Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

How to Clean a Chalkboard Ridden With Chalk Deposits

how to clean a chalk board custom graphic

Whether it was used to learn on or teach with, we’ve all worked on a chalkboard at some point in our lives. Of course, nowadays, with advances in technology, we see younger generations switching to iPads, tabs, and other electronic devices that offer endless learning potential. That said, some of us prefer our old school methods and thus, keep our chalkboards close at hand! This is all the more relevant among the likes of teachers and professors who still use a trusty ol’ chalkboard or chalkboard wall for most of their teachings and explanations in the classroom. 

Not surprisingly, with regular use comes the need to clean your chalkboard. How often? Well, that depends on the condition of the chalkboard, and how much use it bears on a daily/weekly basis. With that said, it should be noted that chalkboards have a finish that is sensitive to certain products or liquids, therefore, cleaning it too often is not recommended. Chalkboard walls, in particular, should not be cleaned more than once a month because they are thinner and more delicate than actual chalkboards. 

For best results, our cleaning experts advise learning how to clean a chalkboard using a surface-appropriate method, and carrying it out every 2-3 weeks. Now, let’s discuss the cleaning instructions one must follow to properly clean a chalkboard or chalkboard wall.

4 Steps to Clean a Chalkboard

dirty chalk board with chalk residue

While you might have seen a few commercial chalkboard cleaners on shelves at your local supermarket or stationary shop, it is incredibly easy and economical to make a DIY cleaning solution at home that is equally effective in getting the board all cleaned up. Today, we are going to explain how to make DIY chalkboard cleaner and, of course, how to use it! Read on.

Step One: Clean Off the Chalk

Start with wiping the board using a chalkboard eraser. If you didn’t already know this, a chalkboard should always be wiped in horizontal lines, starting from the top. Using circular motions will cause residue from the chalk to spread around, thus leaving more of a discoloured haze on the board. 

If you don’t have a chalkboard eraser, a clean and soft microfibre cloth can be used instead. Be sure to clean out chalk deposits in corners and along the edges of the board when you wipe it down. 

Step Two: Make the Chalkboard Cleaning Solution

To make a DIY cleaning solution for your chalkboard or chalkboard wall, all you need is distilled white vinegar and water; simply add half a cup of vinegar in about 4 litres of water and mix it well. To clean a small chalkboard, combine ¼ cup vinegar and 2 litres of water.  

It is advisable to steer clear of soapy solutions, chemicals, and harsh cleaners as the chalkboard finish can suffer some damage if anything stronger than diluted white vinegar is used. If you choose to use a commercial chalkboard cleaner, follow the instructions on the label to ensure proper usage of the same.

Step Three: Wipe With a Damp Cloth

We must stress on the importance of using a merely damp cloth as opposed to one that is dripping wet. Similarly, you don’t want to saturate an area of the board by wiping over it more than once. 

With that in mind, dip a clean, microfibre cloth in the water-vinegar solution; squeeze out as much excess liquid as you can, and then wipe the chalkboard from one top-end side to the other. Do this in one, seamless motion before you move to the next (lower) section. You will also need to rinse the cloth thoroughly between wipes as it will likely get dirty as it picks up chalk residue. 

Step Four: Dry the Chalkboard

Wipe the board with a dry, absorbent cloth from top to bottom. Blot areas that appear to have more moisture present on the surface, and then allow the chalkboard to air-dry. Another way to dry your chalkboard is by using a window squeegee. Work in horizontal lines, starting at the top, and use a clean, dry cloth to soak up any trickles as you squeegee the board. Thereafter, leave the chalkboard to air-dry completely before using it again. This may take a couple of hours, however, we advise leaving it overnight to dry properly. Remember, using chalk on a slightly damp chalkboard can leave very stubborn chalk marks that will not come off with just an eraser. 

How to Keep a Chalkboard Looking Clean

lady with red t-shirt cleaning dirty chalk board

In case you didn’t know, a chalkboard surface has miniscule crevices that trap residue everytime chalk is used on the board. This gives the chalkboard that ghostly haze which an eraser can’t remove. To prevent this, the chalkboard can be ‘seasoned’ by simply covering the entire board with chalk, and then wiping it off. For this, you should use the side of the chalk stick, and coat every inch of the chalkboard before erasing it in swift, horizontal strokes. 

Ideally, chalkboards must be seasoned before their first use, however, if you are a little late to the party, you can still do this after cleaning the board, and allowing it to dry completely. In doing so, you can limit deep cleaning your chalkboard to a monthly or bi-monthly task.

So, the next time you find your chalkboard ridden with chalk deposits or left with a ghostly haze, follow the step-by-step instructions to clean the chalkboard, and keep it clean with the seasoning tip above!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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