How to remove chalk marker off of a chalkboard: After trying SO many different things, this is what finally worked! (It only takes two things!)
I’ve been doing some testing over the last few months trying to find out how to clean my chalkboard. As you know, I love to decorate my chalkboard for each holiday or season that is approaching.
How to Remove Chalk Marker
With this, has come a “pain in the rear,” process, of trying to figure out how to remove chalk marker from a chalkboard.
I don’t get it. I have 2 or 3 other chalkboards, and the chalk marker simply wipes off, with a wet rag.
But with the chalkboard in my entry, from Restoration Hardware??? Forget it. I thought I was going to have to send it back, and get a plan B in place for my entry wall, because I was struggling with getting the “ghost,” shadow of a chalk marker off of the board.
That was until I FINALLY came up with a technique that works for me, and NOW so many others!
Check out the comments at the bottom of this post for success stories! Yay!
You don’t want to miss how to make your own DIY Chalkboard frame too!
How to Clean Your Chalkboard
I am, in by NO means, saying that this will work for you. I am not responsible for anything that happens to your chalkboard.
Actually, I recommend reading the instructions on how to clean your chalkboard that came with it, before you even touch it with a chalk pen or marker. Some say you have to “treat,” them before applying anything.
I, however… did not read my instructions, and I feel that’s where I messed up. If I had treated it, I may not have the problem of the markers leaving a ghost shadow.
How to Remove Chalk Marker from a Chalkboard
After trying soap and water, Clorox wipes, all-purpose cleaner, vinegar, a magic eraser…and let the list go on… I couldn’t find anything that would work.
Finally, I was so fed up, that I just started experimenting.
I decided I didn’t care if it messed up my chalkboard, I was going to try anything to get that chalk dust shadow off of my board, no matter what it did to it.
Which led me to this:
Magic Eraser + Vinegar
That folks, is a magic eraser, AND some vinegar. I combined the two for some serious chalk marker removin’ solution.
Yes… this is me scrubbing away below. Now… this is important. I DO have to put a little muscle behind the scrubbing. It doesn’t just pleasantly wipe off.
So your arms may get a workout, but honestly, I think that’s just a bonus. No need to do my arm workout that day.
(Who am I kidding? I don’t work out)
So I just use the magic eraser and rub up and down, and in a circle, in a small area first. When that chalk spot is gone, I move on to the next area!
Another Helpful Tip for Cleaning Your Chalkboard:
Keep a dry rag or towel, nearby, so you can wipe off the “wetness,” after every few scrubs, so you can lower the risk of just letting chalk-smear dry.
(Also, I tend to have some “black,” come off on my magic eraser when I do this. I’m wondering if that’s a normal thing, or if that was part of that, “I should have pre-treated this thing first,” deal.)
My little guy is so helpful below. I’m sure you other moms can appreciate not being able to do anything alone. 🙂
Did this Clean Your Chalkboard?
So there you have it! I really hope this helps ease your frustration with trying to get chalk marker off of your chalkboard. Talk about making a DIY gal go CRAZY!
Join all of the others and let me know below… did this work for you? I’d love to know! Make sure to check out more of my favorite cleaning tips and tricks!
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FINALLY!! I was able to clean a beautiful chalkboard sign that I almost trashed. Thank you, thank you!!
Yay!!! I’m so glad it worked. You’re so welcome! 🙂
YESSSSSS!!! SAME HERE! This is AMAZING!! I used Apple Cider vinegar as that’s all I had lol
Wow! So glad this worked as I was about to throw out a beautiful board that had our Thankgsiving menu on it from 4 years ago! Love that something natural like vinegar and a little muscle got this clean instead of chemicals (windex, etc.) that didn’t work at all.
I’m so glad that this worked for you too! Thank you so much for sharing that it did!
Will the vinegar and everything pad work on a chalkboard painted wall? I have a chalk board wall and some of the chalk comes of with soap, water and rag or everything pad but a bunch won’t. the last guy just painted over it all. but i’m trying to find a somewhat easier way.
Hi Ben! You know, I’m not sure if it will work on the chalkboard paint. I haven’t tried that, I’m sorry! If you do give it a try, I’d love to hear how it works!
