Wet Erase vs Dry Erase Markers | What’s the Difference

Among different kinds of markers, we are unaware of the types of them. Most common is the permanent marker, which we have heard since childhood. We use them at our academics, works, offices, etc.

But do you know, there are different types of markers based on their properties and ink quality. Such two are wet-erase marker, and dry erase marker.

Wet erase markers have been widely used for their long-lasting ability. They are favorable to nonporous surfaces. The ink of the marker is a non-alcoholic one making it unique from the other.

Whereas, the dry erase marker sums up the choice of the users for its quick-dry-up features. It consists of alcohol along with various substances. The dry erase marker are pretty much common in the surrounding place as it is vastly used in office, schools, etc.

These two types of markers are mostly used in daily lives. Even you might’ve used them quite a bit at times without knowing. For different mediums and platforms, they have become people’s favorite objects.

We researched and found out the detailed information and usage of the markers. In this article, we’ll be stating them in the form of wet-erase vs. dry-erase markers’ useability, compatibility, and feasibility.

Wet Erase vs Dry Erase Markers

What’re Wet-Erase Markers?

Wet erase markers are made with water-soluble dyes. They are primarily intended to use on non-porous surfaces such as whiteboards, glass surfaces, transparencies, etc.

The chemicals of the wet-erase markers are pretty much different than those of the dry erase markers. A semi-permanent paste type mixture composed of water, resin and titanium dioxide is used in the marker instead of the alcohol-based ink. source: wikipidia

You can remove the wet erase marker with a damp cloth or cloth duster. Just scrub the medium above the marker, and you can remove it quickly.

The paste of the marker makes it fully bubble-proof. It provides you with the highest assurance as it will hardly cause any kind of allergic reaction. People of all walks of life can access the wet-erase markers without any hassle.

Using the wet erase marker gives you the highest possible feasibility under extreme conditions. Even at a high temperature, the wet erase marker will never fade away unless you scrub it with a cloth or duster.

Wet erase markers can be easily used for giving marks on glass, boards, etc. If you want your writing to stay for a long time, the marker is highly recommended. For frequent erasing, the marker might not be beneficial.

What are Wet-Erase Markers Used for?

By now, you already know that the wet-erase markers are comprised of semi-permanent ink for lasting long enough. So, its usage is constructed in that manner accordingly.

When we make a section of the marker’s useability, we found a lot of it. The usage of the wet erase marker has no bound. Its properties and function make it highly convenient for different kinds of situations.

Characterizing the surfaces, we get to see the marker’s use on:

Black marker Boards

The black marker boards are more or less used in different educational institutions. It makes good feasibility to the users and the viewers when the wet erase marker is used over it.

Illuminated Boards

For highlighting and decoration purposes, illuminated boards are widely used. The ink can glow adequately and makes the words or writings more highlighted to the viewers.

And the panels become more stressed and eye-catching with the touch of the wet erase marker over them.

Projector Lamps

You must’ve seen the projector lamps in different kinds of meetings or seminars. To modify the view or image from the lamp, you can use the wet erase marker over it. The neon colors of the wet-erase markers give beautiful highlights in the dark.

The vibrant colors sustain so accurately that you can even erase it after your work is done. Not only that, there won’t be any change or exposure of the ink as the wet erase marker can sustain for the highest of the temperatures.


Whiteboards are everyday stuff if you are passing or have passed through educational institutions. At times, whiteboard surfaces are also used to write or highlight any notice apart from using it in the class.

As the property of the marker allows the ink to last long, you get to use it for writing anything to stand for a good time. There, you’ll get to see the perfect usage of the wet-erase markers.

Metal Mirrors

Metal Mirrors papers are usually slippery. When you try to mark anything on it with a pen or marker, the ink usually drips off from it. Not only that, with a bit of scrub or touch, you can erase the ink from it.

But when you are using the wet-erase markers, the ink settles perfectly on the mirror without any hassle. Not only that, it remains rigid under all the circumstances. The ink drops so perfectly that you need to erase it properly with a cloth. Otherwise, it will stay as it is.

Plastic Surface

At times, putting ink on plastic is pretty tough. Because the ink hardly settles, and you cannot write or draw what you want correctly on it. This makes you pretty much frustrated at times, doesn’t it?

