How to Clean a Chalkboard Using Quick & Simple Methods

Updated October 27, 2021
man wiping blackboard outside workshop

Is your chalkboard starting to look a bit fuzzy? When the chalk begins to build up, you need to get it clean. Whether you are a teacher with chalkboards in a classroom or someone who has chalkboards in your home, you can use these chalkboard cleaning tips to keep your boards sparkling again.

Easy Ways to Clean a Chalkboard

You might remember the days of yore when you cleaned chalkboards with erasers. Well times, they are a-changing. Learn several DIY ways to clean chalkboards with these supplies.

  • Dish soap (Dawn recommended)
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Clean eraser
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon oil
  • Coke or Pepsi
  • Commercial cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Windex
  • Sandwich bag

How to Clean a Chalkboard With Eraser/Microfiber Cloth

One of the best ways to clean a chalkboard is the old school way: with an eraser or microfiber cloth.

  1. When erasing a blackboard, start with a clean eraser.
  2. Begin in the upper left-hand corner and wipe the board up and down, ending at the upper right corner.
  3. Using this motion prevents chalk dust from sticking to the surface of the chalkboard in irregular patterns.
  4. Take a clean microfiber cloth and give the board another wipe down.

This motion technique should be used regardless of the cleaning materials being used.

Clean a Chalkboard With Dish Soap

If you notice after your eraser cleaning that you still have a bit of chalk on your board, it's time to grab the Dawn.

man cleaning a blackboard
  1. Mix a few drops of Dawn and warm water.
  2. Wet your microfiber cloth with the solution.
  3. Wipe down the board.
  4. Add additional pressure to areas with residue.
  5. Wet a microfiber cloth and rinse the board.
  6. Allow it to dry.

Chalkboard Cleaning Hacks With White Vinegar

If the dish soap method didn't entirely work, you need to add a little bit of vinegar to the mix.

  1. Fill a bucket with 6 or so cups of warm water.
  2. Add a cup of vinegar.
  3. Add a few drops of Dawn for extra cleaning power.
  4. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Dip the cloth in the mixture, wring it out well, and wipe.
  6. Use a damp cloth to rinse.
  7. Air-dry the board.

Using a Squeegee to Clean Chalkboard

The wipe-down method typically works pretty well. However, you might notice that you get streaks from the way you apply pressure to the cloth. To avoid this, you can use a squeegee.

Using a Squeegee To Clean Chalkboard
  1. Wipe the chalkboard down with a cloth or eraser.
  2. Fill a bucket that fits your squeegee with warm water and a cup of white vinegar.
  3. Use the cloth part of the squeegee to spread the mixture onto the board.
  4. Use the rubber end to squeegee the board.
  5. Wipe the blade and make another swipe until clean.
  6. Enjoy your beautiful chalkboard.

Lemon Oil to Clean Chalkboards

The lemon oil method takes a bit of prep, but it's totally worth it in the long run.

  1. Add about 2 teaspoons of lemon oil into a cloth.
  2. Fold it into fourths and place it in a sandwich bag.
  3. Allow the cloth to marinate in the oil overnight.
  4. On an eraser cleaned board, wipe it down with the cloth.
  5. Not only is it clean, but it smells lemony fresh.

Clean a Chalkboard With Windex

Typically, you aren't going to clean a chalkboard with Windex. However, if you've used liquid chalk on a board, Windex is your cleaning answer.

  1. Saturate the entire board in Windex.
  2. Allow it to sit for 5 or so minutes.
  3. Wipe with a microfiber cloth.
  4. Repeat as needed until the chalk is gone.

How to Clean a Chalkboard With Coke

When someone tells you to clean a board with Coke or cola, you might think - no way! But, strangely enough, it's not sticky.

  1. Wet down a cloth with water and wring it out.
  2. Apply a bit of Coke to the cloth. (You don't want it dripping but just a bit brown.)
  3. Wring it out well.
  4. Wipe down an erased chalkboard.
  5. Use a damp cloth to rinse if you are worried about it becoming sticky.

How to Clean a Chalkboard With Marker

Chalkboards are designed for chalk; however, if you have a marker accident. Not to worry. You can get it off.

  1. Wet a cloth with a bit of rubbing alcohol.
  2. Wipe at the area with the marker.
  3. Use a water-damp cloth to rinse.
  4. Let air dry.

Commercial Chalkboard Cleaners

In addition to homemade blackboard cleaners, several different types of cleaning solutions can be used on a periodic basis or on an as-needed basis to clean chalkboards. Just a few of these cleaners include Zig Chalkboard Cleaner, Prang Hygieia Chalkboard Cleaner, and Amrep Misty Chalkboard Cleaner. To use these cleaners, you need to follow the instructions on the package.

Cleaning Blackboards Made From Chalkboard Paint

A popular method of creating a fun chalkboard is using chalkboard paint. This type of paint is available as a paint-on or spray-on coating. Chalkboard paint can be applied to a small area or an entire wall.

Kids drawing on the blackboard
  1. To clean a chalkboard paint blackboard, use a regular blackboard eraser or damp cloth. With extended use, a chalkboard paint blackboard may not become clean with routine cleaning.
  2. To remove excess chalk, wipe the area with a damp cloth, allow it to dry, and simply apply another coating of chalkboard paint.

More Blackboard Cleaning Tips

It's essential to clean your blackboard to keep it looking excellent and readable. To do that, check out a few additional cleaning tips.

  • Use an all-felt chalkboard eraser to clean the entire blackboard.
  • Clean your blackboard erasers daily by clapping them and wiping them with warm water.
  • Use a special cleaning cloth made for cleaning chalkboards. These dry-cleaning cloths are available from most teacher supply stores.
  • Remove stubborn stains from a blackboard using water and a mild cleaner that is non-oily and non-abrasive. This mixture removes crayon, pencil, and most ink marks and stains made fingerprints.
  • Never write on a wet chalkboard. Doing this can cause the chalk to adhere to the board, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove.
  • Water used to clean a chalkboard can cause ghosting to occur. This happens when most of the chalk residue is washed away by the water, but an outline is left. Layers of ghosting build up over time, making the blackboard challenging to read.

Best Way to Clean a Chalkboard

One of the best ways to clean a chalkboard is to use an eraser. If your eraser isn't cutting it, then you can try a variety of different methods. And you can always consider resurfacing your chalkboard if they aren't coming clean.

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How to Clean a Chalkboard Using Quick & Simple Methods