Are Dry-Erase Markers Glass-Safe?

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Everyone loves dry-erase markers for their ability to write on many different surfaces and wash right off afterward. One of these usable surfaces is glass, which few people consider when thinking of dry-erase markers. 

Dry-erase markers are great on windows and mirrors and can get wiped off with a dry or wet cloth, alcohol, or nail polish remover. Many use old glass windows or doors as whiteboards. The best dry-erase markers are from Pentel, EXPO, U Brand, Writey, and Arteza. 

At some point in all our lives, we have used dry-erase markers. They are great in classrooms, at home, and even in the office. They are durable and can provide a range of uses that work fantastic on surfaces like glass. 

What are the Main Ingredients in a Dry-Erase Marker?

Dry-Erase Marker

A dry-erase marker (example on Amazon) consists of three main chemicals. They are isopropanol, or isopropyl alcohol, resin, and SD alcohol-40. Due to their chemical makeup, they should not be exposed to flame nor inhaled because of the health hazards of the fumes if ingested.

SD alcohol-40 is a form of ethanol you would find in alcoholic drinks, household products, and cosmetics. Resin comes from plants and is alcohol soluble, which melts when mixed with other chemicals. 

Will Dry Erase Marker Stain Glass Surfaces?

Dry-erase markers are great for non-porous surfaces, and one of those surfaces is glass. Windows make an excellent spot for children or adults to draw on for holidays or lessons. 

Some people even use glass as a whiteboard for home instruction or projects.

Going to the recycling center and looking for used windows or glass doors offers a budget-friendly way to bring the ability of a whiteboard into your home without the added expense of purchasing one. 

Another great glass surface that dry-erase markers work on is mirrors. Mirrors are constructed from glass, even though they aren’t see-through. So a mirror’s reflective and shiny covering is the best surface to use a dry-erase marker. 

Many use mirrors, such as in the bathroom, to jot down reminders or memorize words. Some even write affirmations for themselves or loved ones as a morning reminder to begin their day. 

What are the Best Dry-Erase Markers for Writing on Glass?

Anyone can go down to the dollar store and buy a pack of dry-erase markers, and no doubt, we have all been the victims of a marker that dries out after the first use or comes out with a barely visible shade of color.

So, to avoid this mistake, here is a list of the top five dry-erase markers you can buy. 

Arteza Glass Board Dry-Erase Markers

These markers (on Amazon) write smoothly, not just on glass, but can work on traditional whiteboards.

This set of markers also comes with extra tips, so when the ends inevitably dull, replace the tip for a brand-new feeling. With ten extra tips and tweezers to make the switch, you can’t go wrong with this non-toxic and low-odor brand.

U Brands Dry-Erase Markers

U Brand (also on Amazon) offers a bullet tip dry-erase marker set with bright liquid markers. Non-toxic and low order, they make a bold and clean mark on any glass or dry-erase surface.

They last twice as long as traditional dry-erase markers and even come with a built-in eraser. The cap is also contoured, so it won’t roll off your desk when working. 


A liquid chalk dry-erase marker (on amazon) that works on all typical dry-erase surfaces, from glass to mirrors and whiteboards.

Each marker offers a neon liquid chalk color that has a smooth and opaque application. Non-toxic, dustless, and odorless, these markers wash off with a wet or dry cloth.

EXPO Neon Window Dry-Erase Markers

EXPO’s basic pack of dry-erase markers (on Amazon) is perfect for that everyday use and is budget-friendly.

With five neon colors, they work on both black and white dry-erase surfaces. EXPO offers low-odor ink and a durable bullet tip, great for younger children who press hard. They are ideal for classrooms and offices. 

Pentel Maxiflo Liquid Ink Marker Set

This pack of dry-erase markers is specifically designed for glass and whiteboards. The liquid ink comes out smooth and consistent and won’t smudge or streak. They last three times longer than other markers and come with a push button at the top that pumps fresh ink into the nib if it begins to dry out. 

How to Remove Dry Erase Marker from Glass

Business people discussing while writing on window seen through glass

Removing dry-erase marker is easy when you know how to do it. Then, if the marker is still wet, you can wipe it off with a dry cloth or paper towel.

This makes it easy if you are working on an art project and make a mistake, allowing for a quick erase. However, if the marker is dry, you can use a few methods to safely and effectively remove it from the glass surface. 

The first way of removing dry-erase marker is to wipe it away with alcohol, acetone, MEK, or methyl ethyl ketone. Even nail polish remover works well and doesn’t leave a streaking mess on the surface afterward. 

If you don’t have any of these chemicals, you can always try wetting a cloth or paper towel and wiping it away. If it is pretty fresh, this should work, but if the marker has been on the glass for quite a while, you may need to opt for the method above. 

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