11 Other Ways to Say “From Scratch”

So, you want to find another way of saying “from scratch.” It’s a great phrase, but there are some synonyms that might help you mix things up.

This article will explore those alternatives, giving you plenty of new options to show that you are starting from scratch.

Other Ways to Say “From Scratch”

  • Go back to the drawing board
  • Wipe the slate clean
  • A fresh start
  • From the ground up
  • From nothing
  • Go back to the beginning
  • From zero
  • From the beginning
  • Take it from the top
  • Start over
  • Start again


  • “From scratch” is a decent phrase that works well in formal situations.
  • You could say “go back to the drawing board” if you want a more professional alternative.
  • “Wipe the slate clean” is a great informal idiom that shows you want to start something again.

You should keep reading to learn more about these synonyms. We’ve touched on the best alternatives and how to use them correctly in different contexts.

Go Back to the Drawing Board (Formal)

“Go back to the drawing board” is a great example of how to say “from scratch” professionally.

It’s useful to include in business meetings and emails when you want to start a new project or work closely with a team from the beginning of something.

You may also have luck with this phrase in a resume. You can let an employer know that you like to go back to basics before tackling a new challenge. That way, you can work to come up with a good solution to a problem, regardless of what it is.

If you do include it in a resume, it shows good problem-solving skills and a willingness to challenge yourself. Many employers will look positively at that.

Feel free to use “go back to the drawing board” and “from scratch” in similar contexts. They are both incredibly effective phrases. They work formally, informally, and in academic pieces. So, they’re very versatile.

These examples will help you understand it:

Dear Paul,

We must still go back to the drawing board with these ideas. There’s something off about the project.

All the best,

I enjoy going back to the drawing board when working through new ideas. It helps to challenge me.

Wipe the Slate Clean (Informal)

“Wipe the slate clean” is a good option if you want an informal synonym for “from scratch.” It’s a great idiom that shows you want to start fresh before tackling a new project.

You may want to use it when speaking with colleagues. It could work well if you want to take on a project with them and want to start from the very beginning. That way, you can both include your own ideas and build on them together.

You can use “wipe the slate clean” in formal contexts, but it’s not as effective as “from scratch” or similar idioms. It’s best to use it conversationally when you want to start something new.

These examples will help you understand more:

You need to wipe the slate clean before you can take on a challenge like that. Let me help you figure out what to do.

Please, wipe the slate clean before you try. Otherwise, some of the older errors are going to follow you.

Is “From Scratch” Formal?

“From scratch” is suitable in formal writing. You can use it to show that you want to start something from nothing. It implies that you have to do all the work yourself.

You will often find it in professional contexts when starting a new project. It shows people your intention to start something fresh.

However, it can appear informally too. As an idiom, it’s well-rounded, allowing you to use it in multiple contexts.

You can also place different verbs before “from scratch,” such as:

  • Develop from scratch
  • Build from scratch
  • Learn from scratch
  • Start from scratch

These verbs generally allow you to sound more specific. It gives you a chance to use a verb related to the reason behind doing something “from scratch.”

You should bookmark this page to remind yourself of the best synonyms. Then, you’ll always have something useful to refer to when you need it again.