Best Erasable Glass Markers [Windows, Plastic, Mirrors]
December 14, 2020
Looking for something to temporarily decorate your glasses for a party? Or do you want to decorate windows for Christmas? Or just simply need something to write on the glass board and easily wash it off?
If yes, then check out this list of erasable markers to write on glass, windows and mirrors!
The last time I gathered a list of permanent glass markers, and got a few questions about how to write on glass temporarily, and what are the best markers / pens for this. So this time I did research specifically about erasable markers.
There are particularly a few kinds of erasable markers that you can come across in art shops. I gathered a list of markers that write on glass, but they can be used on other surfaces as well, for temporary decorations and writing.
What kind of erasable markers can I use on glass?
– Dry Erase Markers – the ink is easy to wipe clean with a whiteboard eraser or piece of cloth
– Wet Erase Markers – wet erase pens use a paste instead of an alcohol-based ink which makes the markings semi-permanent. A simple wet cloth will remove the marker.
– Liquid Chalk Markers – Contains water and pigmented ink. Eeasy to remove with a cloth – watch out when buying those for blackboards, some chalk markers are only for nonporous blackboards, removing them from a porous surface is very difficult.
*Tip: Dry erase markers can usually be applied on top of the wet wipe marker, and erased with dry cloth without touching the wet wipe marks.
Before you use them:
Some markers need to be shaken before using them. Shake the marker for about 30 seconds then take the cap off and pump the tip, which is white and as you’re pumping the tip you’ll see the color slowly creep into the tip and then you know your marker is ready to go.
Chalkola has a nice tutorial where they show how to activate Chalkola Markers. The same rules can be applied to other markers:
Always do a spot test before using the markers on the entire surface
– Some Markers (even if marketed as “super easy to clean up”), may be difficult to wash off from some surfaces. There are usually no problems with glass, but I often saw comments regarding other surfaces (mostly chalkboards).
Test your chalk marker on a small section. Wait two minutes then erase with a dry cloth. If a mark is left, your surface is porous and ink may be permanent.
At the end of the article, you will find some tips on how to remove them, if you have this problem.
List of Erasable Glass Markers
Below is a list of markers that can be used for temporary writing on glass. The order is random.
If you are just looking for something simple and proven, take a quick look at Expo Dry Erase markers.
They are often used by teachers in class, to write on whiteboards and glass boards. Their main advantage is that they are super easy to clean, and have a bit bolder chisel nib that other markers – which makes the writing easier to read for students.
The smallest, “standard” set contains 4 colors: black, blue, red and green. You can get larger sets, with other colors (ex. orange, purple, brown). The Ink is Low odor, and the markers have chisel tip (Expo offers also sets with Bullet and Fine tips).
On DickBlick.com you can get the markers separately, so if you run out of ink, you don’t have to buy the whole set again. Also, you can pick there only the color that you want, if you don’t need the full set.
Please be aware that these markers are not opaque as other markers mentioned markers here, so I don’t recommend them for huge writings on windows, where the sun will shine through. Unless you are trying to achieve the “stained glass” effect. But they look OK on glassware, check out this cool experiment by Active Littles to see it yourself (the Ultra Fine Nib Expo set was used here):
*Warning: I spotted some bad reviews on Amazon regarding the delivery service, and that some markers were damaged. That’s why in this case I would suggest getting these markers from other sources than Amazon, like DickBlick [View on DickBlick]or your local art shop.
2. Refillable Dry Erase Markers – Pilot V Board Master
Alternative to Expo Markers. Their biggest advantage is, that they are refillable, and made from 91% recycled material.
Also, you can see from the clear ink reservoir when the marker is running out of ink.
*These markers are advertised as markers specifically for whiteboards, but they work on glass boards fine. There are reviews that the green colors is a bit too light(has not enough pigment) for glassboards, and therefore hard to read from a distance.
