How To Clean Permanent Marker Off A Whiteboard?

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Using permanent markers on a whiteboard is an easy mistake to make. Even though whiteboard pens and permanent markers are very different from one another, they often look very similar. So, it is very easy to accidentally use a permanent marker on a whiteboard. 

As their name suggests, permanent markers are not designed to be used on a whiteboard. Whiteboards were created so that you can easily remove the ink from them. But permanent markers are designed to be, well, permanent. 

The name ‘permanent’ suggests that you will never be able to remove that ink from the whiteboard. But that isn’t the case. Thankfully, it is possible to remove permanent marker ink off of a whiteboard similar to commercial cleaners, if you are the know-how. 

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at how to do just that. So to find out more, keep on reading. 

Can You Use a Permanent Marker On a Whiteboard?

Well, as we have said, no, you cannot use permanent markers on a whiteboard. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from using a permanent marker on a whiteboard, but they are not designed for this use.

Due to this, if you use a permanent marker on a whiteboard it will stain the whiteboard, and you will not be able to easily wipe it away. 

That is why you should only use pens that have been designed for whiteboards on whiteboards. These pens have been specifically designed with properties that allow them to be easily wiped away once you have finished what you are writing.

When they were first invented, whiteboards were a real game-changer because they had all the benefits of a chalkboard, but made it easier to understand what was being written on them. 

Permanent markers do not have these properties, instead, they are designed with properties that allow the ink from the marker to be hard-wearing and difficult to remove.

This is why they are not suitable for whiteboards, as a whiteboard and permanent markers are essentially the opposite of one another. 

Does Sharpie Come Off a Whiteboard?

One of the most famous brands of permanent markers in the world is Sharpie. Sharpie pens have gained popularity because they are incredibly durable, and very hard-wearing too.

Due to their outstanding reputation, you might panic if you use a Sharpie on your whiteboard. After all, these pens are supposed to be impossible to budge. But, there isn’t actually any need to panic because you can remove Sharpie ink off your whiteboard.

At the end of the day, a Sharpie is the same as any old permanent marker. So, if you can remove regular permanent markers from a whiteboard, you can remove Sharpie ink too. Of course, it ultimately depends on whether, or not, you know what you are doing. 

Sharpie produces a number of different types of pens, but you can actually remove all this ink from your whiteboard. As long as you know how to remove the ink that isn’t whiteboard ink from your whiteboard, then suddenly this impossible task becomes possible. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how to clean permanent markers off a whiteboard.

How to Clean Permanent Markers Off a Whiteboard?

How to Clean Permanent Marker Off a Whiteboard (1)

A lot of people believe that it is impossible to remove permanent markers from a whiteboard. But this isn’t the case. Not only is it possible to clean permanent markers off a whiteboard, but it is also pretty easy.

To do this, you usually do not need any fancy cleaning solutions, instead, all you need is a whiteboard marker and a whiteboard eraser. 

The first thing that you need to do is take your whiteboard marker and write directly on top of the writing that has been written in a permanent marker.

You can either do this by re-writing whatever is on the whiteboard directly on top, or you can do this by drawing a rectangle over the body of the text and coloring it in with the whiteboard marker. If the body of the text is quite large, then we would recommend using the rectangle method. 

Once you have colored the entire block in, you then need to take your whiteboard eraser and wipe over the entire rectangle that you have just colored in.

As you wipe away, you should notice that the text that was written with the permanent marker will appear slightly lighter than before. 

Don’t be disheartened that the permanent marker hasn’t been removed immediately. It will take a couple of goes to remove all the permanent marker stains.

So, once you have wiped all the original rectangles away, you should repeat the process again. Draw a rectangle around the text and color it all in. Then wipe it away again with the eraser. 

You will usually have to repeat this around 4-5 times before the permanent marker will be removed entirely.

But, every time that you do it, you should notice that the stain becomes lighter and lighter until it eventually disappears entirely.

However, if you find that some of the stains still remain, we would recommend using rubbing alcohol to remove the last of them. To do this, simply pour some rubbing alcohol onto a soft cloth.

It is important that you only add a little, the cloth should not be dripping in rubbing alcohol. 

Then, take your cloth and rub them on the whiteboard. Focus specifically on the area of the whiteboard where the permanent marker was applied, you may need to use some gentle force to see any results.

When that is done, rub the stain with a dry cloth, then repeat around 3 times if the stain has not been removed. By the time you have done this, the stain will have been removed through a combination of these two methods. 


When you use a permanent marker on a whiteboard, it can seem like it is the end of the world, but in reality, it isn’t. Most of the time, a permanent marker can be easily removed from a whiteboard by using a whiteboard marker and a whiteboard eraser. To find out what to do with these tools, check out the guide above. 

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