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.
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…
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.
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…
Not even a trace of chalk was left!
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.
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.
Great idea! I was wondering the same thing. Thanks
Amber Vincent says
I use baby wipes to get it off of my monthly calendar and labels works great and use Kleenex or paper towel to dry.
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?
Ginny G says
Angie, first thing tomorrow morning I’m posting a review of different chalk marker brands with links to where you can buy them. 🙂
Awesome! Thanks so much!
Katie Say says
I got my chalk markers at Hobby Lobby- I would guess that any crafting store would have them! 🙂
Sacha Baird says
Dollar tree. I just found 4 colours. White, blue, yellow, pink.
I found some today at Walmart.
You can find them in all colors at Hobby Lobby.
Angie, have you checked the internet? you can find anything, and i mean anything, on readily available & well known commerce sites, such as Ebay, Amazon, Easy, Craigslist
Michaels as them an some Dollar Stores too
Target and amazon
Licia Lewis says
I found mine at Walmart in the craft section.
Stacy Evers 💕💕 says
Pier 1 imports and also hobby lobby!Good luck
Cali Schmitt says
You can find them at craft stores like Joanne, Michaels, or AC Morre
Carolyn Moore says
You can buy them in Walmart or order them from Amazon.
Walmart sells them. Colored ones too
Angie L. says
You can buy them on Amazon.:)
Karen Caldwell says
Nail polish remover
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!!
Ginny G says
Wow, Betsy! That is tough. Doesn’t the nail polish remover take off some of the paint?
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your tip! I had tried everything to remove chalk marker from my board and there was still a faint line that I hated. I had never tried to use nail polish remover with a Magic Eraser, but it worked! After a year and a half, I finally have a clean slate. 😉
Thank you for writing this article and being the one to bring me here. 🙂
Here’s to a clean slate!
Joseph H says
So using regular chalkboard paint on a wall is porous paint (water based paint) and chalk ink will often times bleed through porous surfaces which is why most say for non-porous surfaces only. If you want to make it easier to erase, you can coat the chalkboard paint with 3 coats polyurethane to “seal” the chalkboard paint and create the non-porous surface.
That sounds like a great solution, Joseph! Have you tried it?
I have used the polyurethane, it does work.
Couldn’t you use polyurethane on ANY wall to do the same thing?
Any idea of the long term effects? Like what happens when I want to paint that wall in a few years?
Will the chalk still write on the poly?
Did you do this wondering if it works.
Which poly would you recommend?
Chalk markers will not erase on chalkboard if you used the chalkboard paint.
Yes they will they are made to erase
Try Pledge. So serious!
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. 😉
Ginny G says
I dampen the Magic Eraser with just a little water and then squeeze it out well. 🙂
I accidentally used a sharpie on a dry erase board. The Magic Eraser took that off, too! Those things are amazing!
Ginny G says
Great tip! Thanks, Stacy. I’m glad to hear it worked. They are amazing.
I accidentally did that last year, and I discovered that if you write over the sharpie with a dry erase marker, the sharpie will erase with it! It’s amazing!
Donna Stanfield says
Where do I purchase these labels and chalk markers?
Ginny G says
Donna, I wrote a review of several different brands of chalk markers and what I liked/disliked about each one. There are also links to where you can buy them in the post here: http://bit.ly/1j1gUUF
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!
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!
This blog just saved me $55 and a lot of hassle from returning black board buffet signs that I thought were ruined from using chalk markers.
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. 🙁
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.
Alice @ Mums Make Lists 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.
Not always the case, I primed my menu board with regular chalk then wrote with chalkboard markers and it will not come off!
pledge, the dusting spray works
I hear you saying that you used regular chalk over the paint as advised first but did you also use a primer before using the chalkboard paint?
I primed mine and the chalkboard markers did not budge. I am super excited to try a magic eraser
You have saved my day! Was about to suffer a minor teretts out burst as I have tried everything
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!
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!!!
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!
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!
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
So basically no of the chalk markers come off spray paint chalk boards easily, is that correct?
Does any eraser work?
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?
Thanks for sharing the tip…Worked like a charm! You’re awesome!!!
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!
This was SO helpful, thank you! Can’t wait to try!
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.)
Thank you so much!! I, like you, had tried everything!! THIS DOES WORK!!!
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.
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!
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!
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.
The chalk board markers from Walmart (Hampton Art) do not come off with Magic Erasers (boo! and I LOVE my Magic Erasers!) I used nail polish remover and it took the chalkboard paint right off, of course. Any other ideas before I tackle the others? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Chalkboard-Marker-2-Pkg/44394829
Tried this, and works perfectly! Thank you!
Sher Sher says
Don’t use chalkboard markers on porous surfaces, like walls. It will stain yr wall. I work for Hobby Lobby & made the mistake on a painted wall in an inconspicuous area. Only use real chalk, then wet a microfiber rag to use for cleaning.
Darn it! I was so excited when I found this! I have a chalkboard wall with chalk marker that won’t come off. Tried the magic eraser and it actually took the chalk paint right off the wall! I guess I’ll just have to repaint. 🙁
Ashley Nevis says
Thank you for this!! What a genius idea that worked like a charm 🙂
Ashley Nevis recently posted…Brown Sugar and Cinnamon PopTarts
It sure did work thank you so much for sharing. I keep magic erasers around to clean walls and doors. Mr. Clean does the job.
So what was decided about chalk board paint and the markers ? Use or don’t use?
