Dry Erase Board Cleaning Solutions

Discussion in 'General Education' started by pwhatley, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I thought I'd start a discussion about what works and what doesn't for cleaning dry erase / white boards. I'd love to read your ideas!

    Last year, my white board was SOOO bad that I went through tons of cleaners while waiting for the replacement I was promised (but never received).

    Here are some of the things I found that worked:

    Mr. Clean (and the generic brand) "erasers" that you find in the cleaning section at Walmart and (even better) DollarTree. I stopped using the "regular" dry-erase erasers and switched exclusively to these for all-day erasing! When you need to do a heavy cleaning, just spray your board (with whatever) and use one of these to "scrub" it, then wipe with a paper towel - it works great!

    Acetone (aka "regular" nail polish remover)! Don't let your kids near it, but at the end of the day (after they are gone), it is great to scrub with - even when someone uses permanent marker on your board.

    Rubbing alcohol - works "okay,"

    The best liquid (and I tried Foray and a NUMBER of different brands) official white board / dry erase cleaner I found was the Expo brand. Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it's "fume-y". However, I NEVER used it when my kiddos were there, and it out-performed everything, especially when combined with the cleaning "erasers."

    Just my :2cents:. Hope it helps someone!
     
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  3. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I like the magic eraser idea! I will have to remember that. I have about 2000 in my cleaning cabinet at work anyway.

    You mentioning the Expo liquid reminded me of a clean Friday incident last year. The kids KNEW to stay away from that cleaner- but I had one girl who liked to try to run the show (I called her Mini Me because she liked to think she was the teacher). Anyway, she was in charge of cleaning the white boards that day, and thought she would ignore my warning and sprayed that cleaner on the board. Oh, the look on her face was priceless. She learned her lesson (as we all coughed and went to recess early). Guess she didn't realize how strong it was. Needless to say, I didn't have to warn anyone after that!
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Hand sanitizer works really well.
     
  5. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Expo has cleaning wipes for the board. They don't small as bad and it seems easier. pull one out for the whole board. They work great. The magic erasers work good for awhile but they do eventually deteriorate the board itself (I've heard). I wouldn't use those for everyday use personally.
     
  6. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I second the magic erasers - they work great, they're cheap, and you can throw them away when they're too dirty.

    Before school starts every year, one of my colleagues cleans her board with the Expo cleaner until it's spotless, then treats it with Old English furniture oil. She coats the board with oil and lets it sit overnight, then buffs it with a rag the next day. She says it makes the board much easier to erase cleanly. I'm going to try it this year.
     
  7. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Wow, that sounds like a great idea if it keeps the board easier to manage throughout the year.
     
  8. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I already have Old English at home, so I'm definitely gonna try it this year!
     
  9. Mrs.Sheila

    Mrs.Sheila Cohort

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    I use "off"! Believe it or not, it works better on the boards then repelling those pesky squitos.
     
  10. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    I used one of those Orange cleaner sprays. Worked like a charm!
     
  11. Earth2me

    Earth2me Rookie

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    Windex or other window cleaners seem to work fairly well. I still have a chalkboard in my room, but I use individual markerboards.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Lestoil.
     
  13. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I'm just astonished that all those strong cleaners work on white boards. Don't they leave an oily finish or anything?
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I'm starting my 10th year with my whiteboards, and they are still good as new!

    They've never had anything on them except for plain water, except for an infrequent wipe down with a baby wipe if I've left a red/purple on too long.

    Oh, I did once have to use rubbing alcohol to remove a picture that my SUB drew on the board with SHARPIE MARKER!
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The classic way to remove permanent marker is to write over it with dry-erase marker...
     
  16. 2inspire

    2inspire Companion

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    Expo makes a low fume cleaner spray. It works just as well as the regular strength.
     
  17. Jen in NCal

    Jen in NCal Rookie

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    Will the oil/wax work for individual boards? Mine lost their erasability this year and even the EXPO cleaner won't get them clean.

    Totally forgot about that project. Guess I need to add it to my list of things. To Do #497,658 Clean student white boards
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You might need new boards, Jen, especially if yours were showerboard or something like it - but a coating of a decent auto wax every year might help the new ones last longer.
     
  19. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nice individual magnetized boards that come with two magnets are on sale somewhere this week for $2. I have some and they are great. They have a frame of light blue around them.
     
  20. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    i pretty much stick to expo, but I like that magic eraser idea! thanks!
     
  21. Jen in NCal

    Jen in NCal Rookie

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    They aren't showerboard, real student whiteboards. Only a couple of years old too. Can't hurt to try.
     
  22. Newto3rd

    Newto3rd Companion

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    What is the Old English polish? Is it like Pledge or like Murphy's Oil soap? I've never used it and want to know what to look for.

    I used this cleaner called "Awesome" that I bought at the DTree yeeeears ago. My new room has marker stains all over it. It drives me BONKERS!! The cleaner worked well, but it's hard to erase off of it now. I'm thinking that maybe the Old English will help. If not, I'll just dilute some Awesome and use it all year - and get some magic erasers from the DTree.

    I have May 15, 2009 that WON'T come off my board! AHHH! I now know NOT to use red marker on my boards!
     
  23. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Old English is an oil used to condition wood furniture. I think the bottle my colleague had was lemon oil. You have to be careful using strong cleaners on your board - if you remove the "slickness," you'll have a heck of a time erasing it. Try getting it as clean as possible and then treat it with oil - I think TeacherGroupie also suggested car wax as an alternative.
     
  24. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    If it is showerboard, the best I found is Countertop Magic. I could only find it at Ace hardware. Perhaps it is elsewhere where you live. I have a GOOD whiteboard now and I use the Expo cleaner - low odor - when the kids are gone.

    I strongly suggest you stay away from the Expo low-odor markers - they do not erase as easily and often leave stains behind, especially on the showerboards. I've also heard that the Crayola dry erase markers are not great as far as removeability.

    I've heard polish/oil often works . I tried the Countertop Magic on the good board and was not at all happy - markers didn't work as well. I've heard teachers in my building have used baby oil, Old English type oils, etc. and really like the results.
     
  25. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I posted this on another thread about OHP transparencies. I find that the hand pumped Car windshield de-icer is very good for fetching stuff off white boards. Spray it on and leave for a minute or so then wipe off with a clean paper towel.
     
  26. flexmb

    flexmb Rookie

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    I've had good results from Windex, Mr. Clean erasers, and rubbing alcohol.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Windex is an ABRASIVE. Don't use it on your boards!!

    Plain water works fine.
     
  28. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Since the big push on hygiene in schools I have found that the best use for the alcohol hand sanitiser we have been given is for cleaning white boards and also for taking graffiti off desk tops!
     

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