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What Can I Use Instead of a Dry Erase Marker?

what to use in place of a dry erase marker

I use whiteboard markers quite often, which is why I also tend to run out of them often. In case I really need it, what can I use instead of a dry-erase marker? What other markers can I use, or are there other products available?

If you are looking for a good alternative to a traditional whiteboard or dry-erase marker, there are many options to choose from. Some are quite obvious choices and a few of them might surprise you with just how they work. If you are interested to know more about these marker alternatives, this article will teach you about the options available.

What to Use in Place of a Dry Erase Marker?

If you have a glass whiteboard, which is worlds better than traditional whiteboards that stain easily, then you will have a lot of choices when it comes to dry-erase board alternatives. Here are some of them.

Wet Erase Marker

Just like dry-erase markers, wet-erase markers are meant for use on whiteboards and various non-porous surfaces, but these are specifically made for the old ones made from melamine. Although these markers are a bit harder to erase compared to dry-erase markers, they do not leave stains. You can also erase them almost completely.

In addition, you can use wet erase in conjunction with dry erase markers. You can use the wet erase to create semi-permanent marks on the board and then the dry erase for easy-to-erase markings.

What We Liked
  • Multipurpose/versatile, making it useful on a wide range of non-porous surfaces
  • Comes in various tips and colors
  • Heat-resistant, making it safe to use outdoors and even beneath projector lights
  • Can be used in conjunction with dry-erase markers
What We Didn't Like
  • Not as easy to erase as dry-erase markers

Permanent Marker

wet erase marker

The great thing about using permanent markers on a glass whiteboard is that you can use the chisel nibs that are usually only found on them. For instance, you can now create 2mm thick lines easily without having to overlap your lines.

Even though you can erase permanent marker ink, it will take a bit more effort compared to dry-erase markers. However, you can also use this property of permanent markers to your advantage.

For instance, you can use these to create grid lines on the whiteboard that will not erase easily. You can then fill out the spaces using regular dry-erase markers.

What We Liked
  • Allows you to use the chisel nibs naturally found on them
  • Useful in creating grid lines
  • Provides several choices in tip shapes and sizes, allowing you to pick one that can positively influence your writing
  • Works on almost all surfaces
What We Didn't Like
  • Not that easy to erase
  • May be toxic for kids

Color Markers

Color markers use roughly the same kind of ink that permanent markers do, specifically the ones that use alcohol-based inks. This means that you can use these to write even on glass and still erase them without leaving stains.

Why would you want to use color markers? The biggest benefit is that you have a lot of colors at your disposal. This will come in handy if you need to create colorful charts and graphs, or if you just want to draw doodles and the like.

What We Liked
  • Provides a wide range of options in terms of colors
  • Useful in creating colorful charts, graphs, and even doodles
  • Can be used even in glass materials
  • Low risk of causing stains
What We Didn't Like
  • Sometimes, the ink of color markers is too wet.

Paint Markers

paint markers

Unlike the other previous markers mentioned, paint markers contain thin acrylic paint. It is also different from color markers. The reason is that when you use a paint marker on a whiteboard, you will be getting a completely even mark without any faded spots. In addition, paint markers have more vibrant colors than regular ink markers.

With that said, you can also use straight acrylic paint on glass whiteboards. You just need to thin out the acrylic paint a bit to make it easier to remove later. You can then proceed to brush on the acrylic. To remove acrylic from a glass whiteboard, you can use a rag doused with a bit of rubbing alcohol.

What We Liked
  • Comes in many vibrant colors
  • Has a completely even mark when used on a whiteboard – It does not also leave any faded spots.
  • Useful even when making intricate and detailed designs
  • A consistent flow of paint color
What We Didn't Like
  • Some colors, specifically the lighter tones, may fade fast when constantly exposed to sunlight

Grease Pencils

grease pencils

Unlike traditional pencils, the leads that grease pencils use contain hardened pigmented wax. Grease pencils are specifically designed for placing marks on non-porous surfaces. You can also easily wipe them off using paper towels. The nice thing about grease pencils is that you can use them on old-fashioned, melamine whiteboards.

Why use a grease pencil? These pencils are great for making uniform thin lines that are still clearly visible. These are great when you need to create long notes on the whiteboard, like long lists.

What We Liked
  • Ideal for use on non-porous surfaces
  • Easy to wipe off and clean
  • Can also be used on melamine and traditional whiteboards
  • Assures you of uniform, thin, and visible lines
What We Didn't Like
  •  Can be quite costly


What can I use instead of a dry-erase marker? If you are still using your old, melamine-coated whiteboard, the options will be quite limited. However, if you are using glass whiteboards, you can utilize almost any kind of marker that you want.

You are no longer limited to using just plain whiteboard markers, even permanent markers are now permissible. You can now do whatever you want with your whiteboard, with a lot more writing options to choose from.

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