A person using a dry erase board.

Guide To Dry Erase Boards: How To Use & More

Whether you're a parent looking to keep your home organized or a teacher or entrepreneur, effective communication and collaboration are incredibly important. Luckily, there are plenty of nifty tools to help you! But none is quite as versatile or effective as the simple whiteboard.

From economical melamine boards to sleek glass whiteboards, there are numerous types and styles of dry erase boards for you to choose from. However, knowing which one is going to work best for you is crucial to using them effectively. So, if you want to know the A to Z about whiteboards, keep reading.

Types Of Dry Erase Boards

Dry erase boards, also known as whiteboards or marker boards, usually come in several different types. Each type has unique features and benefits, which is why it's so important to find one that suits you and your needs.

The different types of dry erase boards include:

Melamine boards

Melamine whiteboards are usually the most economical option and have a melamine writing surface. The resin-infused paper material makes these boards more lightweight, affordable, and much more portable.

It's important to note that these dry-erase boards are better suited for occasional use in home offices or smaller office spaces since they're less durable than other materials. And, if they're not cleaned frequently, they may be prone to ghosting. Ghosted letters cannot be wiped away from the surface of the board - they bleed through.

Painted steel boards

If you want something a little more durable, then painted steel whiteboards may be a good choice.

These boards have a steel surface or steel backing that is coated with a white base and clear performance coating. Not only are these boards easy to clean, but they're also magnetic. This means that they work well in environments like conference rooms, classrooms - and anywhere else where magnetic boards may come in handy.

While these boards usually come with a good warranty, it is important to note that they're not as durable as porcelain boards.

Porcelain boards

Porcelain whiteboards have a porcelain enamel surface (as the name suggests), which is highly durable and naturally resistant to staining and scratching. These boards usually come with the best warranty and, unlike traditional melamine boards, they are also magnetic.

These boards are ideal for heavy use - particularly in classrooms and offices where they would be used daily. However, they are also much more expensive than other types of whiteboards.

Glass boards

Glass whiteboards are made from tempered glass, giving them a sleek and modern design. Generally, glass dry-erase boards are stain-resistant, don't leave ghosted letters, and are easy to clean. In some cases, you may even be able to find magnetic glass boards to increase their versatility and functionality.

Another factor to consider when buying a glass whiteboard is that it may require special installation, which can also drive up the price. However, they are extremely durable and are a worthwhile and lasting investment in your school or business.

Dry Erase Board Styles

Not only do dry erase boards come in various types, but there are a handful of styles available, too. They're made to suit different environments, preferences, and, of course, purposes.

  • Dry erase boards: Standard dry erase boards have a simple design with a smooth white surface that is suitable for writing with dry erase markers. They are extremely versatile and can be used for various purposes, including presentations, brainstorming sessions, to-do lists, and more.

  • Magnetic boards: Magnetic dry-erase boards can be really handy since they have a surface that is both writable and magnetic. This means you can attach notes, documents, and other items to it using magnets. These are generally used in classrooms where you may need to display paper visuals alongside explanations for the children.

  • Combo dry erase and bulletin boards: Combo boards are usually split (not necessarily 50-50) to incorporate both a dry erase board and bulletin board. This works similarly to a magnetic board, although this time you'll instead pin any paper items like documents or notes to the bulletin board side. These can be slightly less expensive than traditional boards.

  • Organizer boards: If you need to keep track of school timetables or your work day, then an organizer board may be a good choice. These boards have pre-printed grids, lines, calendars, or planning templates to help you stay on top of project timelines, tasks, and more.

  • Dry erase easels: Are you always on the go? Then you may want to opt for a dry erase easel. These dry erase boards are portable and you can set them up with an easy-to-fold stand - your trusty board can accompany you wherever you go!

How To Use Dry Erase Boards Effectively

Using a dry erase board effectively is more than just writing and erasing. Instead, there are extra considerations you'll need to make the most out of your new whiteboard. They include:

  1. Plan ahead: Before using your board, make sure that you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. You should also be sure to prepare any notes or information you need beforehand.

  2. Write clearly: Use clear, legible handwriting to ensure that everyone can read and understand what you have written. You can also write in large letters if necessary since it will make it easier for everyone - especially children - to see what you have written (even from a distance).

  3. Use the correct markers: Never use anything other than dry erase markers on your board. Otherwise, you may be left with ghosting or, in some cases, information that simply can't be erased at all. Using these specialized markers is all part of taking care of your new piece of equipment.

  4. Use color: To make your content more engaging and memorable, try using markers of different colors. You can use them to separate ideas or thoughts or to create connections between certain topics. In fact, you can be as creative as you'd like to be!

  5. Erase thoughtfully: When you need to erase content, remember to use a whiteboard eraser or cloth and gently rub away the information on the board. Again, this ties into taking care of your board to ensure its longevity and to avoid ghosting or smudging.


What is the difference between a whiteboard and a dry erase board?

There is actually no difference between a dry erase board and a whiteboard. These terms are used interchangeably to refer to a smooth surface on which you can write with dry erase markers and eventually erase the writing.

What not to use on a dry erase board?

You should never use permanent markers; they can leave permanent marks on your board that will be difficult or impossible to remove. Additionally, you'll want to avoid using harsh cleaning products or abrasive materials to clean your board. Otherwise, you may permanently damage the writing surface.

What can I use to clean a dry erase board?

There are a variety of methods to clean a dry erase board. Two tried-and-true methods include using a whiteboard eraser or a soft, dry cloth. Remember, whatever you use, make sure it is soft and effective. This will help you to avoid instances of ghosting or damaging the surface of your whiteboard.

Final Thoughts

Dry-erase boards are the ultimate solution for communication and organization. These collaborative tools are especially handy in classrooms, where new ideas and concepts must be communicated effectively.

Thankfully, whiteboards are easy to use and there are multiple types that you could use to best suit your needs and preferences. So, whether you're using it in the boardroom, your home office, or your home-schooling classrooms, you can rest assured that your new dry-erase board will help you facilitate learning in a whole new way.