Jamie K says
I purchased the easel chalk boards from Michaels and was not able to remove the chalk marker using windex or the magic eraser. I read through all of the comments and didnt have any nail polish, so I thought I’d give rubbing alcohol a try. I used a generous amount of rubbing alcohol with the magic eraser and was able to remove all of the chalk marker. This has been the only thing that I have been able to find to remove the marker. It didn’t require too much elbow grease, and there does appear to be a faint trace of the writing that was on the board previously, but this is the cleanest I have been able to get the boards versus anything else that I have tried or read about.
Magic Erasers are just a very fine sandpaper sponge! Be careful with those things.
Thank you for figuring it out and for sharing
Try acidic liquids: vinegar (any kinds), citrus (any kind)
Try alcohol (vodka – the higher the proof the better. Kids, please asks parents/guardians) or rubbing alcohol
Well, duh. Don’t I feel stupid? And ps. don’t buy chalk markers from the dollar store!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!
I have a new chalkboard. Do I have to season it if I’m using markers not actual chalk?
Shatakia Niles says
I started using the magic eraser after struggling to get the marker off but that is still tough. The marker I have apparently is not the best to use. I think I bought it from Joann’s. Anywho…any additional ideas, options to try?
Dawna Snow says
As a parent helper in my daughters 4th grade class, I thought I would do the teacher a huge favor. I asked her if I could chalk marker design all three sides of her new classroom chalk-painted podium her husband made.
The project turned out beautiful….. Until a month later I learned at home the markers will not erase!!!!
I had to let her know the problem and she kingly understood. It scrubbed over an hour with vinegar and magic eraser. It took a little of the paint off and the finish seemed to be not as smooth.
Take my advice. NO CHALK MARKERS!!!!!
I don’t recommend using the chalk markers on painted chalk wall/door I did and ended up having to use a magic eraser to get it off which then took some of the chalk board finish off. Stick to normal chalk unless on a store bought chalk board. 😉
Annie Grimm says
I love my Mr. Clean eraser it cleans everything, even my bathtub. I have chalkboard paint on my cabinets, and I did not like using regular chalk so I bought some chalk paints. Which are hard to clean off. I am glad that you wrote a post about how to clean it off. Another use for my magic block.
Jen H says
Thank you so much! I tried every cleaner in my house with no luck…I was ready to throw out the chalkboard before I read your post!
Ashtyn McCoy says
Thank you so much because my nephews and neises came over and my daughter has a chalkboard wall and they scribbled on it with chalk board markers. She was so mad until I found this! Thank you so much
Tara Peterson says
Thank you for this!!! I googled “how to remove chalk marker” and your blog popped up! I have a little chalkboard menu stand and it’s had writing on it since Easter…its June ! Lol but the magic eraser immediately took it off. I was considering tossing the board if I couldn’t get it off. So, thanks for saving me $$!
I avoid magic eraser if I can due to it’s toxicity, especially for our waterways and oceans. those little bits of disintegrated sponge end up somewhere, and if you’ve heard of people getting chemical burns trying to remove something from their skin with one, then it’s ingredients can’t be good.
anyway, I found a much less toxic and equally easy way. Bon Ami powder cleanser. I use it for everything that needs to be scrubbed in my house. from pots and pans to delicate thrifted dish ware. I find it can be used in place of the magic eraser for many many things. If you can’t find it in your grocery store, usually old fashioned hardware stores have it, and I’ve even seen it in the cleaning isle of Target.
Jessica Vittone says
I second Bon Ami!
This solution worked great for me, even using an off brand equivalent. Thank you!
Michelle Slauenwhite says
Thank you!!! I have been puzzled on this one for a year!!
Water took off all the colors easily, but left ghosts behind.
I tried the Magic Eraser but it couldn’t get rid of the pesky marker ghosts. What to do?? Next, I was tempted to use Windex, but tried Sprayaway Glass Cleaner instead. It worked beautifully! It took away the ghosts and my pencil guidelines. Very relieved that the Sprayaway didn’t wreck my chalkboard…… and now the board looks like new.
Alyssa Sampson says
Thank you. I tried everything on my daughters wall to get rid of the chalkboard marker design we put there over the holidays. I never use Mr.Clean. so it never crossed my mind. We received a sample in the mail and while it isn’t perfect (I didn’t tey soaked in nailpolish remover like mentioned by another commenter) it definitely cleaned it better than anything else. And the 3 ft by 2 ft area took almost my whole eraser. 😒😒
Miss Vicki says
I’m ashamed to have to ask, but does anyone have any advice for removing chalk marker from fabric? Yup, it happened :/
I third Bon Ami. I’m not in favor of a chemical product especially with all the mysterious cancer issues everywhere. Bon Ami is natural.
Jennifer Reynolds says
You just saved my butt! I am re-doing dessert boards for a client and couldn’t get my old art work off. The Mr. Clean pads did the trick. Phew!!!! Thank you for posting this.
There are different types of chalk markers-be careful. Learned this the hard way. I found of you want an eraseable marker you must use Wet Erase chalk markers. I still struggle getting the ghosting effect to completely vanish. Magic Eraser is my best choice when cleaning off chalk markers-a lt of elbow grease as well. Still experimenting with the surfaces of my chalkboards. Will try spraying with poly. As an event sign maker I need the flexibility to change them often and am always looking for something to speed up the cleaning process!
Worked perfect with the nail polish remover and Magic eraser. The Windex would have worked, but you had to use a bit more elbow grease. Thank you!
Worked like a dream!! Thank you so much for this tip! (Can’t believe I didn’t consider it on my own..) I use chalkboards and markers for work A LOT and this will help so much!