With a wet-erase marker, you won’t have to pass through the same situation again. Because the ink of the marker is so rigid that it stays on the medium you put it on.

Be it plastic or PVC material, you can easily access the marker for a long time. You will hardly face any difficulty in using the marker to write or draw anything over the plastic.

Read Also: How to Get Marker off Plastic

What’s Dry Erase Markers?

You won’t be able to differentiate the dry erase markers from the wet-erase markers. The properties are so similar that you cannot get their usage advantages unless you use them.

Like wet-erase markers, the dry erase markers are also made for non-porous material and laminated surfaces. Just the semi-permanent ink is missing. Alcohol-based ink makes the replacement here.

It is mostly formed with ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, octadecanoic acid tri-ester, and polyvinyl alcohol. A little touch of resin is also seen in the solution for its long-lasting. source

One of the common usages of the dry erase marker is visible in an educational institution. The feasibility of using the wet-erase markers gives the highest assist to the teachers and the students to write on smooth surfaces.

Mostly, dry erase markers are used on occasions where you need to erase your writing now and then. Apart from educational purposes, the dry erase marker is also used in different meetings, presentations, etc.

What are Dry Erase Markers Used for?

Dry erase markers are most common in our daily lives. You must’ve been using the dry erase marker without even knowing it.

Just like the wet-erase marker, the usage of the dry erase marker is vast. Researching upon it, we found a handful of sectors and mediums where the dry erase marker will be productive. Keeping them in this section, we move forward.


In this modern age, whiteboards have successfully replaced black ones. Because of its compatibility, feasibility, and ease of usage, most educational institutes use whiteboards.

And to write on them, the best thing is a good quality dry erase marker. As you have to erase your writings now and then, the alcohol ink of the dry erase marker is perfect among the important whiteboard markers. It remains on the surface without settling permanently. That makes it easier for you to remove your writing with gentle scrubbing.

Also, if you remove the ink properly, you won’t see any heavy dark patches on the side afterward.

Laminated papers

For designing different kinds of charts or stats on paper, the role of a dry erase marker is immense. Once you put the ink on the article, it will hardly fade away.

Using different colors will give highlight your work more. Talking about the quality of the ink, it remains top-notch on the paper. It will look as it is on the first day vs. the last day.

That means, for any quality work, you won’t be getting any better medium than a dry erase marker to use.

Plastic Surface

When you are to write anything on a plastic temporarily, the dry erase marker will serve you in a great way.

Because the marker’s ink allows you to have the freedom of removing it before it gets settled, for example, plastic notice boards can be well monitored regularly with it.

Wood surface

Be it furniture or a wooden cabinet; the dry erase marker can settle quickly on it. If you are to make any count or mark any identity on wooden dry erase boards, you can do it without hassle.

When it comes to removing it, you can also do it like traditional methods. Just take a scrubber and remove the ink from the medium. The ink will not settle on the medium and damage the surface.

So, you won’t have to worry about the post quality of the medium.

Comparison Between Wet Erase and Dry Erase Markers

As we have been talking about both these two great markers, we can go on to make a comparison out of them. The marker’s properties are so unique that, at times, you can be confused about them.

That’s why we bring you a section where you can easily differentiate them. For that, we’ll be working on some factors that highlight the specialty of the marker. So, let’s roll on it.

Color Flow

Wet-Erase Markers: The color flow of the wet-erase markers is pretty much stronger. They remain rigid to the place without compromising any quality after a specific time.

Dry Erase Markers: The color flow of the dry erase marker is made for temporary usage. With the interval of time, it fades away.

Ink Quality

Wet-Erase Markers: A paste of water, resin and titanium dioxide is comprised in the ink of the wet-erase marker. This makes the ink last longer without degrading a bit.

Dry Erase Markers: The dry erase marker comprises ethyl alcohol, Isopropyl alcohol, octadecanoic acid tri-ester, and polyvinyl alcohol. You get eh complete freedom in controlling the marker in your way.

Drying Time

Dry Erase Markers: The drying time of the dry erase marker is comparatively less than any other marker. It takes only 15-30 seconds for the marker to dry up after putting it over the non-porous surfaces. After 24 hours, the marker ink settles strongly on the surfaces, making it difficult to be removed.