I used one of my big homemade painted chalk boards for my wedding and (thought!) I sacrificed it to for that clean chalk pen look for the event. Expected to have to repaint it to salvage – but decided to give your vinegar/magic eraser removal a shot and it totally worked! I do always prime my board first with a layer of chalk before I do any design, it may have helped with the ease of removal- however if you prime- you will have a light gray board and not that crisp clean black background that most folks desire. Thanks for showing us this hack! The vinegar and the magic eraser alone wouldn’t do it- but together works!!
Oh yay!!! This is great to hear!! I’m so glad it worked for you and also glad to know about priming it! Thank you for letting us know!
Hey Ben, did you try it on your wall?
I have the exact same problem! A concrete/cinder block wall painted with black chalkboard paint and written on with chalk markers. It looks great, but it’s really hard to erase/change information. I used a Magic Eraser, but it’s a lot of work and you can see a ghost of the previous information. I wanted to just paint over it, but the chalkboard paint I bought doesn’t cover any of the previous marker. 🙁
Just fyi, magic erasers whilst fabulous for cleaning are basically extremely fine sandpaper which is why you would be seeing the black grit from your chalkboard on the sponge after application/cleaning. Especially if you still need to rub vigorously, just expect that you will probably need to repaint your chalk board down the track as the abrasiveness (albeit very gentle) of the sponge will eventually erode the blackboard paint after x amount of cleanings.
You are a lifesaver. That was very helpful and saved a sign for me too. Thanks a bunch!!!
Oh good!! I’m so glad it worked for you too!!
Just chunked a board last week that I used for an open house and wanted to change up the wording but couldn’t get it erased. My daughter starts 2nd grade next Monday and I pulled out our custom made board we did last year…you can just fill in the blanks every year. Of course, it still had all the writing on it. I decided to google just in case…thank goodness I came across your site. I am so HAPPY!!! THANK YOU!
Oh good!! I’m so glad it worked for you and saved your board!
I hadn’t even thought to try a magic eraser and it worked without the vinegar on my little kid months/favorites board. Thanks for the tip!
Oh good!! That’s great to know too, thank you! So happy it worked for you!
Felicia Freeman says
Good Morning! I was just about to give up on my little chalkboard easels I use for digital learning each day. I agree that the magic eraser did a great job on its own. No vinegar needed. I pulled out my Ms. Meyer’s Vinegar Cleaning Gel just in case. I purchased these magic erasers eons ago because they were on sale, but never used them.
Oh that’s great to hear Felicia! Thank you so much for sharing!
gonna give this a try. But my question is, next time I paint a chalkboard what should i treat it with first? you mentioned that you should have treated it first in your blog…Thanks!
Hi Amie! The chalkboard I had, had its own instructions for treating it. (I don’t remember what they were.) But sometimes a chalkboard will come with its own directions. I hope that helps!
Miss Chris says
Didn’t work for me. I have some small mini-chalkboards with wooden stands that you can place in front of certain foods to identify them at a party. The vinegar and magic eraser definitely took some of the chalk off but not all. I’m considering just throwing them away.
Hi there! Thank you so much for letting us know! Before throwing them out, have you thought about trying dish detergent or even alcohol or hydrogen peroxide?
It worked for me! Thanks.
Woo hoo! I’m so glad a magic eraser and vinegar worked for you too! Thank you for letting me know!
That was amazing!!!! Been trying to get chalk pen/marker off for years and vinegar and magic erase took it right off!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!
This is so great to hear! I’m so glad it worked to remove the chalk pen for you! Thank YOU for coming back to share that it did!
I have chalkboard labels I couldn’t get clean. Magic eraser without the vinegar worked for me. Thank you!
That’s perfect! So glad this worked for you! Thank you so much for sharing!
Jan Brady says
This worked perfectly. I bought an old chalkboard for 2.99 at a thrift shop hoping to use it for Girl Scouts. I thought it was ruined and would have to be repainted. But, for that price, what did I have to loose? But first, I needed to clean it. It was covered (including the wood) in chalk, chalk marker and sharpie. I used goo gone, then alcohol, vodka and 50/50 vinegar and water (both good for clothing stains). I used it all. Mah. Just ok. Cleaner, but still needs repainted. Then, I read your blog and used the magic e and w/v combo. 😱 OMG! The chalkboard looks brand new!! Then I used the magic e and alcohol on the sharpie leftover and it did the trick. It took me from thinking I would have to repaint it to entirely clean and beautiful in 10 mins. You just saved me hours of work. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Ahhh!! I’m so glad that you tried this for cleaning your chalkboard Jan! Thank you so much for taking the time to share what you used and that this worked!! It means a lot!