You may love your children with all your heart, but that doesn’t mean you always love what they do. All it takes is one dry erase marker, a curious five-year old, and a few minutes of unsupervised time to transform a room into an unmitigated marked up mess.
But what can you do?
You can’t watch your child 24/7, and even if you could, who would want to give up their whole life that way? While the best way to keep your walls clean of dry erase marker marks is to watch your child and place the markers in a place your child can’t access, that doesn’t mean that your child might not still get them somehow.
One slip up can mean disaster for your interior décor.
Thankfully, with these seven methods, you can clean away dry erase marker marks.
1 – Rubbing Alcohol
This is one of the easiest methods, and likewise one of the most obvious. If you have ever tried getting out marker stains before, chances are you have at least thought of using rubbing alcohol to do so.
It is one of the most commonly-used cleaning agents, used everywhere from doctor’s offices to office space at work to your own home office after your five-year old doodles on the wall with that dry erase marker.
Part of the reason rubbing alcohol is such an attractive solution is that it is pretty affordable and does not require any expensive equipment or special training to use.
What’s more, given the fact that rubbing alcohol is for a lot of typical home tasks – from swabbing wounds before putting on Band-Aids to cleaning away old paint – there is a fair chance you already have some lying around.
You also probably have some cotton balls as well, which are what you’re going to want to use to administer the rubbing alcohol, just as you would when swabbing a wound. In addition, you’ll want to use a wet rag or washcloth.
All you have to do is apply the rubbing alcohol to the cotton ball, rub the rubbing alcohol over the dry erase marker (which should eliminate it) and then wipe away the alcohol with the damp washcloth.
2 – Office Eraser with Water
Along with rubbing alcohol, this is one of the most common methods of getting rid of a dry erase stain on your wall. Chances are, if you have a dry erase marker you already have an eraser, and obviously it shouldn’t be hard to find water. Simply dab some water on the eraser and rub it over the mark.
Needless to say, while this is the least expensive and easiest solution on this list, its efficacy is hardly guaranteed. Maybe you’ll get lucky and be able to remove the marker stain and not have to spend any more time or money on the problem.
However, if you find it not to be effective or, worse, starts to smear the marker stain, stop. It’s probably not worth it, as there are other methods to consider.
3 – The Possibility for Hairspray
Not the musical, though getting dry erase stains out as easily as using hair spray allows may well leave you singing for joy. The basic idea behind this method is bombarding the site of the stain with hairspray in the hopes that it soaks into the marker stain to a sufficient degree to then allow you to clean it more easily.
This is basically the same idea as applying rubbing alcohol to the site and then rubbing it away with a rag or something similar. You just want the hairspray to get absorbed into the wall and marker first so as to make it easier. Spray, rub the washcloth in a circular motion, and voila.
That said, this method isn’t for all walls, as it can remove a coat of paint.
4 – Nail Polish Remover
The same goes for nail polish remover. On the one hand, like hairspray, it can be a potentially potent marker remover. On the other hand, it’s designed to remove nail paint, after all, so there’s always the chance that it could wind up stripping away the paint from your wall.
Once again, you’ll want to apply some to a rag and then swab this onto the mark. Let the nail polish sit for about 15 minutes, and then try and swab it away.
5 – Proper Stain Removers
In addition to all of the makeshift options listed above, there are a wide range of proper stain removers that you might want to consider. These can range from detergent to special solutions that are designed to remove stains to something more potent still, such as bleach.
Needless to say, the more potent the type of stain remover you use, the more likely you are to use something strong enough to start wiping away paint as well, or even potentially eating into and doing damage to your wall. You thus want to walk a balance here between potency and safety for your wall.
Which solution works here will be a matter of trial and error. What’s more, it had better be a pretty big, aggressive, and egregious stain that you have, since the methods listed above should have taken care of a simple dry erase stain easily enough.
6 – Acetone Alone
We mentioned above that nail polish remover can contain acetone. That said, many modern nail polishes do not use them, and this method concerns using acetone on its own.
This is another one of the more potent options on this list, so you’ll want to take care when using it.
7 – Melamine Sponge
This sponge is made of formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer, which means that it is incredibly absorbent and can be a great asset when washing different surfaces. Simply dip the sponge into soapy water and have at it.
The combination of its absorbency as well as the special surface of the sponge make it a much better choice for cleaning dry erase marker stains on your wall than average sponges.
Which Method Should You Choose?
Now that we have given a rundown of the different methods for getting dry erase marker stains off your wall, the next most important question naturally becomes which option is best for you.
Obviously, that is going to vary on a case by case basis depending on a wide variety of factors, not the least of which being the severity of the stain itself.
For example, if the stain is quite dark or stubborn, you are probably going to want to use one of the more aggressive methods.
That being said, you naturally don’t want to run the risk of these methods stripping away the paint from your walls or damaging them for the long-term. It is thus always a good idea to test higher-strength cleaning agents before applying them to the stain in question.
That said, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, and similar DIY solutions should be effective for most dry erase stains. They have the right texture and chemical consistency to get rid of these dry erase marker marks with great effectiveness.
By following these steps, you can get rid of any dry erase marker marks your child may have made and restore your wall once and for all.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.