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Help! I have a wet erase playing map, and someone accidentally wrote on it with dry-erase markers!

(Don't worry, I transported the player to a realm filled with hungry Tarrasques, and people who talk at the movies.)

How do I get rid of these marks out of my wet-erase grid mat?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The mechanic in me feels compelled to mention that nearly every form of deposit removal will use an acid or a base - if you have access to vinegar and dilute lye, that might be a keen place to start. \$\endgroup\$ – NFeutz Nov 2 '17 at 16:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this the same problem as in this question? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 2 '17 at 16:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ It looks very close. Looks like that question was caused by permanent marker. Don't know how anyone can hope to get permanent marker out of anything, but there are other solutions to try from reading that. Have to go to the store to get some of these things. When I get these materials together I'll respond with what worked for dry erase marker. \$\endgroup\$ – as.beaulieu Nov 2 '17 at 16:27
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Start Gently

With any deposit on a surface, the first step is to assess how durable the stained or deposited surface is. Since we are dealing with a wet erase gaming mat, I’d recommend starting with the gentlest solution and moving upward. To that end, a bit of warm water with a few drops of a biodegradable soap (Dawn is a good brand, but any biodegradable soap is fine) and a dry micro fiber cloth is where I would start.

Take the cloth and dip a corner of it into your soapy water, and try working out the dry erase marker in a small, isolated corner of the mat. If this works, continue around the mat - refreshing the water or cloth as needed. Sometimes a little bit of force is required, but you should not have to struggle with it; if it works, it will be apparent relatively quickly.

More Power, More Gently

It is worth noting that in the long history of stains and deposits, two solutions available have almost always relied on using an acid or a base. This is not an ironclad law of stain and deposit removal, there are certainly other reactions which precipitate removal, but it is a very handy tip to keep in mind.

Should your warm, soapy water fail to remove the stain, it might be time to try something acidic or basic.

I prefer starting with an acid. If you have white vinegar or lemon juice, either of those are gentle enough acids for this purpose.

Again, get some warm water and add about a quarter as much vinegar or lemon juice to that water (such that a generally 4:1 ratio of dilution is achieved), and, again, a microfiber cloth. Take a corner of the cloth and wet it with your acid, and, again, make your first attempt in an isolated area of the mat.

Do not let the acidic solution sit on the mat for more than a moment or two before wiping it up with a warm, soapy cloth.

If the acid fails to remove the deposit, it is time to try a base. Take a moment to thoroughly wipe up any acid that may be lingering on the mat.

Now, repeat the above procedure, but replace an acid with a gentle household base, such as ammonia. Be sure to dilute the ammonia and always be sure to first try the ammonia dilution in an isolated area of the mat, and be sure to fully wipe off any ammonia or other base residue.

Nothing Gets Chocolate Out... See?

Sometimes, however, a deposit will not be removed without overdue effort and/or damaging the original material. Should the above three methods fail, I leave it to you to decide how much you are willing to invest in the quest to remove the stain. This answer attempts to provide some clear instructions on methods to remove a deposit while also maintaining the original product’s integrity.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If the decision is made to pursue the use of strong solvents (such as alcohol or even petrol-based cleansers) I strongly advocate using a 100% cotton, un-dyed terrycloth. Many microfiber cloths are composed of dyed polyester, which may be adversely impacted by the use of strong solvent materials, leading to the microfiber itself staining, scratching, or otherwise marring the surface of the mat. Despite cotton being less "grabby" than microfiber, it is also much more resilient. \$\endgroup\$ – NFeutz Nov 2 '17 at 18:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NFuetz I suggest that you take that comment and make it a closing note within the answer. Good info there. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 24 at 12:16
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I have had this issue when loaning our mat. I have used men's shaving cream for many "gentle" materials to remove stains and it works really well for D&D play mats as well.

Put the shaving cream over the lines, wait about 2 minutes, then clean it off with a damp cloth or sponge. You may have to let it dry and go over it twice but it works wonders.

Make sure to wash off all excess water and cream when done, and dry well before re-rolling.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 24 at 5:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you use the "gel to foam" cream, or the "it's all foam" for this process? (The engineer in me can't help but ask for such details) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 24 at 12:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I use the gel to foam that way its not just a foaming mess. I have never tried just foam so i dont know of it would work differently. \$\endgroup\$ – Desiree Schott Sep 25 at 15:31
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I have had similar issues before (with marker left too long on a dry erase surface, and dry erase markers used on a on a wet erase surface). One of the simplest fixes is to cover over the marks with ink from the correct type of marker, and then clean it off. So, in your case, scribble over the marks with a wet erase marker, and then clean it off.

It's not perfect, and might need a couple of applications, but it should mostly clean it off.

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Had the same problem some months earlier, The only way we found to get rid of the marks was using the hard side of a sponge. Surprisingly it worked pretty well.

Don't rub too hard or you will remove the lines of the mat.

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Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Tried rubbing alcohol, Lysol, soapy water, all the stuff. My brother in law grabbed a Magic Eraser, wet it a touch and it came off in seconds. Blew my mind!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 28 at 9:21

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