The Bathroom Staple That'll Refresh Dry-Erase Boards

If the kitchen is your household command center, your dry-erase board is the central communication hub. Whether you use it to post reminders, share schedules, plan meals, or create lists, the family board serves to promote organization, cultivate awareness, and prevent miscommunication. Over time, though, all that action can make marks harder to erase. Fortunately, you don't have to ditch your stained dry-erase board for a shiny new one. Instead, consider a much cheaper alternative: Refresh it with a bathroom staple — hairspray.

Dry-erase boards, also known as whiteboards, are essential in busy households, not just because they're in full view for the entire family to see, but also because anything written on them can easily be erased, amended, and adjusted with a single dry wipe. Chalk it up to science. Most dry-erase boards are made from a non-porous material called melamine. Its slick laminated surface, coupled with special dry-erase markers, which contain an oily resin to prevent the ink from sticking, allows marks on whiteboards to be repeatedly erased without the aid of moisture.

Still, as magical as the mix of melamine and resin may be, it's not immortal. After a while, you may experience whiteboard ghosting. The common issue refers to faded remnants of former writing on the board that don't completely disappear no matter how many times you try to erase them. If this type of haunting is plaguing your dry-erase board, skip the exorcist and reach for a bottle of hairspray.

How to use hairspray to make your dry-erase board like new

Stubborn stains on dry-erase boards require some moisture to remove. Whether they're caused by ghosting, dirty erasers, using the wrong type of markers, or excessive use of your board, most lingering marks can be lifted with a little hairspray and a bit of elbow grease. Start by liberally saturating the whiteboard with hairspray, paying close attention to areas where ink has set in. Allow the styling spray to sit for a few minutes until the surface of the board becomes sticky to the touch. Next, mix together a little mild dish soap and warm water in a bowl. Then, dip a clean soft cloth into the solution and thoroughly wipe off the hairspray. Depending on the severity of the stains, you may have to vigorously scrub the affected areas before you see the ink disappear. End by using a microfiber cloth to buff the dry-erase board completely dry.

When selecting the best hairspray to deep clean your dry-erase board, look for ones that contain isopropyl alcohol. The chemical makeup of the colorless liquid helps eliminate stains that appear to be permanently embedded on whiteboards. In addition, hairspray featuring isopropyl alcohol also removes ink residue that accumulates and dulls the look of dry-erase boards over time. Finally, to increase the lifespan of your dry-erase board and maximize its efficiency, aim to clean it with hairspray at least once a week.