Whiteboards are available as five varieties: glass, melamine, porcelain, laminate, and painted steel aluminum. Two of the most popular materials are magentic painted steel aluminum and melamine. Magnetic boards are made from a steel substrate with an industrial-strength porcelain coating, and can last 5-10 years. Magnets stick well to this type, making it a useful visual aid. Melamine boards have a melamine coating over a hardboard surface, and are not magnetic. These are less durable, usually lasting about 1-2 years, but are less expensive than magnetic boards.
When choosing which material is best for your project, consider how much usage you will need to get from the board. Generally speaking, the more expensive materials (glass and porcelain) are more durable and will last longer.
Whiteboards should be cleaned regularly with solutions to avoid the ghost effect, which occurs after the melamine has worn down and writing doesn't completely erase. Replace erasers every few months for heavily used boards. With the exception of glass whiteboards, only use proper dry erase markers to avoid permanently staining the board.
Only use chalk or chalkboard markers on chalkboards. To clean, first wipe with a dry eraser to remove dust. Prepare a small bucket with warm soapy water. Soak up water with a soft cloth, and wring out. Wipe the chalkboard from top to bottom, moving from one side to the other, this will avoid streaking. Rinse the cloth out in the bucket after each swipe. Let the board air dry before writing on it again. Only wash the board when needed, to avoid damaging it.