    Fig 3: Erase and permanent ink disappears
  • permanent marker on dry erase board
    Fig 4: Good as new!

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.

20 comments so far:

  1. Rose said: (September 24th, 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 said: (September 28th, 2008 at 6:22 pm)

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

  3. Chica said: (September 29th, 2008 at 7:28 am)

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

  4. Sue said: (January 23rd, 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 said: (September 27th, 2009 at 4:45 pm)

    What makes it do this?

  6. Jo said: (September 27th, 2009 at 8:44 pm)

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

  7. Gurgi said: (January 13th, 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 said: (January 13th, 2010 at 3:58 pm)

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

  9. Larry Stoulil said: (May 18th, 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 said: (June 21st, 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 said: (June 21st, 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 said: (November 4th, 2011 at 4:59 pm)

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

  13. jesse stader said: (May 9th, 2012 at 12:31 pm)

    wow yall r some good help thank u guys alot

  14. Mia said: (July 24th, 2012 at 4:07 pm)

    Thx so much for the tip chica :D

  15. Tabitha said: (August 15th, 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 said: (August 17th, 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 said: (August 24th, 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 said: (August 27th, 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 said: (June 7th, 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 said: (June 7th, 2013 at 3:51 pm)

    Yay! So glad this tip helped, RoseAnn.

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