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Wet Erase Markers vs Dry Erase

wet erase markers vs dry erase

You just prepared the boardroom for an upcoming meeting. A new whiteboard is all set. The next thing to do is choose a reliable and compatible marker to use. Same situation in a restaurant setting where you need to update your glass menu board with the new offers and promotions.

Suddenly, you are left to choose between a wet erase marker and a dry erase marker. But both are available with similar tip sizes and shapes. They also have the same ink colors and dimensions.

They probably look the same and can be used on your whiteboard and a glass board. But actually, they are technically not the same. And their uses might confuse us especially if we bought the wrong one.

So before deciding which one to choose and use, I will first illustrate the pros and cons of each type of marker to make sure you will get the right one to use. You will learn more about it in this comparative article about wet erase markers vs dry erase markers.

Identifying a Wet Erase Marker

  • This type of marker typically features water-soluble shades or colors that can be quickly erased by rubbing and using a slightly wet cloth
  • Highlights paste ink for temporary or slightly permanent markings
  • Markings are heat resistant; thus, deters fading even when exposed to hot projector lamps or illuminated writing boards
  • Ink is more durable and also best for semi-permanent or temporary outdoor markings

Basic Difference of a Dry Erase Marker

  • Dry erase markings erase easily on smooth surfaces
  • Uses alcohol ink for quick and hassle-free cleaning and removal
  • Can be wiped neat and clean during office meetings or classroom discussions
  • Preferred on meeting rooms during training sessions whenever updating or frequent erasing of markings are needed

When Should You Use Dry Erase and Wet Erase Markers?

Both markers can indeed be used for non-porous or smooth surfaces like glass, mirrors, metals, plastic, laminated surfaces, and whiteboards. But each type of marker has its distinct uses and advantages. Each marker is designed for a particular task and working environment. Let me help you choose the right one to suit your needs.

Since wet erase marker pens have water-soluble ink that is semi-permanent, it is very ideal to use in making markings that stay on the board or surface for a longer period.

Such as the case of menu boards in a coffee shop or restaurant. These are the only markers suitable for black or dark boards. Also, best for acetates and projectors because it resists heat.

On the other hand, dry erase markers are for temporary writings or markings that need to be updated, erased, or changed quickly as in the case of markings on a whiteboard during an office meeting or classroom discussion.

With the use of a dry eraser or dry cloth, the markings can easily be wiped off so the board is ready for another set of markings.

Wet Erase Markers Vs Dry Erase Markers – What are the Differences?

difference of a dry erase marker

Wet Erase Markers

Best Feature: It uses long-lasting semi-permanent ink that you can use both indoors and outdoors; heat resistant and does not easily fade; It does not bubble when exposed to heat or warm light.

Surfaces and Uses:

  • Non-porous surfaces like whiteboards, glass, laminated papers, metal, mirrors, and plastic
  • Best for black or dark boards, illuminated boards, laminates, acetates, and projector lamps
  • Markings are semi-permanent and usually displayed in a longer period
  • Easily adheres on most smooth surfaces and some slightly rough boards

Settings and Place of Use

  • Restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, canteens, and cafeterias; temporary signs, public boards, or windows that need temporary markings or announcements
    Offices calendars, temporary templates, office signages
  • School rooms

Dry Erase Markers

Best Feature: Uses erasable ink that is ideal for temporary writings or markings that need updating and rewriting

Surfaces and Uses:

  • Best for whiteboards, and glass boards
  • Non-porous or smooth surfaces like mirrors, plastic, glass, laminated papers, and metals
  • Adheres and erasable on smooth surfaces only

Settings and Place of Use

  • Classrooms discussions, lectures, drawings, and diagrams
  • Offices training, and conference rooms; best for updating charts, and presentations
  • Restaurants and food shops that need usually display updated menus, offers, and other announcements

Based on our comparative review, these markers are innovatively crafted for particular tasks and usefulness. As in the case of dry erase markers, it is widely used as the favorite substitute for chalk sticks in the classroom and the fixed banners in-office training.

Using a dry erase marker makes writing on a whiteboard much easier, especially if it is to be updated or rewritten every once in a while during discussions in an office or classroom setting.

On the other hand, a wet erase marker pen lasts longer and resists heat. Thus, it makes this marker ideal for indoor and outdoor markings, and heat exposed acetates and projectors.

Having semi-permanent ink and some neon color variation, these types of markers are ideal for eye-catching displays, especially when used on glass boards with backlit display or spotlight.

It removes seamlessly using a moistened cloth but needs some rubbing, and sometimes washing off. The prominent and vibrant colors of wet erase marker pens, and their erasable markings make these markers the ideal choice for promotional messages.


As we have illustrated and compared, wet erase markers and dry erase marker pens sometimes overlap their uses. Their appearance basically looks the same. They have the same vivid colors, tip sizes, and shapes. Both are very useful and versatile.

Most offices and schools opt to use these modern markers rather than the usual chalk sticks and fixed banners and tarpaulins. With businesses and lessons updates every once in a while, the need for an erasable marking, such as these, becomes popular and useful.

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