How To Remove Permanent Marker From White Board

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Below is a video showing how to remove permanent marker from a white board.

It is easy to grab a permanent marker, on accident, and write on your white board instead of using the dry erase markers it is designed for.

Or, as occurred to the man on the video his child got hold of a Sharpie and wrote all over the white board.

The video shows a great little tip for easily removing these permanent markers from the white board -- just write over the permanent marker marks with a dry erase marker, and then wipe them both away.

It really is a cool tip, and so simple! I love simple solutions to cleaning and stain removal problems!

See the video for a full demonstration.

You can submit your own tip about how to remove permanent marker from any surface here, or read other tips already submitted.

Tips for removing permanent marker stains

In addition, plastic items like the white board, often get stains and dirt on them. You can share your tips for cleaning plastic here, or read other tips which have already been submitted.

*** Update: This page has been really popular, and lots of other readers have given their own advice below for how they remove these marks from the white board, so make sure you check them out as well! *** End Update

Get more tips for cleaning items all around your home here.

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Simple and easy trick for how to remove permanent marker from a white board {on Stain Removal 101} #CleaningTips #CleaningHacks #WhiteBoardsuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

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Comments for How To Remove Permanent Marker From White Board

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Screen cleaner
by: Anonymous

Spray computer screen cleaner on that old permanent marker stain that doesn’t come off with a dry erase marker. Then wipe it away with Mr. Clean magic eraser!

advice from a retired teacher
by: Flo

Retired teacher here. Had a white board in the classroom. White boards use water based markers. Those are the dry erase type. Someone used a permanent marker on the board. Horrors! Solution? Go over the permanent marker marks with a water based marker(dry erase marker). Just trace over the bad stuff.

by: Cami

I just did it with toothpaste, it was simple. I put toothpaste on a cloth, dampened it, rubbed across surface. On black marker let set for a minute and rub off. Rinse cloth and wash off board and dry. Simple, easy. You don't have to run out and get unnecessary things.

Love this
by: Sophie

I googled & found that using the dry erase markers work when a former bosses autistic son visited and didn't know the difference. It was a company board so he was a little worried about reporting it. I found the dry eraser marker trick on line.

by: Anonymous

Acetone works great!

Nothing worked
by: Anonymous

Nothing worked for me, need help. Tried many things but it only degraded my white board. The white board that I got was earlier used by an ex employee who while leaving the organization wrote with a permanent marker, God only knows why!! Now since the ink has all dried up it's a challenge for me to get rid of what he has written. Please share if anyone has got solution.

For very old permanent marker
by: Anonymous

I picked up a 5 foot x 3 foot dry erase board on the side of the road. It was COVERED in permanent and very old dry erase marker. I couldn’t get much to work. Finally used a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a generous amount of peroxide. It is now completely white. Worked great!!

Eraser, Magic Eraser, and dry erase board spray
by: Anonymous

I had red permanent marker on my board for a week. I used a pink pencil eraser it left red smudges, so then I used a magic eraser which made a gummy brown stain, so then I used a dry erase board cleaner and a paper towel and applied pressure it worked lol!

Removing marker
by: Jennifer

I use "Goo Gone" to remove permanent marker from whiteboard and from magnetic white surfaces. It works pretty well, unless it's been there too long. It also removes as well as sticky residue left by labels or stickers. Avoid using "Goof Off" on ANY plastic surface, it etches the plastic and destroys the smooth surface!

by: Curious Nauruan

We came to work and saw that workers from Dayshift used permanent marker on the whiteboard! So did some research and we decided to use toothpaste as its the only thing we have with us at work. And to our surprise it works!! Phew.

it works!
by: Christine

I have had experienced the dreadful "did they really use permanent marker on this?" for the dry erase board at work. I covered it in dry erase marker and it did the trick! They called me magical when they saw the trick!

Toothpaste worked!
by: Anonymous

Don't give up hope. I tried the dry erase marker, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, Mr. Clean eraser, and hand sanitizer. Nothing was working. Crest toothpaste and an old toothbrush finally worked.

pencil eraser
by: Suzanne

My son figured out the a pencil eraser will remove Sharpie marker from a dry erase board.

nail polish remover
by: archana

Nail polish remover worked on white board to remove stains of permanent marker.

Not just on the whiteboard
by: Melissa

The dry erase marker trick to remove permanent marker works on other surfaces. This week I took my name off of a book I was ready to donate.

Hand sanitizer
by: Maureen

Hand sanitizer works.

Didn't Work
by: Anne

Maybe mine was on too long before I heard of all these tricks, but none of them work on my daughter's whiteboard. How can we get OLD permanent market off? I've been considering buying whiteboard paint, but it's expensive.

Dry wipe your pen marks away
by: Maureen

Use a dry wipe pen to scribble over the mark and wipe it quickly. Best not to use black because it can be hard to wipe away completely.

How teachers remove sharpie marks off whiteboards
by: Carole

First, get a white board or dry erase marker. Write directly over the permanent marker lines. As it dries, wipe w/a cloth. If residue or color is left, use *91%* rubbing alcohol, not 70%. The more powerful 91% breaks the chemical bonds. It's one of the first things I tell a rookie teacher.

Hand sanitizer
by: Donna

Hand sanitizer on a rag or paper towel works, too.

boiling water
by: Julie

I rub the board with boiling hot water.

Easy no doubt...
by: Margo

Try fingernail polish remover. Works like a charm and it's fast and easy.

Nail polish remover
by: Vimal festus

I dampen a cotton ball in nail polish remover and erase the permanent marker on the white board.... Voila !!!!

Expo white board spray
by: Anonymous

Expo white board spray and a rag removes permanent marker as well.

by: Pamela

Toothpaste cleaned a white board for me last week!

lemon oil
by: Evelyn

I have a white board and my kids do this all the time. I use lemon oil and it comes right off, no hard scrubbing, it just wipes off.

dry erase markers do work!
by: Chelsea

I have a white board that I use as a monthly calendar and I use permanent marker to make the grid and number the days of the month and then I use this trick to erase it. I have a wide tip dry erase that I use exclusively for erasing the sharpie. Love it.

91% rubbing alcohol
by: Jeanette

91% rubbing alcohol cleans the whole board... No problem.

hand sanitizer
by: Julianne

Hand sanitizer works. Basically the alcohol but thicker and easier to work with.

nail polish remover
by: Melinda

Nail polish remover works perfectly!

hand sanitizer
by: Andrea

I did this at school last week. Grabbed the hand sanitizer and it came right off!

rubbing alcohol
by: Cathy

Rubbing alcohol takes it right off!

cooktop cleaner too
by: Jessica

Yep, Magic Eraser or glass cooktop cleaner works great too. Cooktop cleaner makes an awesome dry erase cleaner.

Magic Eraser
by: Christy

Mr. Clean magic erasers take it off.

this trick works!
by: Tara

When I was a new teacher I accidentally wrote the entire day's assignments on the white board in sharpie marker...for grades K-5!!! I went to the janitor in a bit of a panic. He calmed me down, showed me this trick and helped me get it all back to rights.

Wonder why this works?
by: Anonymous

Huh, interesting tip. I wonder why it works? Do you know?

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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.