How To Clean Stubborn Marks Off A Whiteboard

One of the tools I use to help me capture ideas and organize my thoughts is a whiteboard with dry erase markers. It’s an easy way for me to scribble things down, but then be able to wipe it off and erase and start over when the time comes.

Well, except when that time doesn’t come. There are times I write things down on my whiteboard and they stay there for months. And then guess what I discovered?

If you’ve waited that long, you might not be able to wipe your whiteboard clean again!

How to fix a whiteboard that won't erase

Ugh, it’s true. You can get most of the markings off, but there will be some stubborn marks left on the whiteboard that just want to stay there. It seemed like no matter what I tried it wasn’t working. But I’m glad I persisted because I finally found a couple of things that worked so I’m sharing those DIY solutions here today.

How Do You Fix A Whiteboard That Won’t Erase?

Here’s a closer photo of what these kinds of marks and stains on my whiteboard looked like. The majority of the marker wiped off, but I was left with annoying little areas that weren’t clean.

How to clean stubborn marks off a whiteboard

However I found two things that worked for me to finally get my whiteboard clean again. And they are pretty ordinary things too!

Rubbing alcohol was one method that worked. The other was Murphy’s oil soap on a magic eraser. When using either of those methods I was able to remove the stubborn marker with very little effort.

Here’s a little video I made showing how those items worked to clean my whiteboard.

So once again, no fancy expensive cleaner from the store was needed. Both rubbing alcohol or an oil soap are pretty common items to find in the stores. I’m currently using my generic oil soap from the dollar store right now too instead of the brand name (Murphy’s) and it’s working fine.

I also had better luck with the oil soap combined with a magic eraser. Just the oil soap didn’t always work, and just the magic eraser didn’t always work, but the two of them together DID always do the trick for me so far.

How to remove marks from a whiteboard

So if you have a messy whiteboard that’s not coming clean, don’t give up hope. Making your own cleaner by just using rubbing alcohol, or using an oil soap on a magic eraser might be just the solution you’ve been looking for!

Need a few more bright ideas?
Sign up for the monthly email newsletter to learn about my latest content and tips for frugal homemade living.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Some claim that using dry erase markers as well is one of the simplest ways to remove dry erase markers from a dry erase board. This is possible, but you might not be able to completely wipe the board the first time.

  2. I have two dry erase board in my kitchen–one for me to jot things down and one for my granddaughters who like to draw while I’m working in the kitchen. I used the Murphy’s oil with a magic eraser I had from Dollar Tree. I had to rinse the eraser a few times because of how dirty my granddaughters’ board was, but it came out spotless. It even worked on getting off the marker stains they accidentally got on the wall!

  3. Rubbing alcohol can be used. For more effective cleaning, use Isopropyl alcohol with a concentration of 90 percent or 99 percent. Even if you use the 70% variant, it may not be strong enough to remove the dry erase marker from the board, especially if the stains are old.

  4. Hi! I enjoy your blog full of great ideas. Thank you for your efforts that are so beneficial.
    One more cleaner to add to whiteboard cleaning is a whiteboard marker.
    I did this recently on a large whiteboard used more than two years ago. The board came clean using small or large tip markers. It took longer to cover the old writing with finer tip, of course.
    Another spin on this is using the same process on glass and mirrors. It cleans up nicely. Solid paper in a frame is an inexpensive whiteboard alternative. It’s a great way to keep lists or schedules, play games (Tic Tac Toe, Hangman, and more), or enjoy featured drawings by the kids. It was a big hit with my family.