Best Way To Clean A Chalkboard

Best Way To Clean A Chalkboard

There's nothing more frustrating than your chalkboard eraser leaving streaks across your chalkboard. Well, except for leftover chalk that just won't scrub away!

Although a dirty chalkboard can feel overwhelming - especially when you use your board every day - there are some easy ways to clean it up and have it looking good as new again.

With our easy steps, and a few extra tips and tricks for special cases, you'll be able to restore your chalkboard in no time. Seriously, these methods couldn't be easier! So let's get cleaning...

6 Best Ways To Clean A Chalkboard

1. Use a chalkboard eraser

The easiest and safest way to clean a chalkboard surface is to use the eraser that came with it. This will get rid of chalk residue and the dust that has been left behind. Remember, you should always clean your chalkboard horizontally from top to bottom, taking your time as you wipe the chalk away. You should also avoid rubbing the eraser in circles since this can cause loose chalk dust to stay behind.

But what happens when the eraser starts to leave behind remnants of chalk and doesn't clean the board all the way?

Unfortunately, erasers can lose their effectiveness over time. However, you can extend the life of your chalkboard eraser by cleaning it regularly - especially if you use your chalkboard often (like in classrooms!).

How to clean the chalkboard eraser

If your chalkboard eraser isn't working as well as it used to, it may be time to give it a good clean. To do this, all you have to do is shake off any remaining chalk and then wipe the surface of the eraser with a damp cloth.

In some cases, the residue may still be slightly soiled. A little warm water with a drop of dish soap should do the trick to clean it off.

2. Use a dry cloth

Sometimes, you don't have an eraser on hand. Or it's a little dirty and not doing its job. In that case, you can use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the board down and get rid of any chalk dust left behind.

A microfiber cloth is a great choice since it has a more abrasive surface that won't damage the chalkboard surface. It's also important that you use a clean cloth to prevent streaks or chalk dust from sticking to the chalkboard.

3. Use a damp cloth

Surprisingly, a damp cloth can work just as well - if not better - than a dry microfiber cloth. In fact, it can help to gently scrub away chalk that has found its way into the small porous holes on the surface of the chalkboard.

That's right - you don't need harsh cleaners to get your chalkboard clean and glistening again. Just a little warm water will do the trick. This method is especially effective for chalkboard markers like the kind you use on a magnetic chalkboard or chalkboard calendar.

Just remember to squeeze out any excess water, since you don't want the cloth dripping wet. Instead, it should be slightly damp to the touch without the water running down the chalkboard when you apply pressure to it.

4. Use vinegar and water

Vinegar really is one of nature's greatest cleaning supplies! Don't believe us? Then try out this DIY chalkboard cleaner the next time your board is in need of deep cleaning.

All you need to do is add a small amount of white vinegar to a bowl and top it off with warm water. The ratio here should be about half a cup of white vinegar to three and a half cups of warm water.

When the vinegar is this diluted, you won't risk accidentally damaging or bleaching your chalkboard. Plus, vinegar is an ultra-powerful cleaner, so a little bit goes a long way.

Remember, you should always work in horizontal lines to remove chalk effectively rather than in circular motions. Then, let your board air dry before using it again.

5. Use cola

Although this may sound strange, cola can be a great cleaner for your chalkboard. However, to avoid leaving a sticky residue on your board, you're going to want to mix it with water. You can do this by wetting your cloth so that it is damp to the touch, and then adding a small amount of cola directly to the cloth.

When you're done, and you've left your board to air dry, you can get rid of any residue by using a damp cloth with a drop of dish soap on it. Then, rinse the chalkboard down, and leave it to dry out before you add more chalk to it.

6. Use dish soap

In a bowl of warm water, add a few drops of dish soap. Ideally, your mixture should have a few bubbles, but not too many. If it has more than a slightly soapy layer on top, you've added too much!

Once your mixture is ready, you can go ahead and dip a clean cloth into it. Then, wring it out thoroughly and wipe the chalkboard down.

If there are white streaks left on your board when you're done (and the board has been left to air dry), use a damp cloth to rinse the board off and leave it to dry off again.

How To Clean A Chalkboard: Special Cases

How to clean crayon off a chalkboard

To get crayon marks off your chalkboard, you can try scrubbing it off with a light paste mixture containing a teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of water. Dip a damp cloth into this mixture and scrub away the crayon using small circles. Although circular scrubbing is usually not a good idea, it will help to remove the crayon much faster than working in horizontal lines.

Once the crayon is scrubbed off, you can clean the chalkboard using the dish soap method and then rinse it so that it's clean for the next time you use it.

Cleaning chalkboard walls

There's nothing worse than having a soiled chalkboard wall! In these cases, those marks are even more noticeable (and troublesome!).

There are really only two solutions for this problem:

  1. To choose a chalkboard with a darker wall color that could potentially hide marks and stains (which we would recommend for classrooms!).

  2. Or, you can use the vinegar cleaning solution we've mentioned above. Just be sure not to do this too often, since it can damage the chalkboard wall!


How often should I clean my chalkboard?

You can clean a chalkboard after each use, or even while you're using it. But for deep cleaning and getting rid of any leftover chalk that has built up over time, you're going to want to roll up your sleeves and really clean your chalkboard around once a month.

This will help to extend the lifespan of your chalkboard and keep it clean and sparkly all the time. However, if you're using your chalkboard every day and consistently throughout the day, then a deep clean every one to two weeks may be needed.

Can I use a commercial chalkboard cleaner?

While you can definitely use a general chalkboard cleaner, it's important to buy your cleaning solution from a reputable brand. Generic brands or cheaper cleaners can sometimes bleach or damage your chalkboard surface since they contain harsh chemicals. So, always test out a small section of your chalkboard if you're using a new cleaner to ensure it's safe to use.

What do I do if my chalkboard is sticky after cleaning?

If your chalkboard is still sticky after cleaning, wipe it down using the dish soap method to remove any residue from the surface. Just remember to rinse your chalkboard off after!

Final Thoughts

Although you can clean a chalkboard using its eraser, sometimes you need a little more elbow grease to make sure that it's really clean. Fortunately, our easy methods are simple to execute and only use cleaners, ingredients, and supplies that you probably already have lying around!

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to clean up your chalkboard and get rid of any pesky chalk marks that have been bothering you. When you're done, it will feel (and look like) like you've just purchased that whitewashed chalkboard!