Chalkboard Cleaning Tips

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Years ago, chalkboards were made of either black or grey slate.

They often took up an entire wall in a classroom and the sound of fingernails on that board sent most kids running from the room.

Pounding erasers and cleaning the chalkboard was the penalty for the badly behaved kids who were being punished for their elementary school infractions.

Today, however, even the good kids know how to clean painted chalkboards because they have them at home.

Cleaning the Board:

The first step to cleaning a painted chalkboard is to remove as much of the chalk as possible. Using the erasers, rub back and forth and up and down several times.

Today’s chalk doesn’t have as much dust as it did in the past, so you can be fairly aggressive about this without worrying that you’ll be covered in chalk dust for the rest of the day.

Cleaning Solution:

Pour ¼ to ½ cup of distilled white vinegar into a large pail filled with lukewarm water.

Grab your cleaning cloth (don’t use paper towel as it will leave lint and could scratch the painted part of the board) and wipe the board down.

Cleaning a Painted Wall:

Is there anything more fun for a kid than writing on walls? If you’ve created your own chalkboard wall, you can clean it in much the same way you clean a painted portable board. Using the eraser, wipe the board of as much chalk as possible.

Using felt erasers is always recommended, as they’re durable yet soft and won’t scratch the surface of the wall or the paint.

Use the same cleaning solution listed above and wipe down the chalkboard wall. It’s very important to let the wall air dry overnight or for at least 12 hours before using it again. If it’s still wet, the chalk may ruin the paint.

Refreshing the Chalkboard:

After several months of use, or use by kids who use a lot of pressure when they draw, chalkboards can get a little dull. When this happens it’s possible the paint can start to come off in spots with overuse.

If this happens, follow the steps on “Cleaning the Board” above and repaint the wall.

You can use the same color you used the first time, or make it snazzier by using one or more new colors.

Either way, make sure you ventilate the room properly. Send the kids out into the yard if you can and open all windows and turn on the ceiling fan if there is one.

Make sure to break it in by coloring over the entire board with a piece of chalk; using the side of the chalk takes less time.

Let it “cure” and then erase it. That’s it! That’s all there is to how to clean a painted chalkboard.

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