How to Erase Chalk Markers Easily

Have you joined the chalkboard craze?  It seems like everywhere you look you see chalkboard labels, framed chalkboards, even entire walls painted with chalkboard paint.

Organizing Pasta in the Pantry

When I first started seeing the labels a few years ago, I could hardly believe people would want to label anything with chalk.  Without revealing too much about my age, ;) I remember loving when it was my turn to clap erasers for my teachers.  Do you remember the clouds of dust?  I do!  I certainly didn’t want all that chalk dust in my house.

But happily, chalk markers were invented!  Labeling bins and baskets with chalkboard labels and chalk markers has become my favorite way of labeling.

If you’re unfamiliar with chalk markers, think wet erase markers and white boards, in reverse.  They write neatly and don’t smudge unless they get wet.  I love that vinyl chalkboard labels are water proof, so they can be wiped clean and relabeled repeatedly.

There’s only one problem…

How to Easily Erase Chalk Markers

After chalk markers became so popular, I noticed that people were starting to ask how to erase them.  The markers I had erased fine, so I didn’t know what they were talking about.  But then I tried a new brand.  I wanted to relabel one of my kitchen command center’s door pockets, and the chalk would NOT come off.

How to Erase Chalk Markers

I tried a number of different solutions, and nothing would fully take it off.  Then I had an idea.  One of my favorite cleaning products is the Magic Eraser because it cleans dirt off of almost anything.  I tested it and could hardly believe how easily it wiped clean.  I seriously had tried everything I could think of to remove the chalk.  Nothing worked, until this.

Seriously.  Check this out…

Erasing Chalk Marker with a Magic Eraser

Not even a trace of chalk was left!

How to Easily Erase Chalk Labels

So far I haven’t found a single surface that the Magic Eraser didn’t work on to clean off the chalk.  I have heard of chalk markers not coming off of walls painted with chalkboard paint.  I don’t have any in my home, so I can’t comment on that.  If you do, I’d love for you to share your solutions in the comments below.

How to Erase Chalk Markers Easily

Would you like to know what brands of chalk markers I use and recommend?  Check out my review here.

***Tip: cut your eraser in half to get more use out of it.  They disintegrate after only a few uses, and rarely do you need the full length of the sponge.

 

 

Comments

  1. Angie says

    I have a chalkboard painted door on my pantry. I have been trying to find chalk markers and no luck. Anyone know where to find any?

  2. Betsy says

    I have a chalkboard that is a surface painted with chalk paint. The only way I can get the markers off is using a Mr Clean Magic Eraser WITH nail polish remover! It’s that tough!!

  3. robyn says

    That’s great! Are you using them wet or dry? I’m looking forward to your chalk markers review tomorrow. I too have chalk boards all over the house and am getting very tired of the chalk dust. ;)

  4. Stacy says

    I accidentally used a sharpie on a dry erase board. The Magic Eraser took that off, too! Those things are amazing!

  5. Kristine says

    I am so glad I found this … I bought a new set and wrote all over my chalkboard wall calendar (In January) and have not been able to remove any of it … I am writing in August!

  6. Amanda Bradley says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I wrote on my brand new chalkboard menu with my brand new chalk markers, and panicked when I tried erasing and the marker didn’t budge. Thank goodness for magic erasers!

  7. wendy a. says

    Bought a cheap cute kitchen chalkboard at Kohl’s and used a white chalk pen on it. Left it on for one week. Magic eraser didn’t work. Just took of the chalk board paint. :-(

  8. Rachel says

    Just thought I’d throw it out there in case some people aren’t realising the difference, but chalk paint is not the same as chalkboard paint. The only thing I’ve found to erase chalk markers on chalkboards is magic erasers with windex.

  9. says

    I’d struggled with this as well but discovered as long as you “primed” the surface first, the chalkboard markers will wipe off with a cloth … you just need to rub the side of an ordinary chalk all over the surface first, leave a little and then wipe off until there’s no residue left. Chalkboard markers fine after that.

  10. Melanie says

    I bought 3 large personalised chalkboard stickers for my children’s weekly events, used the chalk markers and they looked amazing – all in different colours. My horror started when I needed to change something and I couldn’t rub it out!
    THANK YOU so much for your advice, the magic marker worked straight away!
    Mel, UK.

  11. jessica says

    Bought a beautiful blackboard for my wedding. Few weeks ago, I wrote out my saying. This morning I decided to change it and couldn’t erase it. I started paniking since the wedding is this Sunday. I want to say thank you for your blog and the advice from having an all blown out bridezilla moment. The magic eraser and some windex has started to work. Just need to put a little more elbow grease into it to have it fully removed. Maybe I will even turf this to the future hubby as his contribution to the wedding :) thanks again!!!

  12. Aria says

    I just laughed out loud! Duh! Of course a Magic Eraser would erase Chalk Marker from a Chalkboard! You are brilliant! I never would have guessed that. I thought my boards were ruined. Thank You!

  13. Nikki says

    Thanks, i love the magic eraser and will try it tomorrow. For halloween i traced my boufriend on the cement outside my house and of course the outline is still there and even in the rain has not washed away, so tomorrow I will try this and see how it works, wish me luck!