Info: you need to purchase refill cartridges separately
3. Chalkola – Liquid Chalk Markers
Chalkola is an art brand that focuses mainly on markers. They have also in their offer chalkboards, paints, canvases, but the most expanded category are markers – more precisely, chalk markers.
They have a lot of various colors, and markers with different nibs. They also have the dry erase markers, designed specifically for whiteboards and glass boards, but there’s this one set that brought my attention. It’s this set:
I found them when I was looking for markers that will be perfect for temporarily decorating wine glasses, coffee mugs, small windows and plastic.
They do come off from the glass pretty easily when wiped with a dry towel. The metallic colors in this set need some water to be easily removed. The ink is non-toxic (water based) and low odor.
The reason I listed them here are their vibrant colors and reversible nib. They look amazing, especially on dark surface – the colors are bright. The set featured here has 16 color, but Chalkola offers also a set of 40 colors! I’ve seen awesome art on windows, cars and fridges, and the color never looked dull.
About the reversible nib (round and chisel) – you can pull each tip out and flip it. It’s really useful if you need to draw small details. I saw some complaints, that these markers have too small nibs for coloring big surfaces. And I agree, these markers may be not suitable for creating huge glass drawings, but they are perfect for the small surfaces.
Also, Chalkola offers sets with different nib sizes, from 1mm to 15mm (Jumbo tip) so if you need to draw on a big surface, pick a different set.
The second reason why I listed them here: these markers can be used as well on glass, ass chalkboards and other flat surfaces. But watch out, the metallic colors can be hard to remove from chalkboards.
They are dedicated for non-porous surfaces. The markers will work on any surface, but are permanent on porous surfaces like – paper, fabric, wood. So, watch out, they may leave a mark and be hard to wash from some chalkboards (if used on the porous ones).
I’ve seen many comments that the metallic colors are hard to remove from chalkboards – if you want to use them on your chalkboard or other surfaces, better test them first, before creating your masterpiece.
Please let me explain first: They are not the standard “easy to wash off” markers, they are even advertised as “waterproof”.
They indeed stay on the glass for quite long, and they won’t wash off in the rain, however – you can rub it off with some kitchen cleaner.
The reason why I posted them here is a tutorial I found while doing the research about markers for glass (I embedded it below). The artist shows how to create chalkboard Art with Posterman markers, and it’s one of the best videos I found on this topic.
After watching this tutorial I realized, that Posterman markers are perfect for writing on shops’ windows – the writing won’t be damaged by weather. Personal comment: You see, I found some reviews on other brands from upset customers. The ink was in their case “too easy to remove” – writings on windows washed off because of morning dew. This won’t happen with Posterman markers.
Most of the markers I was able to find have a pretty small nib – of course, I don’t want to underestimate their quality, but If you need to write quickly some large letters/ create big drawings, it may take some time.
Kuretake has in its offer markers with broad nibs + some markers with REALLY WIDE nibs – they are called Zig Posterman Biggie Markers and look like this:
This set also attracted my attention because of the replaceable + reversible nibs and tweezers you get in this set.
The tips are replaceable, so when the tip wears down, don’t throw the marker out—simply pop on a new tip using the tweezer and one of the 10 replaceable tips included. The tips are reversible, you can use chisel tip or bullet tip
Arteza markers can be used on non-porous surfaces: glass white boards, plastic. Their Ink is Nontoxic & Low-Odor (conform to AP, ASTM D-4236, and EN71 standards).
In comparison to expo, their ink is more saturated on whiteboards and glass, but the lines are narrower and the ink is harder to remove (which is not good for teachers using them on white/ glass boards).
* They can be used on car windows, but won’t last long in dewy conditions.
The Original Wine Glass Markers have 5 different metallic colors (gold, silver, purple, red and green). Perfect for decorating and labeling wine glasses (cool idea: they be used for writing birthday or congratulations messages on wine bottles).
The Ink is easy to wash off. If you have any difficulties, soap and water will take it off the glass. Also, wait for 1-3 minutes for the Ink to dry completely before poring the drink.
