How do whiteboards keep ink fresh?

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If you draw on a wall / table with a marker it will dry almost immediately and won’t come off easily, so how do whiteboards get around that?

In: Chemistry

The type of ink in the dry erase markers are formulated to sit on top of a surface. Also, the whiteboard itself is non-porous (doesn’t absorb), or nearly so, so the ink just sits on top without sinking in. This is why you can get some staining on old whiteboards. The coating that makes them non-porous gets worn.

Fun fact, you can use dry erase markers on any non-porous flat surface, and it’ll wipe off the same.

It’s not the board. It’s the special pen. Mostly. Normal marker pens will set solid on a whiteboard and won’t come off. Special whiteboard pens work just as well on any shiny surface, eg glass, as they do on a proper whiteboard.

I don’t believe it has anything to do with the board itself, as they work on any non-porous surfaces.

The ink has an infusion of a solvent. Solvent, as you probably know, remove ink. You can actually use dry wipe marker to remove other ink stains.

Regular markers contain a single solvent that evaporates, leaving the ink firmly attached to the surface. Whiteboard markers contain two solvents. The first evaporates, leaving the ink in the second, less fluid, solvent, so it’s reasonable durable but can be wiped off.

The second solvent evaporates over time, so very old writing on whiteboards becomes almost as difficult to remove as permanent marker.