Tale of a Vandal Whiteboard User – Update

My whiteboard is one of my favorite writing tools. I use the board frequently to keep track of things I don’t want to forget, or to play out story ideas. Often I take a photo of my scribblings, and stash the notes in Evernote before erasing the board to make way for new scribblings.

Noodler's Waterase Blue and Expo Vis-a-Vis Blue on my whiteboard
Noodler’s Waterase Blue and Expo Vis-a-Vis Blue on my whiteboard (very hard to photograph da board!)

Once upon a time, I migrated to Noodler’s Waterase for my whiteboard notetaking. Waterase is a wet erase ink for whiteboards; you use a damp cloth to remove it from your board. The ink is used in refillable marking pens such as a Platinum Preppy. The ink comes in two colors: black and blue. You gotta ED the Preppy to use the Waterase ink. BTW: I’ve only used the ink in a Preppy.

Freshly inked Platinum Preppys with Noodler's Waterase
Freshly inked Platinum Preppys with Noodler’s Waterase

In case you don’t know: Wet erase vs dry erase — dry erase ink wipes off your board with any dry cloth or felt eraser. Wet erase ink requires a damp cloth to wipe the ink from your board.

The reason I use wet erase ink is because IMHO dry erase pens don’t last very long, and tend to leave ink residue—”ghosting”—behind on the board. Ghosting of course can be affected by how well you maintain your whiteboard, and especially by the quality of the board in use.

My acrylic whiteboard came cut to order, seven years ago, from a local plastics company for $35. I chose acrylic for the board because it needed to be lightweight and mountable on a closet door. Wet erase markers were my chosen medium for the acrylic. I’ve never-ever used dry erase markers with this board. Could be wrong but I don’t think acrylic is a great material for the dry erase stuff.

In seven years of steady usage, I’ve not had a problem with ghosting on my acrylic board with either traditional wet erase markers or the Noodler’s Waterase inks.

The Noodler’s Waterase ink performed very well with my board. The longest time I’ve gone without erasing notes from the board was about four months. Waterase washed off without leaving marks on the board. Yay! In addition to a damp cloth, I also use some commercial plastic cleaner/polisher every few weeks to clean the acrylic board.

Waterase does what it’s meant to do:  write on the board, and wipe off easily. However, Waterase has not been troublefree in my experience. The Platinum Preppy for one is not a reliable delivery system. The tips tend to dry out. I found the Preppy pens needed always to be stored nib up. Otherwise, the Waterase would ooze into the cap. This was an annoyance to me when I’d forget from time to time and leave a pen lying horizontal on my desk.

Oh, and the pens crack no matter how careful I aim to be with them. The Preppys are more delicate than any of my fountain pens.

Platinum Preppy with Waterase Blue
Platinum Preppy with Waterase Blue

When I used the markers every day, or even every other day, the pens worked fine. If a pen was left unused for a couple of weeks, I found it could be tough getting a marker writing again. (I’ve had far better luck using the Preppy as a highlighting pen.)

Recently, I used up the last of my Waterase ink. I picked up an Expo vis-a-vis marker that hadn’t been used in some three years… it worked perfectly. That gave me pause, and I’ve decided to keep track of how long these old markers keep working.

Two empty bottles of Waterase on their way to the recycling bin
Two empty bottles of Waterase on their way to the recycling bin

For a time I loved this Waterase stuff. Later I just hung on until it was used up. Initially, Waterase made me feel prudent and environmentally happy…  until I found I was replacing the Platinum Preppy markers far more often than an Expo wet erase marker. My goal in using refillable pens is to leave a softer footprint. To me that appears to be a, uh, wash using Waterase. And so back to Expo for now. Whether it’s the ink or the pen or the combination, the experience of Waterase has been too fussy overall.

Having returned to the Expo wet erase markers, I confess the crispness of the marker tips is refreshing, as well as being able to pick colors from black, blue, green, red, and more,

And so three years and four empty bottles later, I’ve decided not to replace my supply of Waterase.

Of course, YMMV, ay?

Related PW Reading:  Waterase


Two ellipses were used in this post. They could not be helped. The word “never” was used once and purposely.


Brief Tale from a Vandal Whiteboard User

My film slate is a masonite economy thing which gets used with some frequency. When I got this slate it came with a notice to use a particular DRY erase marker.

Last summer white shooting a tiny film, my sound person (aka my Beloved) discovered the dry erase marker was DRY. Dead. Dry. The only alternative we had on us was a wet-erase marker. We used it and kept the shoot on schedule.

Many folks are worried about “what kind of whiteboard” they should use with Noodler’s Waterase. As I’ve written before, I use an acrylic sheet custom cut for my purposes. So I cannot say with any authority what kind of whiteboard you should use.

I did want to note for you, though, that the slate pictured below worked very well with Waterase. In the photo below, any imperfections you see in the “wiped clean” slate were not in any way caused by Waterase.

On my custom acrylic board, I’ve left notes up for days and days, adding more notes of course as I live along. Still no ghosting issues here. The masonite slate, however, gets wiped clean after filming. We learned the hard way last summer not to leave the board marked up for days at a time—both dry or wet markers. So for cheap-y whiteboards do a test in a far corner you don’t normally use for notes. That’s the only way you’re gonna know with any certainty what will work for you.

I love this stuff.  As someone who employed four different colors previously, my note taking has adjusted to the two available Waterase colors far more easily than I imagined I would.

Don’t forget you need a damp cloth or a cloth alongside a spritz bottle of water in order to clean Waterase off your boards.

Feel free to chime in about the whiteboards you’ve found that are working for your Waterase, eh?

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Tale of a Vandal Whiteboard User: It Came Thru the Crack

As the day progressed and continuing to lay the pens on the shelf near my whiteboard…one of the pens began leaking again. It turns out there is a hairline crack in both pens! The silicone grease is keeping one pen from leaking but not the other.  Replacement Preppys are on their way. (Thank you, Rachel Goulet! It always pays to do business with good service oriented folks.)

Yet something else to be aware of. Jeez Louise.

Do not be deterred from Noodler’s Waterase or Platinum Preppy pens. I’m not.

Nobody not nuttin’ is poifect! Not moi. Not Preppys. Not no one!

Be a good customer and do business with good people. That’s my philosophy. Works for moi.

Updated to include:  Platinum Preppys will crack if you over-tighten!

Other Waterase posts: