If you use the dry-erase board frequently or sometimes leave ink on it for days or weeks on end, it may show signs of use and abuse: ink that doesn't wipe off easily, smeared color left behind from markers, or a writing surface that simply doesn't look clean, no matter how many times you clean it. Restore the board with rubbing alcohol and simple stain-removing solutions to return the board to a clean condition.

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Restoring the Board

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Before restoring the board, erase as many marks as possible; then wipe it down with a dedicated dry-erase board cleaner designed for your brand or type of board. Boards vary greatly in the materials they're made from; some manufacturers recommend the same type of board cleaner for all of their dry-erase boards, while others offer various options. After cleaning the board, wipe it down with a soft cloth dipped in equal parts water and rubbing alcohol. Alcohol removes many types of ink-based residue. Wipe the board down again with clear water using a non-abrasive cloth; then dry it with a fresh non-abrasive cloth. For best results, use only white cloths to prevent dye from getting on the board.

Removing Marker Stains

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Mistakes happen -- if both permanent and dry-erase markers are kept in the same general area, you may wind up with permanent ink on the dry-erase board. The eraser designed for the board isn't designed to erase permanent ink. Instead of scrubbing the board with abrasive cleaners -- which should never be done -- draw over the permanent ink with a black dry-erase marker. Scribble over the old marks enough to cover them completely, then, once the dry-erase ink dries, wipe both inks away with the eraser you use on the board.

Stubborn-Stain Removal

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If some of the stains don't come off with standard dry-erase board cleaners, apply a citrus-based stain solution such as a sticker and adhesive remover directly over the affected areas using a soft cloth. Afterwards, wipe the area clean with a damp cloth; then dry it with another soft cloth.

Preventive Maintenance

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Sometimes, the manner in which the board is used or cleaned may cause erasability issues. Always allow the marker ink to dry for at least 10 seconds before erasing it; otherwise, wet ink may smear or "ghost" over the board when you use the eraser. Clean the board with a dedicated board cleaner at the end of each day of use, or several times per week; the longer ink is left on the board, the more difficult it is to remove. A glass cleaner may be used on some brands of boards; consult the manufacturer's website for instructions specific to your dry-erase board model, as some specifically state not to use glass cleaners. When erasers appear dirty, replace them with clean ones.