permanent marker test – jan. 2010

This month we performed a small test in which to see how well permanent marker would remove from our clear surface. We have tested it before ourselves but thought we would document it so you could see how we did.


(The letterhead behind the surface was bulldog-clipped to the surface to show the cleanliness clearly in the photos…)




1) Marked surface with black Staedtler Permanent Marker (German made).


2) Let age 2 weeks (simulating a common office accident where a staff member uses the wrong marker).

Test ATest A - (2)



3) Test A – We scribbled over the permanent marker with a blue Expo Low-Odor Dry Erase Marker to use the solvent in the dry erase marker to loosen the permanent ink. This does also work on many whiteboards as a way to remove permanent marker although many less expensive boards will not completely clean off.

Test B


4) Test B – Don’t try this on your regular whiteboard. We use a common window cleaner to try to take the rest of the markings off. It wasn’t totally successful on the permanent marker.

By the way, this window cleaner does not hurt our clear surface as it can on most whiteboards. Using common cleaners on most whiteboards can take the sheen off the surface and in turn make the board more susceptible to ugly ghosting (faint dry erase marker stains). Often times when ghosting has become a problem, someone has used cleaning solvents to clean the board of stains and in turn harmed the surface so the board stains easier.


All Clean!



5) Where the window cleaner failed, marking over the permanent ink with the dry erase marker solved the stain.

All clean!

Porcelain EnamelWe also did try this test on a porcelain enamel, commercial whiteboard surface and it was quite a bit harder to remove the stain. It took a number of scribble-coverages with the marker and sprays of an Expo cleaning spray to remove the marker stain.