Cleaning Dry Erase Boards with Bleach

Dry erase films are subject to ghosting (those shadowy images of erased messages). People have tried all types of concoctions to remove ghosting. The remedies include washing the surface with a solution of vinegar and water, cleaning with straight rubbing alcohol or acetone as well as scrubbing the surface with toothpaste. Some hospitals use a mixture of chlorine bleach and water to clean the ghosted images from their dry erase boards. Can you use this same mixture to clean EZ Erase? We didn't want to guess, so we put the mixture to the test.

Before you start using chlorine bleach yourself, always follow these rules:

  • Always read and follow the manufacturer's safety precautions.
  • Never mix bleach with anything other than warm (not hot) water. Mixing bleach with ammonia or vinegar will result in chemical reactions forming dangerous gases.
  • Do not mix bleach with hot water. The heat will release the bleach as a gas.
  • In high concentrations, bleach is a toxic chemical. Only use bleach in low concentrates. If your eyes are burning or watering, you are using too much bleach. Do not exceed the ratio of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach. Always use bleach mixtures in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wear protective gloves when using bleach. Bleach is corrosive. High concentrations can cause the skin to peel from unprotected hands.

For my test, I had a badly ghosted white board. I mixed one cup of bleach with a gallon of warm water. Using a sponge I saturated the surface with the bleach mixture. The result was that much of the ghosting was eliminated. Still it was not a perfect remedy. Some of the shadowy images were permanent.

To minimize ghosting, I recommend cleaning dry erase boards on a daily basis. Writing that remains uncleaned for weeks or longer often leave ghosted images. Over time and after countless cleaning, the smooth, slick surface of any dry erase substrate becomes abraded. This roughed up surface is more prone to holding ink and eventually will ghost.

If you have a dry erase board that becomes dingy, you can always give it a facelift by covering up the surface with EZ Erase film. When EZ Erase outlives its useful life, the good news is that it is removable. Just peel the old film off the substrate and replace it with new EZ Erase film.

This article was written by Jim Hingst, Business Development Manager-Technology for RTape Corp. and posted on Hingst Sign Post.  

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