As we know that dry-erase boards can last up to many years if their proper maintenance is done. These boards are present everywhere around you.
If the regular cleaning is not done, you can see issues like stubborn stains, residue marks, ghost marks, or ink smudges on the surface. You can wipe off the dry erase ink with a clean cloth or preferred cleaning products.
Taking proper care of the whiteboard surface is essential. As these have a daily life use and having stubborn stains on the surface is not something you should approve.
There are two ways of cleaning a whiteboard surface. One is a quick, chemical-free way of cleaning the fresh marks from the board with tissue paper right after writing. The next method involves using chemical products that are useful for ghostly marks left behind at the end of the day.
Using both ways regularly is necessary to maintain the duration of a high-quality whiteboard. Any liquid whiteboard cleaning agent can range from a wide variety of dish soap to vinegar per cup of water.
However, the best chemical-based dry cleaner is Windex cleaner that is effective and easy to use. The effectiveness of Windex cleaner depends on the whiteboard type. Spray the entire board surface with Windex cleaner for better results.
It also depends on board types. So, for further discussion let’s get started.
Types of Dry Erase Boards
Following are three main types of whiteboards that can be found around the world.
Melamine whiteboards are the basic among all types of boards, and these are also known as cheap dry erase boards.
Melamine is a polymer in nature, and the board has a pressboard backing on one side. Using any color or permanent pens is not recommended because the porous surface can easily retain ghost and permanent marks. Daily cleaning with a clean and dry microfiber cloth is recommended to avoid unwanted permanent marks.
To effectively clean dry marker residue, you can use common household glass cleaners or some drops of dish soap. Board staining is a common problem with melamine whiteboards.
As a result, do not use abrasive cloths for cleaning because it will damage the already porous surface of the board. However, you can use a standard microfiber cloth for maintaining a melamine board.
Unlike other inexpensive whiteboards, porcelain whiteboards are a bit expensive. However, this extra cost is covered because the Porcelain board is a higher quality whiteboard.
The construction material used in Porcelain whiteboards is ceramics. To provide them with extra strength, the back is made of steel.
One of the significant advantages of investing in a porcelain whiteboard is that it avoids ghosting or smudging the ink. The ink can’t seep into the ceramic layer of the whiteboard. These types of boards are usually found in schools and colleges.
3. Tempered Glass
These whiteboards are made up of glass that can easily resist any kind of ghosting and staining. You will not see any border or edges on such whiteboards as the primary function is to place them directly on the wall. Chemicals from whiteboard markers do not affect tempered glass. As a result, no complaint of whiteboard users is ever registered.
How Does Windex Work
We must take a look at the ingredients that make up the Windex cleaner to get a better understanding of the Windex works. These ingredients mainly include water, ethylene, ammonia, and isopropyl alcohol.
The primary purpose of water among these ingredients is not to clean the board but to neutralize the pH of the solution.
Ethylene here works as a germ killer due to its high acidity, and ammonia is famous for removing stains from various surfaces. And now comes the last and most significant ingredient, isopropanol, alcohol that works as a solvent and cleaner at the same time. Source 
All these ingredients combined are safe to use and make a perfect liquid whiteboard cleaner. You can also make a home cleaner by mixing variable concentrations of isopropyl alcohol in water and saving it in a spray bottle. You do not have to invest in expensive spray bottles.
Can You Use Windex to Clean a Dry Erase Board?
Yes, Windex cleaner can be used to clean a dry erase board as it contains all the ingredients that are useful for cleaning surfaces. However, there is a drawback to using Windex cleaner on Melamine whiteboards.
You know that melamine whiteboards are inexpensive and have a porous plastic surface from the outside. When you apply Windex on this plastic/porous surface, the ammonia and ethylene in the liquid can further damage the entire surface.
That is why Windex for melamine whiteboards is not a recommended board eraser. However, you can use it on porcelain and tempered glass whiteboard without any concern.
How to Use Windex to Clean a Dry Erase Board
We already know that only using dry towels does no good to the life of the whiteboard. So, we must dig deep into the guide of using Windex to clean dry erase marker stains.
Step1: Use a wet and dry towel
Before applying any liquid cleaner or spray, ensure that the surface is clean from the previous removable marks. You can use cold water and a clean cloth to clean the surface, then use a dry paper towel to absorb the wetness out of the surface.
Step 2: Spray the Windex cleaner
The next step is to open the lid and spray your entire whiteboard with Windex cleaner. Ensure no place is left, especially in the middle of the whiteboard, which is mainly used.
