I’ve upcycled a large shower screen to use as a white board in my office.

It’s a beast 4mm toughened glass 195x95

However after installing it and building a frame I’ve noticed any pen I use blobs. It must have a hydrophobic coating on it.

My question is. How do I remove this coating.

I’ve tried:

  • surface cleaner
  • IPA
  • Nail Polish Remover ( Acetone )

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  • I might try wet sanding with 320
    – Matthew
    Sep 5, 2021 at 20:13
  • Many modern inks are soluble in alcohols ; 90% isopropyl is usually available. I had a dog chew open a ball point pen on a white carpet ; A friend in the carpet cleaning business told me about the isopropyl, it was magic. Sep 6, 2021 at 16:02
  • Do not sand it that would ruin it for a white board. If IPA doesn't work as blacksmith suggest I would get a stronger solvent. Acetone would be my first try / fingernail polish remover. If acetone won’t cut it I would try toluene, toluene will soften paint that has hardened in spray nozzles. My last hope if those don’t work would be MEK methyle Ethel keytone not sure of the spelling, MEK & toluene will melt plastics so make sure not to get it on paint or plastics.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 6, 2021 at 17:25

2 Answers 2


I have used a sliding glass door at multiple homes as white boards and they work fine until my wife used a no fog cleaner then both brands of pens did like yours.


Use a stronger solvent, when people accidentally use a sharpie on a white board acetone will usually take it off, as I mentioned in my comment start with a weaker solvent, and work up, I suggest solvents not acids some acids can etch glass and you do not want the surface of the glass damaged if scratches are in the surface it will not work as well as the scratches will hold the dry erase marker.

I was able to use acetone and it worked fine. On windshields rear view mirror mount kits come with MEK to strip the glass this would be the strongest solvent that should be needed for glass.


A more serious chemical may work - some stronger acid? But that may well affect the surface too much.

Why not apply a new cover over it and use that - a strong plastic film may be suitable.

  • I was thinking of this, but I’m trying my hardest to avoid applying a 2sqm piece of laminate. That comes with its own problems :-)
    – Kyias
    Sep 5, 2021 at 22:57

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