Which Markers Can You Use on Whiteboards or Dry Erase Boards?

Whiteboards have become the standard board type in offices, schools, and other settings and have primarily replaced old chalkboards and black marker boards.

However, you can’t use all kinds of markers on whiteboards since some will leave permanent stains. So, which markers can you use on dry-erase boards? 

The markers you can use on whiteboards or dry-erase boards are dry-erase markers. You can also get refillable dry-erase markers, which are cost-effective for regular whiteboard use. 

So, let’s look at the markers you can and cannot use on a whiteboard surface. I’ll tell you about the markers that won’t leave stains on your dry-erase board so that you can start over with a clean slate anytime you want.  

Can You Use Washable Markers on a Whiteboard or Dry Erase Board?

Washable markers are wipe-off markers for writing on non-porous surfaces. You can use washable markers on tiles, glass, wood, fabric, and other household surfaces.

Therefore, these markers are popular for children since it’s easy to wash them off surfaces and skin with water or a marker removal solution. 

You can’t use washable markers on a whiteboard as they may cause permanent stains if left to dry. Washable markers have a paste solution that causes semi-permanent stains. While you can wash the ink off with water or a marker removal solution, this process is challenging and may not work. 

While washable markers are easy to clean off most surfaces, they don’t go well with dry-erase boards since you shouldn’t clean these boards with liquid cleaners.

The water-based solution of washable markers means you must wipe them off with a wet cloth, which may damage a dry-erase board over time. 

writing on a dry erase board using a regular marker

Can You Use Regular Markers on a Dry Erase Board?

You can use regular markers on a dry-erase board, but they may leave stains. Therefore, you may want to avoid using standard markers on a dry-erase board. Instead, use dry erase markers which are easy to wipe off. 

Another problem with regular markers on dry-erase boards is that you cannot wipe them off after they dry. 

While they dry slower than whiteboard markers, washable markers can leave stubborn stains on whiteboards. You may have to use a chemical-based cleaner to remove these stains, which could cause your whiteboard to fade. 

What Can I Use On a Whiteboard Instead of a Dry Erase Marker?

While dry-erase markers are the recommended choice for writing on whiteboards and dry-erase boards, sometimes you may need an alternative if you can’t get your hands on a whiteboard marker.

Fortunately, some other options are as effective as dry-erase markers and won’t cause stains on your whiteboard. 

You can use Crayola markers, wet-erase markers, and liquid chalk on a dry-erase board instead of a dry-erase marker. Crayola markers have a unique formula that makes them easy to remove from whiteboards. However, when using wet-erase markers or liquid chalk, you should not let the ink dry. 

The best alternative to dry-erase markers is Crayola markers (click here to see which ones are for sale on Amazon).

These markers are ideal for non-porous surfaces, and removing them from a whiteboard is simple. They contain a unique formula that allows you to clean the board without using a wet cloth, even though they are wet-erase markers. 

washable crayola markers in different colors

However, just as with other wet-erase markers, you need to clean them off a dry-erase board with water once they dry. So, while they are easier to clean and won’t leave stubborn stains like other wet-erase markers, you should only use them if you don’t have dry-erase markers available. 

The second alternative you can use in place of a dry-erase marker is a wet-erase marker. These markers can be cleaned with a wet cloth and are easy to remove if they dry out.

You can use them on a dry-erase board or whiteboard, but you won’t be able to clean them with a whiteboard eraser. If you use a wet-erase marker on a whiteboard surface, keep a cloth for cleaning it before it dries out. 

Your last option to use on a whiteboard is liquid chalk. Liquid chalk is quite popular with school kids and teachers, and it’s easy to clean. Liquid chalk is safe for children, unlike regular chalk, which may harm children if they attempt to eat it (source: The Guardian). 

When using liquid chalk on a whiteboard, be sure to wipe it off soon after writing, as it will become more challenging to clean the longer you let it dry. 

While these alternatives will leave stains when dry on a regular whiteboard, they are great options for glass whiteboards used in many office settings. 


Dry-erase markers are perfect for whiteboards since they don’t leave stains and are easy to clean off with a whiteboard eraser. However, if you don’t have a whiteboard marker, you can use Crayola markers, wet-erase markers, or liquid chalk instead.