Wet-Erase Markers: Wet erase marker takes a bit more time than a dry erase one. It requires 24 hours to settles and dry out completely. Because of its chemical compositions, it takes comparatively more time than usual.


Wet-Erase Markers: The wet-erase markers last long without any effect. Its ink quality assures it to be rigid and robust enough. Without any external impact, you cannot remove the wet erase marker ink from a medium.

Dry Erase Markers: The dry erase marker is made for temporary uses. In fact, after a specific time, the ink fades away. So, the ink can be removed with easy access.

Tip Type (Similarity with Them)

Both the wet and dry erase markers have fine, broad, and chisel tips. The most widely used wet and dry erase marker brand EXPO markers come with all the tips.

Fine Tip

The tip of the marker is comparatively narrower. You can use it for basic writing in your classroom, office, etc. It adjusts your writing in a good way.

Your control remains confined because of the thin tip. You can give the bolder lines of your work satisfactorily.

Broad tip

The broad tip marker is made to cover a comparatively large portion of the area. They are primarily useable and convenient for artworks. With different colors, you can earn good coloring in the regions.

For crafts, the tip is highly recommended. It can perfectly suit the medium without any inconvenience.

Chisel tip

The chisel tip markers have a slanted tip at the end. This gives you all the access to use for both thin and broad lines. You get to see the use of chisel tips in different kinds of complicated artistic works.

Calligraphy, lettering art, design, sketches, etc., have the extensive usage of the chisel tip.

Way to Remove Wet Erase Marker from the Board

The most convenient ways of erasing the wet erase marker from the board are:

Using Quality Whiteboard Eraser

Different kinds of solutions are made for cleaning whiteboards. They are available commercially. Using it as per recommended dose will serve you well enough.

Different kinds of whiteboard erasers are available in the market. Rubbing them usually on the ink will indeed remove the wet-erase markers from the board. Check our top-rated whiteboard erasers reviews out there.

Using Damp Tissue or Scrubber

The easiest way to remove the wet wipe markers is by using the damp tissue. Just take a wet tissue and scrub the ink over the whiteboard to remove the wet erase marker from it.

Apart from the damp tissue, you can also use a wet scrubber. This will provide you much convenience in removing the marks correctly.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Just pour the isopropyl alcohol on a white towel and scrub it accordingly. This will assure you to remove all the remove sharpie stains from the board. Make sure no colors remain on the boards after doing so.

Mild Detergent with Water

Using detergent with water gives you all the freedom to get the most potent stain out from the material. Using it for removing the wet erase marker will work perfectly without any complications.

Way to Remove dry erases marker from the board

The conventional methods used for removing the wet erase marker are also feasible to deduct the dry erase marker. In addition, we have used the toothpaste method to remove the dry erase marker.

Step 1: Apply the toothpaste to the surface.

Step 2: Allow the toothpaste to settle for around 5-10 minutes.

Step 3:  Scrub the mark with the help of a towel or paper towel with the paste over it.

Step 4: After the ink is gone, wipe the whole area with the help of a damp cloth or damp towel.


Q: Can I use wet and dry erase markers together?

Depending on the quality of the medium and boards, you can use the wet and dry erase markers together. Also, if you can blend them well, you can easily use them.

Q: Is Wet Erase better than dry erase markers?

Wet erase marker being rigid and stiff makes it better than the dry erase markers. The longevity and stability of the wet erase marker are comparatively long. As a result, people prefer to have them for different purposes.

Q: What can you write on with wet-erase markers?

Wet erase markers have good usage over whiteboards, plastics, PVC, woods, etc. Apart from that, the ink can be used easily by people of different ages. Be it for academics, drawings, etc., the marker can be beneficial for anyone.

Q: Do dry erase markers work on transparencies?

Dry erase markers have the best usage on transparencies. Different glass mediums, be it slippery or not, can have the best access to it. The ink remains pretty much stable and perfect over the surface.

Final thoughts

Our perception about the wet-erase vs. dry-erase markers has undoubtedly created a different scenario in your mind regarding them. The child-friendly marker is so accurate and user-friendly that all kinds of people of all professions can use it.

The properties of the dry and wet-erase markers set a significant boundary between them. This leads to the fact that the best use of them depends on how you use them.

So, get the perfect idea and implementation of the markers and nail your work with them.

Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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