Black chalkboards are becoming obsolete, but as long as they exist, there is a need for an effective method on how to clean chalkboard erasers. My approach combines the best cleaning methods for chalkboard erasers for the ultimate cleansing process. I use the simple hitting-the-eraser process and brushing, vacuuming, washing, or, when necessary, the white vinegar procedure. Here is how I clean chalkboard erasers.
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How to Clean Chalkboard Erasers – The Ultimate Guide
There are many ways to clean chalkboard erasers. I combine those ways to create one ultimate process that will utterly clean chalkboard erasers of all dust, dirt, and stains.
Here are all the materials you will need. Some of the materials listed here you may not need. Their necessity depends on how filthy, dusty, or stained the chalkboard eraser is.
- Flat surface
- Soft brush
- Small, hand-held vacuum
- Warm water
- White vinegar
Step 1: Clapping the Eraser
The first method, and the simplest, of cleaning chalkboard erasers is to clap them against a hard, flat surface. However, this step gets rid of the worst of the chalk dust on the eraser; it does not remove all the dust. I do this step if the chalkboard eraser is heavily laden with chalk dust.
When clapping the eraser on a hard and flat surface, I advise you to do it outdoors. The chalk dust can easily cling to clothing, curtains, or anywhere else you don’t want them to. Clapping the erasers outdoors limits the possibility of the dust adhering to other things in the house or room.
Step 2: Brushing the Eraser
As I’ve mentioned, clapping the erasers on a hard and flat surface will only get the worst of the chalk dust out. It will not remove all the dust. I use a small brush to rid the eraser of the dust particles that the clapping method can’t remove.
You can use any soft brush for this step. If you are using a toothbrush, I suggest you use one with soft bristles. Chalkboard erasers are made of felt strips glued to a handle. Using a stiff and aggressive brush can damage the felt strips and essentially ruin the eraser.
Gently brush the eraser until the brush can’t remove any more dust. I prefer to do this by section. I run the brush along each of the strips individually. The process does not last for more than 10 minutes.
You might wonder why bother going through the clapping method if the brushing method practically achieves the same thing. That is a good question. If you skip to the brushing method, it will take more time to clean the eraser. As I have mentioned, I perform the clapping procedure if the eraser is very heavily laden with chalk dust.
But even after using the brush, there may still be more chalk dust stuck on the eraser.
Step 3: Vacuuming the Eraser
After the brushing method, some erasers are good to go for another use. But if you want the eraser to be totally clean, you want to proceed with the vacuuming step.
Take a small, hand-held vacuum and turn it to its lowest settings. Turning it to its higher settings might tear the felt of the eraser. Run the vacuum across the surface of the eraser to suck out all of the dust stuck in the felt.
The vacuuming method is the most effective way to remove the dust stubbornly sticking to the felt. Because felt is rolled-up, matted, condensed, and pressed wool or other fibers, the dust can get buried deep within its fibers.
Step 4: Washing the Eraser (for Erasers that Hasn’t Been Cleaned in a Long Time)
This step I skip most of the time because it is time-consuming. But if you haven’t cleaned your chalkboard eraser for ages, washing it may be necessary.
Washing the chalkboard eraser removes the most deep-seated dirt out of it. If the eraser has not been cleaned in a long time, chalk dust will not be the only filth in it.
Fill a small bucket with warm water, then throw the eraser into it. You can use a soft brush or your fingers to rub the eraser clean.
When it is clean, use a clean towel to rub the eraser dry. But since the eraser is made of felt, you won’t get it completely dry with a towel. You will have to let the eraser air-dry (not exposed to the sun) for several days for it to dry completely. The drying with a towel serves only to get the eraser as dry quickly as possible.
I usually clean my erasers regularly using the first three steps so I can avoid washing them. If I wash a chalkboard eraser, I would have to wait several days for it to dry – this process is time-consuming, as I have already mentioned.
Pro-tip: the more often you clean your eraser with the clapping, brushing, and vacuuming methods, the more you can avoid washing the eraser.
Step 5: Washing the Eraser with a White Vinegar Solution (for Stained Erasers)
If the eraser has stains on it, washing it with a white vinegar solution is the best method, in my opinion. Stains can come from many sources, but the most common is wet chalkboard pens.
The first step of this process is filling a bucket with warm water. Then, mix white vinegar into the water. My recommended proportion is two parts of water for one part white vinegar. Because vinegar is quite acidic, it can damage the felt fibers, so maintaining the proper concentration of vinegar is necessary.
If the entire eraser is stained, you have to throw it into the white vinegar solution. If only a spot is stained, I suggest using a clean cloth or a soft brush dipped into the solution to clean the stain.
Gently rub away the stain. Once it’s gone, rinse the eraser with cold water. Then use a clean towel to pat away most of the moisture, then let the eraser air-dry for several days.
Once it’s dry, the eraser is suitable for use again.
Chalkboard erasers accumulate chalk dust, dirt, and sometimes stains. Cleaning it requires both physical and occasionally chemical processes. For a physical clean, the clapping, brushing, and vacuuming – in that order – processes are the best way. If the eraser has not been cleaned in a long time, washing it with warm water may be necessary. And if it has stains, washing it with a white vinegar solution is the most effective method.