Is Rubbing Alcohol Bad for Whiteboards?

Is Rubbing Alcohol Bad for Whiteboards?

Whiteboards are a popular tool used in offices, schools, and homes around the world. They're great for brainstorming, presenting, and keeping track of important information. However, over time, whiteboards can become dirty and stained, making them difficult to use. One solution that people often turn to is rubbing alcohol. But is rubbing alcohol bad for whiteboards?

A project management whiteboard

Why Use Rubbing Alcohol on Whiteboards?

Rubbing alcohol is a common cleaning agent that is often used to deep clean whiteboards. Over time, whiteboards can become stained and discolored due to the build-up of dry erase marker ink. This can lead to ghosting, which is when previous writing can still be seen on the board even after it has been erased. Rubbing alcohol can help remove these stains and prevent ghosting, making the whiteboard look like new again. Additionally, rubbing alcohol disinfects the whiteboard for overall cleanliness and efficacy. However, depending on your board, there are some things to be cautious of. 

A clean whiteboard in a classroom

The Harm Rubbing Alcohol Can Cause to Whiteboard Coatings

While rubbing alcohol can be effective at cleaning whiteboards, it's important to understand the harm it can cause to the whiteboard coating. Whiteboards are typically made with a special coating that allows the ink to be erased easily. When rubbing alcohol is used to clean the board, it can dissolve this coating, making it less effective at erasing ink in the future. Additionally, using rubbing alcohol too frequently can cause the whiteboard to become dull and faded, reducing its lifespan and usability.

So, while rubbing alcohol may be a quick fix for a dirty whiteboard, it's important to understand that it's only a short-term solution that can actually do more harm than good in the long run. 

Is Rubbing Alcohol Bad for Whiteboards?

The Solution: Think Board

If your whiteboard is beyond repair, there is a better solution: Think Board.

Think Board is a high-quality, peel-and-stick whiteboard that can be applied to any smooth surface, turning it into a premium whiteboard. Unlike traditional whiteboards, Think Board is made with a special coating that allows it to be deep cleaned with rubbing alcohol without damaging the surface. This means that you can keep your Think Board looking like new, even with intense use.

Think Board is also incredibly versatile. It can be cut to any size, making it perfect for a variety of uses, from small desktop whiteboards to large wall-sized boards. Our best selling products are our whiteboard resurfacing films, used to convert chalkboards into whiteboards, and refinish old whiteboards that are no longer erasing.


In conclusion, while rubbing alcohol may seem like a quick fix for a dirty whiteboard, it's important to understand the harm it can cause to the whiteboard coating. Instead, consider using Think Board, the only whiteboard product that can be deep cleaned with rubbing alcohol without damaging the coating. Think Board is a versatile solution that can be used in a variety of settings, making it the perfect choice for anyone who needs a reliable whiteboard that will stand the test of time.

A still-motion capture of dry erase markers in the air


What should you not clean a whiteboard with?

Avoid cleaning your whiteboard with products containing alcohol, ammonia, bleach, or any harsh chemicals. These substances can damage the whiteboard surface and reduce its lubrication over time, resulting in whiteboards that are difficult to clean.

Do Clorox wipes ruin dry erase boards? 

Yes, Clorox wipes and other cleaning products (such as Windex) have the potential to ruin dry erase boards. This is especially true of melamine boards. While Clorox tends to produce excellent whiteboard cleaning results, it also damages or removes the surface of the board over time. To extend the life of your whiteboard, avoid using these types of cleaners on it. 

Instead, we recommend cleaning your Think Board with a microfiber cloth (such as our Magic Dry Erase Cloth) and whiteboard cleaner. Alternatively, use the cloth with warm water and soap.

How do I get my whiteboard white again?

If your whiteboard shows signs of ghosting, there are steps you can take to whiten it. These steps include the following:

  • Try the dry erase method. This involves covering your entire whiteboard with marker and then erasing all of it quickly. The dry erase method works because, once the marker stain has been covered with wet, fresh ink, it can be more easily erased.
  • Choose a quality cleaner. No two cleaners are exactly the same, and it’s essential to choose the optimal cleaner for your whiteboard. If your whiteboard came with specific cleaning instructions, choose your cleaner based on that. If not, opt for whiteboard cleaners without alcohol or other harsh chemicals.
  • Clean the whiteboard regularly. The best way to prevent ghosting is to clean your whiteboard on a regular basis. If possible, wipe down the entire board after every use. This way, the ink has less opportunity to dry and become difficult to remove.

Why is my whiteboard so hard to erase?

If your whiteboard has become hard to erase, it may indicate a lack of lubrication on the whiteboard’s surface or the wearing down of the surface material. Using rubbing alcohol to clean the whiteboard can cause this to happen, which is why we recommend opting for more natural solutions. Keep your whiteboard in great shape by regularly cleaning it and avoiding harsh chemical use on the surface. Alternatively, consider getting a whiteboard resurfacing to give your whiteboard a fresh start.

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