  14. nicki says

    If we were neighbours I’d be running round to see you right now and throwing my arms around you! You have saved me a whole lot of scrubbing and crosspatch faces

  15. Trisha says

    I tried a different type because I don’t have a Magic Eraser at my house, and it worked but not as good as a Magic Eraser.
    Do you know where I could get one? And, I could use nail polish remover to remove it too?

  16. says

    thank goodness I found this post, I bought a beautiful big chalkboard for my kitchen/ open floor plan home and I love switching out my board with the holidays!! I found a steal at Homegoods and have not been able to remove the sign in 4 months I miss Halloween and Christmas because I couldn’t get my words down. When I first happened I looked for a post everywhere with no luck until today. I can’t wait to go to the store and get a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Fingers crossed!

  17. Judy says

    Be careful – I’ve actually had a bad experience with the magic eraser just last week! Some of you might want to think twice before using this method depending on your surface, whether it’s a real chalkboard or not. If all you will ever use on the board/label is a chalk marker, then magic erase to your hearts content. But if you ever want to use real chalk on it again, you will find that the magic eraser ruins the surface of a real blackboard for use with real chalk.

    I have four chalkboards for a cafeteria which I do daily menus for. They are nice 18 x 24 blackboards from a teacher store, made of the traditional chalkboard material, not the new vinyl kind you get nowadays at Michael’s or other craft stores. Those were a nightmare to use regular chalk on because the smallest of oil (like a light fingerprint, etc.) makes regular chalk skip like crazy and you can’t do nice, smooth work. So I finally discovered that teacher supply stores sell the traditional boards, (at 1/2 to 1/3 of the price the craft stores sell the new kind for,) and regular chalk does really well on those, as do chalk markers too. I do a variety of art on them sometimes only using chalk markers, sometimes only real chalk, and sometimes a mix. Using both on a design can achieve some really neat effects. My Happy New Year board was almost entirely done with chalk markers because I needed finer detailing for fireworks and fancy, shmancy typography. I used real chalk for some “glow” and snow, etc. It hung for about a month before I needed to change it for a Valentine’s Day theme. When I went to wash it off, the board was stained so badly that you could still see the entire image with the colors I used. It was faint, but completely viewable from many feet away. I tried everything I could find via searching the internet to get the stains to come off to no avail. I have four different brands of chalk markers and two of them do say you need an ammonia based cleaner. But that didn’t work at all for me, not one little bit. I found another site that recommended the magic eraser. I used it dry, so I’m not sure if that mattered, and it barely took the stain out. We had to use a lot of pressure for it to begin to erase, (my husband was enlisted for super-human scrubbing strength.) When we were done, I could still see a faint stain of the design, and when I wet it again to wipe off anything new I wrote, the stains were noticeable even more – but it’s hard to notice under new writing when it’s dry. The entire surface where the stains were has smears and shines here and there from the magic eraser. It perfumed like very-extra-fine sandpaper would. The surface of the board is now completely ruined for use with regular chalk. Maybe not for markers, but when I need to use both I need to preserve the original finish of the board. My Valentine’s Day border looks fine, but writing the daily menu in the middle with regular chalk is a nightmare because the chalk skips and sticks all over the place and I can’t do a clean line straight or curved anywhere. I “prime” the board first too and it still doesn’t help. I wish there were a way to remove stains from chalk markers without compromising a nice board’s finish.

    I can’t comment on painted chalkboards on walls – however, we have an entire wall in the basement painted as a black chalkboard so I’ll have to experiment and get back to you. If you’re using any of the chalkboards sold at the craft stores, you’re basically writing on some kind of a vinyl material that is nothing like the chalkboards in schools and you probably don’t have much luck with regular chalk on them any way. You can always wet the chalk and be able to write on those boards a lot easier, but not after using Mr. Clean; because I tried that last week for one of the daily lunches and even wet the chalk, but it did not write over the newly “sanded” surface. It behaved as if surface oil or wax was all over it. If your using labels and you won’t ever need to use real chalk on them, then the magic eraser is perfect for you. If you’re using a real chalkboard, do NOT use the magic eraser unless you never intend to use regular chalk again.

    (so sorry for being the bearer or negative news… :( I felt I had to post a warning.)

  18. Terrie says

    You are a life saver. We received this lovely custom chalkboard as a gift & my Happy Easter message was seemingly permanent. Thanks so much. Magic Eraser worked like a charm!! Thanks for the tip.

  19. Karen says

    I tried the Magic Eraser with nail polish remover and it worked like a charm! Now to see what happens once it dries and I try using them again. I figured it was no loss in trying since they weren’t usable to me with an old message on them. Will keep everyone posted!

  20. Rochelle says

    Just tried this and it works great. Only issue is it does bring some of the chalk paint off with it. Window cleaner works on most of the colours but the lighter colours (mainly white, pink or blue) needed the magic eraser. Thanks for this!

  21. Kenny says

    Thank you so much. My wife and I just purchased a brand new chalkboard for our kitchen and we thought it was ruined. We tried all kinds of things until a quick Google search lead me here. We will be checking out the rest of your site.

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