Strep 3: Let it rest there for a while
The spray needs to be there for some time so that the cleaning ingredients can do their job and absorb the excess staining out of the surface.
Step 4: Remove the spray
The last step is removing spray residues with a clean fibrous cloth. Move your cloth in circular motions and do not put pressure to avoid accidental streaking. This is how you use Windex cleaner to clean the surface of your whiteboards. Take a quick test by writing something on your board.
The life duration of any high-quality whiteboard depends on how much extra care they are getting. There are some items or methods that can harm or ruin the outer layer of your board that you should avoid.
- It would help if you never used Windex directly on very hot and cold surfaces. Doing so can cause the liquid cleaner to evaporate even before you wipe it off. This can result in a streaking or grainy appearance on the surface.
- You should never use any unfamiliar chemical to eliminate the excess dry-ink dust from the board.
- If you use liquid cleaners, make sure that you do not use them daily. One a week is enough.
- Using cold water and dishwashing soap for melamine whiteboards is more than enough. Do not use Windex or other glass cleaners because they affect the porous surface.
- Usage of wax-based cleaners is also prohibited because they reduce the effective writing on a board.
Some of the frequently asked questions about daily cleaning and care of a whiteboard surface are given below.
Q: Can you clean a whiteboard with vinegar?
Yes, you can use vinegar added in water for cleaning whiteboards at home. It is your best homemade whiteboard cleaner when other liquid whiteboard cleaners are not around.
You can use it even daily. A teaspoon of vinegar mixed well in a cup of water will do the job for you. You just need to pour some of this liquid on a clean microfiber cloth, and you can wipe off the entire surface of the whiteboard.
This method is recommended instead of using harsh chemicals that can reduce your board quality or damage your whiteboard over time. You can also store this whiteboard cleaning solution in a small spray bottle for daily use.
However, suppose you do not have vinegar. In that case, you can also use baking soda paste on a clean paper towel to remove the dry erase marker stains.
Q: What cleaners are safe for whiteboards?
In the section on dry erasers, we recommend: Best Whiteboard Erasers to Keep Your Board
Q: How to remove permanent marks from whiteboard?
The first and common method of removing permanent marks from a whiteboard surface is overwriting or overdrawing on the spots with a dry erase board marker.
Now, you will clean the board with a clean, lint-free cloth. Make sure that the ink of the dry erase marker is still wet.
Repeat this process till the surface is thoroughly clean. Or you can use any type of alcohol wipes or disinfecting wipes if you do not have alcoholic ones to remove the permanent marks.
For tough permanent stains, you can also use some drops of isopropyl alcohol for better results in lesser time.
Q: Can I use window cleaner on a dry erase board?
You will be surprised to know that you can use even a homemade window cleaner or a commercial one to clean a dry erase board.
Just make sure that you apply window cleaner on a fabric softener sheet or a dry paper towel instead of a granular cloth.
Moreover, do not use this method for melamine whiteboards made of plastic or polymers. Window cleaners have strong chemicals that can further damage the porous surface of polymer whiteboards. As a result, use a window cleaner only for tempered glass or porcelain whiteboard.
Q: Do WD-40 clean whiteboards?
Yes, WD-40 is a powerful cleaner found in everyday household products. It is commonly used for removing ghost stains or permanent marks from the whiteboards. No doubt that only a small amount or a tiny spray of WD-40 can easily remove the stains. It is not recommended to use this cleanser daily.
Q: Can you clean a chalkboard with Windex?
Yes, Windex is perfect for removing liquid chalk from a chalkboard. The mix of isopropyl alcohol and ammonia is perfectly capable of eliminating excess chalk out of the board.
You need to spray your entire board with the Windex, wait for a couple of seconds, and then wipe it off with a clean cloth. However, if it is a dry chalkboard, you can use warm water and a cloth for removing the excess residues, and then you can use vinegar in water for better results.
It is recommended to avoid any kind of abrasive cleaners instead of whiteboard erasers. Make sure you use a dry erase marker instead of a permanent marker for writing.
Moreover, keep cleaning the stains right after using a paper towel or a whiteboard eraser. In the end, you should use a damp cloth to wipe off all of the left stains to make the board clean. Afterward, use a dry cloth in circular motions to wipe off any wetness from the board.
Remember that this everyday cleaning is what will enhance the quality and life of your whiteboard. If you do not do regular cleaning, no commercial cleaners could benefit you, no matter how good they are. So, let us know if you found this information of any use!