How to Get Permanent Marker off Whiteboard Surfaces

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Whiteboards are a fantastic tool for collaboration in the workplace, the classroom, restaurants or even for chore lists at home. Whiteboards inspire productivity and are a creative way of brainstorming, communicating or playing.

However, nothing feels worse than that sinking feeling of picking up the eraser, only to realise you’ve used permanent marker on the whiteboard. You begin to question why permanent markers look so similar to the regular whiteboard markers. Panic sets in as you worry about being subjected to cleaning permanent marker off a whiteboard for hours, using method after method to no avail.

Thankfully, the use of permanent marker does not spell the end for your whiteboards and can be fixed with a small amount of work. There are several methods that can be applied, easing your inner monologue of “how do you get sharpie off of a whiteboard?”

Luckily for you, Whiteboards and Pinboards are here to break down how to get permanent marker off whiteboard surfaces in just a few simple steps. Stocking Australia’s leading range of whiteboards and whiteboard accessories, we’ve got the answers when it comes to keeping your whiteboard surfaces sparkling clean!

How to Get Permanent Marker Off Whiteboard Surfaces

Method 1

Step 1. Use a Regular Whiteboard Marker to Get Permanent Marker off Whiteboard Surfaces

It may sound odd, but trust us, it works!

Simply trace over the permanent marker that is on your whiteboard with a regular whiteboard marker. Trace over the permanent marker as entirely as possible. The colour of the marker does not have to be the same for this method to work.  

Step 2. Wipe the Ink Off with a Hand Towel or Clean Eraser

A towel or eraser should get permanent marker off whiteboard surfaces, as well as the regular whiteboard eraser you just used. It may take several tries to get the permanent marker off entirely. Rub all of the marks with considerable pressure – some parts may need force than others.

Alternatively, if you’re finding that you’re still having trouble with how to erase permanent marker from whiteboard surfaces, drawing an entire coloured block over the permanent marker with the regular marker could be more effective for you in cleaning permanent marker off a whiteboard.

Method 2

Step 1: Pour Solvent onto Cloth/Towel

Pour a small amount of alcoholic liquid onto a paper towel, hand towel, soft rag or cotton ball.

Examples of liquid that should be used include:

  • Hand sanitiser
    • This is an excellent solution as it is more than likely your typical household will have hand sanitiser lying around
  • Isopropyl alcohol
    • Your isopropyl alcohol must be above 90% in concentrate as this is what breaks down the stains on your whiteboard.
  • Windex
    • Windex is a great alternative as it will not damage your whiteboard and is an easy answer in how to erase permanent marker from whiteboard exteriors.

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Step 2: Wipe Permanent Marker with Cloth

Wipe the permanent marker off the whiteboard with the cloth.

You must then go over the whiteboard with a wet cloth after the marker has been erased otherwise the whiteboard may become damaged. Baby oil can also work in this regard.

If you are still struggling, don’t be so quick to text your friends and relatives “how do you get sharpie off of a whiteboard”, keep trying. The faster you get onto it before letting it dry, the higher chance of success you have, and the less long it will take.

This is a sure-fire way to be confident that you are successful in how to clean permanent marker from whiteboard surfaces.

Step 3: Move Your Permanent Marker(s) Away from the Rest of Your Regular Markers to Avoid Future Heartbreak

No one wants to be spending their time wiping away at a whiteboard for 15-20+ minutes or googling “how to clean permanent marker from whiteboard”, so make sure that you label and separate your markers to help future you out!


  1. Will work 100% of the time
  2. Most households are likely to have a solvent that will be successful in how to get permanent marker off whiteboard exteriors.


  1. Can cause physical harm if done incorrectly or without care
  2. Has the potential to damage your whiteboard permanently if the incorrect material is used or too much of a material is applied to the whiteboard.

IMPORTANT: Do not use toothpaste or other abrasive cleaners as these have the potential to cause irreversible damage to your whiteboard. There is also a chance that permanent staining can occur.

Other corrosive substances such as acids should be avoided as they will scrub away your whiteboard coating and damage the lifespan, making them more likely to stain. 

what not to use on whiteboard

Do Different Whiteboard Surfaces Require Different Cleaning Methods?

Whether you own a glass whiteboard, a porcelain whiteboard or a melamine whiteboard, the cleaning methods for how to get permanent marker off whiteboard areas remain the same.

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So, there you are! Now you’re equipped to know how to get permanent marker off whiteboard surfaces!

At Whiteboards and Pinboards, we have an extensive range of whiteboards that can be used in offices, schools, or even your home. Stay organised, creative and productive with our custom whiteboards, mounted whiteboardglass whiteboardmobile whiteboards, music white boardwhiteboard plannersporcelain white boards, pre printed whiteboards and slimline whiteboard range. With a large selection of surfaces to choose from, check out our full range of whiteboards today from our site!

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