How to Remove Dry-Erase Marker Stains From Walls and More

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Dry-erase markers are used in many schools and offices for their dust-free properties. Unfortunately, as with other markers, the ink sometimes makes it onto a surface where it does not belong, such as walls or fabric, resulting in a stain that is hard to remove. Dry-erase markers stain these other surfaces almost instantly, but it is also common for dry-erase markers to stain a whiteboard surface if marks are left on for too long. Removing dry-erase stains from multiple surfaces is not as difficult as it appears, so you can easily bring your items back to their stain-free state.

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Walls and Dry-Erase Markers

Walls can often get nicked by the tip of a dry-erase marker. If this happens, wipe the mark with a damp sponge as soon as possible. The stain may be more stubborn if it has been there for a while. If so, use a sponge dampened with a mild abrasive cleanser, like SoftScrub, to rub the stain in a circular motion or blot the mark with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. Once the marker is gone, wipe down the area with a clean, wet cloth to remove any excess product.

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Stains on Fabric or Upholstery

Markers, even dry-erase markers, can find their way onto upholstery by mistake, and when this happens, it can seem like the stain is there to stay. Luckily, a few different tricks can help in lifting the stain if applied properly.

Apply rubbing alcohol to the stain by moistening a sponge with the alcohol and blotting the stain. Do not rub the stain, as this could cause the ink to spread, giving you a bigger mess to remove. Other products, such as nail polish remover, enzyme stain remover, or hydrogen peroxide, can also be used in the same fashion with a cloth or even a cotton ball to blot away the stain.

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Letting the product rest on the stain for a few minutes will help to transfer the stain to the cloth when the cloth is pressed into the stain. Once the stain has been removed, rinse the area with water by blotting it with a clean, damp cloth. Remove any excess moisture with a clean towel and dry the area with a hair dryer to help prevent water stains.

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Tip

Before using a stain remover on fabric or upholstery, do a spot-test in an inconspicuous area to make sure the product won't discolor or otherwise damage the fabric.

Stains on a Whiteboard Surface

Whiteboards are not exempt from dry-erase marker stains. Leaving marks on a whiteboard for longer than 24 hours can make them more difficult to remove and may require the help of commercial products to bring your whiteboard back to white. Products such as dry-erase board cleaner, glass cleaner, or isopropyl alcohol are great for cleaning and removing dry-erase marker residue from your whiteboard. To use these products, simply dampen a microfiber cloth with the product and rub the affected area, wiping away any extra residue with clean areas of your cloth until the marker is removed.

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For more natural cleaners, use a teaspoon of white vinegar in a cup of water. Dip your cloth into the solution and rub the stains. It may take a bit more effort, but the stain should disappear quickly. A drop of dish soap on a dampened cloth can also do the trick. Not only will it clean the whiteboard and remove the stain, but it will also remove oils found on the surface of the board. The important thing to remember is to never use an abrasive cleaner, such as a scouring powder or toothpaste, on a whiteboard as it could damage the surface of the board.

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