With all of the people out there starting to see this
product on Youtube, or Amazon among other places, I took the time to research
what things you could do to keep your Buddha Board going strong. I purchased my
first one in 2000, and it's served me well up until just before the writing of
this article (and it would've lasted longer had someone written this before I splashed a little oil on it...)
There's not really that much to taking care of the Buddha Board as it's quite hassle free - however here are a few tips to keep you from having to replace your beloved board.
1) Don't use HOT WATER (in a mug). Using the board as a coaster has the adverse effect of having a permanent circle on your Buddha Board. Laying a warm mug of tea, hot cocoa, coffee, or other drinks of that nature will DEFINITELY cause the part you touch to stay dark and unusable.
2) Kids + Crayons + Buddha Board = replacement time. So there you have it, kids love these things, but crayons are wax based and permanently stain the board. The whole point of the thing was to teach impermanence, so unless you want to frame it and stick it on the fridge, I'd advise against crayons, pastels, pens, or pencil against the surface.
3) Oil based anything. This means, olive oil for those of you who keep it in the kitchen (like I do). For the snackers out there, this could also mean not eating potato chips while meditating although I suppose that would be obvious. Anything oil based causes the surface of the board to stick creating another permanent smudge on the clean "canvas".
That covers the main ways I've seen these things bite the dust.
Onto the smaller things
1) Don't immerse the board completely in water. Although the special surface was created to react with water, it also wasn't meant to be completely soaked either. Sometimes if soaked over a prolonged period of time, the surface will wrinkle, curl up, and potentially become permanently marred.
2) Don't overfill the water container. Read step 1 on the smaller things. Too much water means the bottom of the board gets immersed for long periods of time (until you empty it, or until enough water evaporates). I've seen this happen many a time to boards put out for demonstration, or in public areas. Keep the water below the surface area and it will last for years. Also watch out for the spot that holds the board up on the Original Buddha Board series - make sure water doesn't get in there either, otherwise you get a little black square that never goes away when you rotate the board to portrait position.
3) Always use a soft well moistened brush against the surface of the board. Anything hard could scratch the surface as well creating another permanent mark. Now keep in mind when you open a new product that the brush is dry and rather rigid. Take the time to let it soak up the water, and spread apart the bristles before applying it to the board. You'll get smoother lines out of that as well in the long run.
4) Lastly always use CLEAN WATER on the Buddha Board. Left
over day old Starbucks' coffee just doesn't quite cut it. If the water has been
sitting around for awhile, grab a glass of clean tap water to freshen things
Perhaps this article came too late? Well the kind folks over at the Buddha Board head office do have a replacement option should your board have first hand experience of any of the above. I called them at the number on their website and replacement boards are available for purchase (board only) at a reasonable price. Naturally, you'll want to avoid having to do this, but now you've got the steps above as a starting ground for stress-free buddha board painting fun. Enjoy!