How can I clean this whiteboard?
July 16, 2004 11:23 AM   Subscribe

DryEraseFilter. I bought a whiteboard at Ikea and after using some dry-erase markers on it, it does not erase. Now I have a whiteboard with half a grocery list and a doodle of a octopus-man that aren't going anywhere. I've tried all the household cleaners I have (bleach, vinegar, Fantastic, Windex) nothing's working. Any recommendations?
posted by Robot Johnny to Home & Garden (20 answers total)
>Any recommendations?

70% USP IPA. Okay, that's 70 parts isopropyl alcohol to 30 parts water. Should be in your pharmacy for less than $1. :-)

If that doesn't work, you can try the last desparate measure. This is harsh on everything though, so probably wear gloves (Note that I didn't, and didn't die, though). Use some Acetone on the marks. Should be available at your favourite hardware or paint shop.
posted by shepd at 11:36 AM on July 16, 2004

I got some off with nail polish remover once (maybe that is acetone? not sure). I had left the marker on the board for at least a month, and the only way I could get the doodles off completely was with the remover. Sounds like something got fubared - either your board has the wrong finish on it or the markers had the wrong labels.
posted by iconomy at 11:46 AM on July 16, 2004

One of the orange oil-based goo cleaners may work well for you, though I admit to not knowing the specifics of the Ikea whiteboard.
posted by vers at 11:47 AM on July 16, 2004

Use some Acetone on the marks.

Afterwards, spray some on a polystyrene foam cup.
posted by the fire you left me at 11:55 AM on July 16, 2004

the board sounds screwed to begin with, but unfortunately you may have screwed it permanently yourself with the chems.

I once had the same problem, and what happened was that the stuff I tried to clean the board with took off the slick finish which makes it erasable in the first place--which only smudged the marker, and rendered that spot completely un-erasable for all eternity.

The kludge is to use whatever you can to get the marker off, but having wrecked the surface for future marks, you can stick a few stripes of clear packing tape over the messed-up spot. Its surface can be erased with a little work.

the real solution is to return the board, and never go into IKEA again..
posted by plexiwatt at 12:03 PM on July 16, 2004

nail polish remover == acetone == white board cleaner.

8 oz White Board Cleaner at Office Depot = $3.25
2 * 6 oz Cutex Nail Polish Remover at Walgreens = $3.00 or better yet try an Everything's A Dollar store.
posted by m@ at 12:08 PM on July 16, 2004

Best answer: Color over the marks with another dry-erase marker and then wipe it off with a soft cloth when it is still wet.

I've had it work before.
posted by Coffeemate at 12:11 PM on July 16, 2004

Most nail polish removers are not acetone-based anymore, so check before you buy.
posted by O9scar at 12:16 PM on July 16, 2004

Hairspray will work.
posted by Quartermass at 1:17 PM on July 16, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks gang! I'll try these solutions tonight...
posted by Robot Johnny at 1:55 PM on July 16, 2004

I used to work at a place filled with whiteboards and whiteboard fanatics, and I can report from vast experience that Coffeemate's suggestion will often work, but requires a certain amount of elbow grease. I should add that heavy use of cleaning products eats away at whiteboards' eraseableness.

If I never see a whiteboard again, it'll be too soon.
posted by lackutrol at 1:56 PM on July 16, 2004

Failing everything - white gloss paint.
And get some decent dry wipe markers.
posted by seanyboy at 3:43 PM on July 16, 2004

Don't use acetone on it unless it is a ceramic whiteboard surface. Acetone will destroy almost any plastic surface completely.

Color over the marks with another dry-erase marker and then wipe it off with a soft cloth when it is still wet.
This is the best solution - often whiteboard markers will be hard to remove if left on too long (the definition of "too long" depends on the surface). This also works for those times when some idiot writes on the whiteboard with a permanent marker. And get some decent whiteboard markers - the cheap ones do not erase well and actually scratch plastic whiteboard surfaces.
posted by dg at 4:52 PM on July 16, 2004

Related tip: From my years of ESL teaching experience, I've learned that if you accidently write on a whiteboard with a non-erasable marker, writing over that with an erasable marker will let you erase everything away.
posted by alidarbac at 6:04 PM on July 16, 2004

Or what Coffeemate said.
posted by alidarbac at 6:05 PM on July 16, 2004

it's probably ikea's markers and not the board itself that are the problem, they are garbage.
posted by rhyax at 7:00 PM on July 16, 2004

I've had good luck with SoftScrub getting off whiteboard writing that in some cases had been there for over a year.
posted by rushmc at 10:56 PM on July 16, 2004

Sorry to be repetitive but when I first was told of the trick Coffeemate suggest I thought it didn't make sense but it works like a charm. I would definitively try this first since it doesn't involve any extra chemicals.
posted by golo at 1:45 AM on July 17, 2004

since it doesn't involve any extra chemicals.


Buddy, you ever read the ingredients list for that shit? It's nothing but chemicals! [shudder]
posted by five fresh fish at 9:25 AM on July 17, 2004

Whiteboard: If it ain't porcelain-on-steel, its crap.
posted by Goofyy at 12:55 AM on July 19, 2004

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