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How to Remove Chalk Marker from Chalkboard so You Can Draw on a Fresh Slate

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how to remove chalk marker from chalkboard

Are you frustrated with the smudges that chalk markers produce whenever you erase them? For this tutorial, I will share some tips and tricks on how to remove chalk marker from chalkboard neatly.

Even though chalk markers are erasable, you need the right strategies to prevent further messing up your chalkboard. Remember, chalkboards have porous surfaces but you don’t have to look any further than what’s already in your house for cleaning solutions.

Aside from teaching you how to remove the chalk ink, I will also include a tutorial on how to season your chalkboard. This way, you will not have a hard time erasing your artwork.

What You Need


Chalk stick

Before drawing anything, you need to season your chalkboard using a white chalk stick and a dry cloth. In the context of chalk marker art, “seasoning” is basically the process of preparing the chalkboard to prevent cleaning problems in the future. I highly recommend that you don’t skip this step.

Vinegar and water

The ever-reliable vinegar does not only make for delicious meals but it can clean up different kinds of ink stains, including liquid chalk on a chalkboard. There are two ways to use vinegar. One is mixing it with water and wiping the surface with a microfiber cloth. The other one is soaking it with a magic eraser, which is commonly used for heavy-duty cleaning.

Magic eraser

Besides dampening the magic eraser with vinegar, you can use it like a sponge on the chalkboard to scrub the surface. You will need some water to help remove the liquid chalk. Get a dry rag ready as you need it to dry the chalkboard.

Even though this method is simpler, some of us may not have a magic eraser laying around at home. Still, magic erasers are cheap and it comes in handy for all sorts of cleaning. They work not just on a chalkboard but also on other porous surfaces like wood that you may have drawn with a chalk marker. But if you can get away with the vinegar and water solution, you don’t need to buy a magic eraser.

Other cleaning solutions

Ammonia-based cleaning solutions, like window cleaners, work well on chalkboards. For this method, you will need a microfiber cloth. My only gripe is that ammonia-based cleaners tend to have a strong smell.

An odor-free alternative is to buy one of those cleaning kits sold by chalk marker manufacturers. The kit usually includes a cleaning solution, microfiber cloth, and sponge. However, this product can be expensive.

Compared to the dedicated cleaning kit for chalkboard, the other products I mentioned above are inexpensive and more versatile in terms of usage. But I will leave the decision up to you. At the end of the day, the best cleaning method is the one that fits your preference and budget.



Seasoning the chalkboard

  1. Prepare the chalk stick, dry cloth, and chalkboard in your work area. If you’re allergic to dust, I recommend wearing a mask before you start working. You can also consider watching this tutorial by Marvy Uchida if you prefer learning with visual guides.
  2. Begin by rubbing the long end of the chalk on the chalkboard. Cover the entire surface in an up and down motion, followed by a side to side motion.
  3. Wipe off the chalked surface using a dry cloth. As a result, the chalkboard will look somewhat cloudy instead of “clean”. Rest assured that this is what a seasoned slate should look like.
  4. Spot test your chalk marker before you start drawing.

Pro tip: Double-check to see if the chalk marker is indeed suitable for porous surfaces. Keep in mind that certain brands of chalk markers are not meant for MDF chalkboards or chalkboard-painted walls. You can make your life a whole lot easier if you buy a chalk marker set that is compatible with the chalkboard that you have.

Using vinegar and water solution

  1. Start by mixing vinegar and water. recommends a ratio of 4 cups of lukewarm water to half a cup of vinegar. If you need to clean a large surface area, you can add more but stick to the ratio.
  2. Wet the cloth with the mixture and wring the excess liquid before you start wiping it on the surface. Allow the chalkboard to air-dry.

Pro tip: Avoid rubbing or wiping too hard as this may dent the chalkboard. Another thing to remember is to allow the surface to completely dry before you start drawing. These tips apply to all the other cleaning methods you will find below.

Using a magic eraser

  1. Gather all the materials needed to clean the chalkboard: the magic eraser and water. For your backup plan, vinegar and a dry rag.
  2. If the ink stain is small, you can cut the magic eraser in half and save the rest for the next chalkboard cleaning session. For large surfaces, you can use the entire magic eraser.
  3. According to, you do not need a lot of water to dampen the magic eraser. Instead, wet it just enough so you can rub it across the surface.
  4. If the above method did not completely remove the liquid chalk on the chalkboard, get another magic eraser and dampen it with vinegar. Then use it to wipe the residue off the surface.

Pro tip: Blogger Jessica of Fantabulosity shares that she keeps a dry rag in hand to wipe off the moisture as she scrubs to avoid the smeared chalk from drying.

Using a window cleaning solution

  1. For starters, spray the window cleaning solution onto the area that you need to clean. Using a clean microfiber cloth, wipe the liquid ink.
  2. If you see some liquid chalk residue, this tutorial from Kassa suggests using a chalk stick’s long side to prime the surface.
  3. Leave it for a couple of minutes then spray the window cleaning solution. After that, wipe it off with the cloth. This will surely remove every remaining residue on the chalkboard.

Using a chalkboard cleaning solution

  1. Be sure to read the instructions indicated in the packaging as each product may give specific directions. If you bought the Versa Chalk cleaning kit, you might check this step-by-step instruction on their website.
  2. Apply the cleaning solution as instructed by the manufacturer. Likewise, check the brand’s recommendation on how much you should apply. You will need to consider the size of the stain or how long the chalk liquid has been on the chalkboard surface.
  3. Wipe off the chalk ink using the sponge or eraser foam provided in the kit. Remove the excess moisture with the microfiber cloth.


Did you manage to remove the chalk marker ink from the chalkboard using the methods I provided above?

Whether you made a mistake or it’s simply time to change the artwork, the methods I shared will come in handy. Nevertheless, the key takeaway from this article is that the best cleaning solution is to address the root cause. Cleaning will be less complicated if you season your chalkboard and buy the correct chalk marker.

That said, I’m curious about your experience in how you get liquid chalk off the chalkboard. Be sure to leave a comment and share this tutorial with anyone you know who might need this.

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