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Whiteboard Staining and Ghosting

Whiteboards have been the better chalk board alternative for over twenty years; you don’t need any messy chalks, you can write in multiple colors, and they wipe clean—most of the time, at least. While whiteboards have become one of the most popular boards in classrooms, offices, and even home, their streaking, staining and ghosting can become frustrating fast.

So why do whiteboards streak and stain to begin with? One of the biggest problems with whiteboards is that you should only use dry erase markers on these surfaces, which can dry out quickly and leave you in a bind when you’ve run out of ink.

If you’ve accidentally used a permanent market or grease pen on the board, you will need to specially clean your board before it’s ruined. The pigments in permanent markers contain extremely water-resistant chemicals, which can make cleaning a pain. Nail polish remover and acetones can typically remove the permanent marker without too much staining and damage to the board.

The more common reason a whiteboard will ghost or stain is because dry erase marker ink is made of color pigments similar to permanent markers. In fact, the only real difference between a permanent marker and a dry erase marker is that dry erase markers use an oily silicone polymer that keeps the pigment from sticking to non-porous surfaces.

While the dry erase marker typically wipes clean from surfaces, most whiteboards have a slight static charge to help the pigment stick to the surface. Over time whiteboards no longer wipe clean and can leave ugly stains and ghosted images. Once your board starts staining, you will need to clean it every few uses, to ensure a clean and streak-free board. Not only can it be a pain to constantly clean your boards, but the additional chemicals will add wear and tear and reduce your board’s lifespan.

One of the best ways to avoid whiteboard staining and streaking is to invest in a glass whiteboard, which will never stain or streak. Glass whiteboards can come in black, white, clear or even custom colors and are more eco-friendly. A glass whiteboard will never stain, streak or ghost because the surface is completely non-porous, and the glass is tempered for extra strength. Glassboards are a great investment, because you won’t need to constantly replace them due to staining or wear and tear.

About Clarus Glassboards: Clarus is the leading manufacturer and innovator of glass whiteboards and glass visual display products. For more information about clear dry erase boards and our other glass architectural systems, please call 888-813-7414 or visit