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How to Get Permanent Marker Off a Whiteboard

how to get permanent marker off a whiteboard

Whiteboards may get cluttered with permanent marks over time. Unintentional usage of permanent markers and pens leaves notes that are ostensibly impossible to erase. It’s simple enough to remove the marker immediately away, but if the writing remains on the whiteboard for too long, these markers can create annoying stains.

A lot of people are quite interested in how to remove old permanent marker from whiteboard. It can be somehow stressful to find ways on how you can do that. However, in this article, I’ve gathered some effective and tested ways on how you can get a permanent marker off a whiteboard.

First Method: Using a Dry Erase Marker to Remove a Permanent Marker

Did you find this method a bit confusing? Well, it may be confusing to read, but it’s actually possible. Indeed, you can erase a permanent marker off your whiteboard using a dry-erase marker! How can it be possible? It may seem that it’ll only worsen the problem, but it isn’t.

In fact, this is a simple way of getting stains made by pens, markers, and other writing tools that produce permanent ink. If you or someone has used a permanent marker on your whiteboard by accident, try following the steps I’m about to show you.

Things You Will Need:

  • Dry-erase marker
  • Dry cloth/Felt eraser


  1. Apply a new dry-erase marker to draw over the spots, totally concealing them.
  2. Allow the ink to dry after a few seconds.
  3. Using a dry cloth or a felt eraser, remove all markings by thoroughly wiping them.
  4. If the third step doesn’t work, try using a damp cloth.
  5. The permanent ink should be lifted up by the dry-erase ink.

What if this method doesn’t work? Well, this article does not end here. I’ll present you with more techniques.

Second Method: The Combination of Rubbing Alcohol/Hand Sanitizer and Cotton Swab

This second method is certainly a more powerful cleaning technique than the first one. Plus, it is also one of the most popular methods of removing permanent ink from a particular surface.

Things You Will Need:

  • Rubbing alcohol/Hand sanitizer
  • Cotton pad or swab


  1. Apply a little amount of rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer to the whiteboard where permanent markings are seen. Use a cotton pad or swab to execute this step.
  2. Wipe the superfluous ink out with your selected cleaning solution in circular or back-and-forth strokes. Add more necessary force when wiping.
  3. If this step does not appear to be eliminating all traces of the permanent marker, use again a clean cotton swab, apply a little more rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer, and restart the whole process.

This process should be able to help you in solving your problem. But, what if this method still won’t work? Calm yourself, I still have more methods to provide.

Third Method: Clearing Permanent Ink with Cloth and Vinegar

If strong chemicals such as rubbing alcohol aren’t working when it comes to removing permanent ink, going for a natural cleaning solution might be a better idea.

Permanent marker issues may be solved with vinegar since it is a very powerful natural cleaning agent. Moreover, it’s widely used to eliminate different types of hard-to-erase stains.

Things You Will Need:

  • Clean cloth (either lint-free or microfiber)
  • Vinegar (either white or distilled)


  1. Apply a generous amount of vinegar to a cloth and thoroughly wipe it to your whiteboard, particularly to those areas with permanent ink.
  2. Let the vinegar sit in those areas for a few minutes.
  3. Wipe the unwanted ink out with your vinegar-soaked cloth with added force.
  4. If this step doesn’t remove all traces of the permanent marker, repeat the process. Your second try might be more productive since the ink has already been softened by the vinegar.

If you don’t find this method effective, you might as well try the fourth and last method.

Fourth Method: Using a Dry Erase Marker and Rubbing Alcohol

In this last method that I am showing you, basically, you’re just going to combine the first and second methods. You just have to make sure that you have your dry-erase marker with you and your rubbing alcohol.

Things You Will Need:

  • Dry-erase marker
  • Cotton swab or clean cloth (either lint-free or microfiber)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Vinegar (either white or distilled)


  1. Draw over the areas where permanent ink is visible with a new dry-erase marker, completely covering all of them.
  2. Allow a few seconds for the ink to dry.
  3. After letting the dry-erase ink completely dry, apply first a slightly generous amount of rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab or clean cloth and rigorously wipe all of the inked areas using it.
  4. Once you’ve erased all of the permanent ink, allow the whiteboard to fully dry and appreciate the results of your effort. Completely wipe any excess residues and moisture with a dry cloth.
  5. Allow for at least 15-20 minutes of air drying before continuing normal usage or reapplying any notes to the whiteboard.

Take note, if the rubbing alcohol doesn’t work, you can try using vinegar as an alternative.

A Few Reminders After Successfully Cleaning Your Whiteboard

In order to save time and effort in the future, keep your whiteboard markers apart from any other pens and writing tools, especially from the permanent markers. Many users choose to keep them only on the board or an accompanying pen compartment, keeping all other markers separate to minimize confusion.

These tasks might seem to require much more effort on your part, but the good news is, by keeping your office supplies organized and strategically located, you can indeed escape the hassle of cleaning whiteboards.

Therefore, I truly hope that these methods will help you in getting rid of all the permanent ink stains visible on your whiteboard!

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