Dry Erase Wall No-Nos
Premium dry erase wall paint is highly durable and comes with a warranty stating that painted walls and other surfaces will last for ten or more years of normal use without fading, yellowing, peeling, or cracking. (As long as it’s not epoxy-based) However, it’s essential to realize that you should avoid using and putting certain items on these surfaces in order to maintain their pristine look, durability, and usefulness for the entire length of the warranty period. Here are some basic guidelines to follow about items to stay away from when using and maintaining your dry erase surface.
Avoid Using Permanent Markers on Your Dry Erase Wall
Writing or drawing with permanent marker ink on a premium dry erase painted wall produces marks that can’t be taken out by using the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning method; that is, a careful wipe down with a dampened microfiber cloth. As an alternative, to take permanent marker ink from the surface of a dry erase wall, you need to use a black dry erase marker or the darkest color of dry erase marker you can find. First, totally cover the permanent ink markings with dry erase ink, which contains a solvent that can dissolve the stains. Remember to use a dry erase marker with a good supply of ink so that you won’t run out while covering the permanent ink marks.
Then allow the inked-over area to sit for a few seconds and wipe off the surface with a clean microfiber cloth. Both the permanent ink and the dry erase ink should come off easily because both permanent and dry-erase markers contain the same type of solvent, a so-called “non-polar solvent.” For this reason, the solvent in the dry-erase marker will dissolve the ink from the permanent marker, separating it from the surface.
The general rule for determining if a solvent (in this instance, dry erase marker ink) will dissolve a particular solute (permanent marker ink) is “like dissolves like.” Solvents such as water that are made up of polar molecules can dissolve other substances consisting of polar molecules, such as baking soda. Similarly, non-polar solvents like dry erase marker ink can dissolve other non-polar materials like permanent marker ink.
If your first try at removing the permanent ink is not entirely successful, perform the inking-over procedure again. Many dry erase ink cleaning products include solvents that are less powerful than those in dry erase markers. So, for long-term care and maintenance of your dry erase wall, you should use a powerful top-quality soy-based whiteboard cleaner or other environmentally friendly cleaner.
Avoid Applying Tape or Stickers to Your Dry Erase Surface
Applying electrical tape, cellophane tape, masking tape, or other types of tape to a dry erase wall to hang notes, artwork, and the like will cause residue from the tape’s adhesive to stay on the surface after the tape is removed. This will then lead to writing and erasing issues. Tape residue may be hard to clean from dry erase walls and may require using materials like household cooking spray, which can leave a residue and ultimately affect the writability of your surface. However, if you’re planning to use tape to install a calendar or another type of semi-permanent template on your wall, it’s all right to do so as long as you recognize the need to clean off the tape residue if you want to remove the calendar or template someday.
To get rid of tape from a dry erase wall you’ll have to carefully pull off as much of the tape as you can and then wipe off the surface with a dry microfiber cloth. Next, apply cooking spray to the areas of the dry erase surface that have any remaining tape residue and do a second wipe down. Finally, do a third wipe down with a wet microfiber cloth.
As an alternative to tape to use for attaching things to your dry erase wall, you might try GoodHangups, a new unique magnetic system for hanging posters, prints, photos, cards, and other items on walls or other surfaces. With the GoodHangup system, it’s not necessary to drill holes for mounting, so no damage is caused to your dry erase surface.
GoodHangups can easily be removed and reused and won’t damage artwork or other materials because no adhesives are needed to hang items. Using this system, you can quickly and easily post items on your dry erase wall in the home office, school, household, or other location.
The uniqueness of GoodHangups stems from the system’s MagnaStickers, which are detachable, reusable, magnetic, and able to turn a dry erase wall and almost any other surface into a magnetic receptacle. The system eliminates the need for expensive, size-specific frames, and when you want to remove or replace items, you can do so in three minutes or less.
Don’t Use Coarse Materials Such as Paper Towels to Clean Your Dry Erase Wall
Abrasive dry ink erasers or coarse-textured paper towels and toilet paper can mar the surface of a dry erase wall by creating minute scratches that make complete erasing difficult or impossible, thus degrading the fine finish of the coating. Also, avoid trying to wipe down your dry erase painted wall with caustic products such as household kitchen or bathroom cleaners, industrial cleaners, or solutions containing ammonia or bleach. As an alternative, use a quality water-dampened microfiber cloth to clean and maintain your dry erase wall. A cloth made of microfiber fabric is highly effective at trapping the tiniest dirt particles and specks of dry erase ink and can be washed and reused for an indefinite period.
Cloths consisting of microfibers are able to both clean and condition a dry erase surface at the same time because of their distinctive construction, which features many more fibers per square inch than cotton, polyester, or other fabrics. Because of the extremely minute size of microfibers, these cloths can remove ink, dirt, and stains much more thoroughly than other cleaning tools, leaving a dry erase surface free of virtually all foreign material. For this reason, the surface becomes more attractive and easier to write on and erase than if it were cleaned with a dry ink eraser or a cloth made of other thicker fibers.
No Standard Household Cleaners On Your Dry Erase Painted Wall
Avoid cleaners that contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia or bleach because these substances can affect the luster, writability, and erasability of your dry erase painted wall. Our proprietary water-based whiteboard surface cleaner is safe and effective, low in odor, and environmentally friendly, as it contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the harmful chemicals used to make most conventional household cleaners. For this reason, our dry erase surface cleaning solution is safe to apply in offices, classrooms, retail shops, and other locations where people are present.
Be sure that you use only a water-based whiteboard surface cleaner and a microfiber cloth for maintaining your dry erase painted wall. Water-based cleaners are recommended because they won’t affect the finish of your dry erase wall. Also, these products are environmentally friendly because they contain few if any volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which add significantly to air and water pollution and are thus hazardous to humans, animals, and the planet.
No Using a Wet Eraser on Your Whiteboard Wall Surface
Attempting to use a wet eraser to remove dry erase marker ink from a premium dry erase wall can cause streaking of the ink and even severe staining that’s hard to remove. The only wet tool that is acceptable for erasing a premium dry erase painted wall is a microfiber cloth moistened with water. Using this approach, you can eliminate all signs of dry erase marker ink and leave a rehabilitated and shiny surface that’s ready to write on. It’s also a good idea to occasionally clean your dry erase surface with an eco-friendly whiteboard cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth.