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Whiteboard Ghosting

Whiteboards are essential in classrooms, offices, meeting rooms and even in the home. But we’ve all been there – they look great for the first little while then ghosting starts to appear. The board will go from a dazzling white to a dirty grey, with permanent remnants of previous uses.

This makes the board look tatty and old, reduces the board’s useful life span, and makes reading the writing difficult. Something you want to avoid, especially during lessons or important meetings!

What Causes Ghosting?

Ghosting occurs when ink seeps through the whiteboard or drywipe surface’s top layer, shielding the stain from drywipe erasers. All pens can cause ghosting if they’re left on the board for too long, but it can be worsened by using poor quality pens, or non-drywipe pens such as permanent markers.

Whereas drywipe pens deposit an inky residue on top of the surface layer, permanent marker ink is designed to seep through the top layer, making it difficult to remove.

Drywipe pens contain an oily silicone polymer that helps to erase the ink. Poor quality pens contain smaller amounts of this polymer, so their use can lead to marks being left on the boards for extended periods of time, which then leads to ghosting.

Overly frequent use and poor whiteboard surface quality can lead to ghosting, too – and this can be worsened by erasing ink that’s still wet. This is because the solvent doesn’t have time to evaporate and therefore smudges the polymer when erased. Instead of removing the ink, it smudges it over a larger area which, over time, bleeds through the top layer.

How can ghosting be prevented?

The simplest way to prevent ghosting is to wait for the ink to fully dry before cleaning, and to wipe the ink off the board surface as soon as it is not needed.

You can also help prevent ghosting by regularly cleaning your boards with a whiteboard cleaner and replacing erasers or wipes when they’re dirty. Dirty erasers can lose their effectiveness over time as the erased silicone builds up, so it’s important to remember to replace them once they reach the end of their lifespan.

Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners or erasers, and avoid leaving drywipe ink on the board for long periods of time.

Of course, if ghosting does appear a ‘quick fix’ is to write over the old staining using a drywipe pen and quickly wipe away as this can loosen the stain. However, this does not guarantee results and can make the problem worse.

A long term fix

The best way to prevent ghosting is to invest in high-quality drywipe boards and pens. Although the initial cost may seem higher, you will save money by not needing to replace your resources as often.

All Show-me boards feature an ultra-smooth, glossy surface for optimal erasability. Every Show-me Classpack and Bulk Box comes supplied with high-quality drywipe pens. They’re designed for classroom use and use premium whiteboard ink which will be kind to the surface of your whiteboards.