No matter how great your latest chalk art creation is, eventually you will be thinking about erasing chalk markers off your chalkboard. I can’t blame you! Chalk art projects are awesome, but at some point it's time to clean your chalkboard to make space for yet another fabulous DIY chalk art project. We have a few tips for you on how to erase chalk ink, tricks that are much more effective than the usual damp cloth. Using a wet rag and a cleaning cloth will do a lot, but for the long-term care of your board, you can do much better. Forget better, actually—these are the BEST ways to erase chalk ink!
It all boils down to the type of surface you used your liquid chalk markers on. Here are a few things to know about various surfaces before you pick up that rag.
Guide to Surfaces: What to Know Before Erasing Chalk Markers Ink
It is important to first know if the surface you are cleaning is porous or non-porous. Are you erasing chalk ink on glass? Or are you cleaning off chalk ink off wood?
You may also be using a chalkboard that is non-porous. Each surface requires its own careful method of cleaning. This is important, because if you clean your chalkboard or surface incorrectly, you may encounter “ghosting.” Here are the main non-porous surfaces you might use as chalk marker art spaces:
Vinyl labels – great for labeling items, gifts and accessories.
IMPORTANT – The following are porous surfaces:
MDF (medium-density fiberboard) – primarily used with chalk and NOT with liquid chalk markers.
Erasing Chalk Markers Correctly Prevents Ghosting
You may have never heard about ghosting on chalkboards. But chances are that you have encountered it before at some point. Maybe you saw it on a classroom blackboard when you were in kindergarten or grade school, especially on the first day of school. Ghosting is a faint image that remains on a chalkboard’s surface after something is erased. It can be really annoying when you’re making your next chalk artwork.
How can you prevent your chalkboard or other surfaces from ghosting? Let’s start with erasing chalk ink on porous materials.
How To Erase Chalk Ink on Wood and Other Porous Materials
Wood is definitely a porous surface. Liquid chalk markers work excellently on wood but not on MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Only traditional chalk works on MDF. If you have drawn your chalk art on wood, though, erasing takes some work. The usual way to clean the surface is by using a vinegar solution.
Depending on the size of your wood chalkboard, you can mix four cups of lukewarm water with half a cup of vinegar. Mix the solution well. The website Love to Know recommends using a cloth, making sure to wring out the excess liquid regularly. After cleaning, wipe the board in rows and then let it air dry.
If you prefer a different method, especially one with less of an odor, you can also try the VersaChalk chalkboard and white board cleaning kit. The cleaning kit is a handy and efficient tool for cleaning chalk ink on wood.
- Aim the nozzle of the bottle at the surface you want to clean.
- Don’t wipe it immediately. Instead, give the solution time to soak into the liquid chalk markers’ ink. This takes about 20 to 30 seconds.
- Using the microfiber cloth included with the kit, wipe the liquid chalk markers ink and cleaner solution off of the chalkboard surface.
How to Erase Chalk Ink on Glass and Other Non-Porous Surfaces
Picking the right way to erase chalk ink on non-porous surfaces is tricky. For example, for vinyl chalk labels, they don’t ghost like many other surfaces. But knowing how to care for them properly will ensure they can be used over and over again. One simple tip is not to press too hard when writing with liquid chalk markers.
For slate chalkboards and similar non-porous surfaces that are uneven and rough, it is important to take steps to be sure they won't ghost. It may seem easiest to just use a wet rag to wipe chalk ink away, but this leaves unsightly remnants if not done properly. Chalk ink on glass, metal and other smooth non-porous surfaces is relatively easy to clean compared to dealing with porous chalkboards.
Before you start cleaning any of these surfaces, you need to prep the area by using a clean and damp cloth. Most of the time, this preliminary cleaning is going to leave a little bit of residue, and that’s fine. For more stubborn marks, you can soak a non-porous chalkboard surface with water for a couple of minutes—five minutes maximum. Then, using the chalkboard cleaning kit, you can follow the same procedure I showed above for cleaning wood and other porous surfaces.
Next, use the foam eraser included with the kit. Spray the corner of the foam with just 1 to 2 squirts of the cleaning solution. Then scrub away any remaining tough stains and marks with the damp corner of the foam.
Adding the chalkboard cleaning kit solution to your routine for cleaning chalk ink off glass and other non-porous materials is important because for long-term care, water is just not enough. The kit includes a microfiber cloth and two foam erasers. If you've been wondering how to erase chalk ink and prevent boards from ghosting, this cleaning kit is the best method out there. Plus, the cleaning solution is environmentally friendly and safe for use with kids.
The Best Way to Prime Your Chalkboard to Prevent Ghosting
To make sure you will not have any trouble erasing chalk markers in the future, you should prime your chalkboards. Chalkboard priming is important to prevent ghosting, and it is recommended that you do it before using your chalkboard for the first time.
All you need to do is use a piece of chalk to rub the entire surface of the board twice. Use the side of the chalk stick, not the tip. The first time, rub using vertical strokes. Then rub again using horizontal strokes, covering the whole board both times. Finally, grab a soft rag to wipe the chalk away. The chalk that adheres to the board will serve as a ghost-resistant surface!
The next time you use liquid chalk markers, you can be sure that cleaning chalk ink off glass or wood or any other surface will be a breeze because this is the best way to erase chalk ink, period! Why settle for a wet rag when you can invest in a Versachalk cleaning kit today for years of hassle-free chalkboard cleaning?