September 20, 2019

DIY Whiteboard and Homemade Cleaner

Need a whiteboard, but suffering from budget overload? Help is here. Read on for ideas on how to create a DIY version for yourself.

Starting up a new school and need a bunch of them? Homeschooling and need to squeeze out every extra penny? Perhaps you are starting your own home office to pursue extra income. Whatever your reasons, saving money on an otherwise expensive whiteboard is a good thing.

Basically, you go to your handy dandy giant neighborhood hardware store and pick up some shiny smooth-finish shower board (otherwise known as smooth tile board). This is the stuff white boards are made of. You can usually pick up a large piece of it for less than twenty bucks. Frame it or not, and affix it to the wall as you see fit. Most people recommend making sure it’s flat to avoid warping, and to make for a more stable writing surface. Some folks have even used glass against a colored wall. The principle is the same, and the cost is similarly cheap. You could easily do a whole wall as a whiteboard for a giant team brainstorming area, or a place for children and teens to feel creative.

Some construction ideas from around the web?

  • This guy has a very short list of materials and a simple design. I’d personally cap off the ends and do more of a direct attachment to the wall instead of a hanging fixture, but definitely a simple idea.

  • This gentleman has a similar suggestions, but shows some alternative layouts, gives some additional rationale for the large versions, and also has some suggestions for a slightly different (although more expensive) version which also accepts magnets.

How do you keep them clean?

Other than looking for a bargain deal on the traditional Expo cleaner for whiteboards, there are apparently several homemade versions posted around the internet. One of the simplest was a simple solution of water and rubbing alcohol. I’ve also heard that certain types of dryer sheets can work, although I’m not sure that’s the greenest option. Here are a few posts I found on the subject:

  • This person tested various suggestions she’d heard of in a controlled manner and rated the results in a spreadsheet with notes for your review. Score!

  • This individual uses baking soda to remove tougher long-term stains.

  • Loads of DIY whiteboard cleaning solution ideas here. Bonus? They are dirt cheap.

I wish I had known about this years ago. My husband’s been asking to have a large white board at home for some time. I think we may finally carve out a space this spring. Do you have a DIY success story with your own whiteboard? Let us know.

Flickr Photo Credit: Cyrenaic


  1. Made ONE says:

    I used the tile board from the big brick and mortar store. I cut the 4×8′ sheet into 2 pieces. One is 3×4′ and the other is 5×4′. The smaller one is used in my little shed/work shop to quickly sketch out ideas to visualize my projects. The other has come in very handy since going back to college. It hangs in my office. While studying, I use it to jot down things I don’t fully understand. For example, when reading a chapter and learning a new concept, I’ll write some things out. After looking over other information, it kind of sinks-in. I erase each point as I commit them to memory. I used 1×3′s to frame and straighten them. Very useful in every day life.

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