* As the ink is water based, the ink will come off if you rub with your fingers however if you don’t touch the ink it will stay intact. It’s suggested to only fill the glass half full and write on the upper part of the glass. But as long as you write on the glass when it is dry and at room temperature, it should fare just fine.
Wet Wipe Erase Liquid Chalk Markers. It’s great for Glass (Windows & Mirrors), Whiteboards, Signs and Non-Porous Blackboards
They have 3mm bullet nib and vibrant colors.
To use them, you need to shake the pen firmly for 10 seconds. Then press the nib repeatedly up and down, keep pumping until ink has fully covered the nib.
* not suitable for porous blackboards.
When I was doing research about them I noticed many positive reviews. Of course, there were some negative reviews, but they were written by customers that did not read the product’s description and used them on porous surfaces (and then complained that these markers can’t be erased).
There’s no problem with using them on a glass, the colors are vibrant and not transparent on windows.
Chalktastic is a brand that offers liquid chalk markers. In this set, they offer eight vibrant neon colors markers with non-toxic, odorless ink.
The company offers 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee, and they also respond to reviews/comments if anyone has troubles with their product.
These have reversible nibs (chisel and round tip – all you have to do is pull the tip out the end of the marker and change it around). The ink is easy to wipe up from mirror, glass and other similar (flat) surfaces + skin. But don’t but those for painting skin and fabric.
There’s a problem with washing them off when you use them on surfaces that have a texture – especially concrete.
I saw a review of parents that gave these markers to their kids (hence these markers are advertised for children). The kids used them to draw on a sidewalk next to their house, and weren’t able to wash it completely.
Again, just like other liquid chalk markers – don’t use them on porous surfaces. Watch out, and test them on a small area before you use them on anything else than glass.
How to use Chalktastic:
To use them, shake them up and press down on the tip for a few minutes until you see the chalk flowing through the pen tip.
How to remove markers from a glass
– write over top of what is already there that won’t come off, wait about a minute and try erasing it – should come right of. Works also if you mistakenly use a permanent marker on a dry erase board.
– try Windex and a bug sponge (for washing cars) then follow-up with a cloth.
– Nail polish remover. Many of them contain acetone, which is a quite powerful solvent. You can try to soak a cotton pad and try to remove the marker.
* Acetone or Turpentine. Use them only as the last resort. Be very careful, as they are very flammable and can damage the surface, wash your hands immediately with water after using it (wear gloves if you can) – and don’t use them indoors (don’t inhale the fumes).
We used Acetone and Turpentine at art school for removing the ink which was used for printing in metallography (extremely hard to clean, we had literally to scrape it off with a rough brush from our hands. Some of us painted our nails black for convenience because we weren’t able to wash the ink completely).
You should be able to get Acetone and Turpentine in Markets dedicated to selling building materials (ex. Europe: Castorama)
Turpentine should also be available in Art shops, as it’s often used for cleaning brushes in oil painting. You can get odorless Turpentine (it still smells, but not so strong as the normal one).
If you use them on the surface, use water at the end to wash Acetone/Turpentine off.
Also, if you are not sure if you are or aren’t allergic to any of the mentioned chemicals – DON’T TOUCH THEM and ask someone for help. I’m sorry if in this whole paragraph I sound a little bit overprotective, but before we got accepted to our Art School we had to run some tests to confirm that we are not allergic to any of these chemicals.
We still had people feeling headaches caused by the chemical fumes (heard even about one student that fainted) and problems with damaged skin (because of the constant use of chemicals). Even If you don’t have any allergies, but have delicate skin/ some damage on your hands, using them without proper care and protection can hurt you. I just want you to be careful using them.
I hope this article will be helpful to you. New products will be gradually added to the list, as well as answers to some often asked questions. If you know any cool markers that you can recommend, please let me know, I will be glad to check them out.
Also, if you have used any of these markers, or know any method for removing the markers, please let me know in the comments!