Graffiti destroys personal property, decreases home values and creates fear among residents. When business owners and residents allow graffiti to remain on structures, a neighbourhood is perceived as less safe and vandalism increases. Don't wait for city officials to step in. Clean up graffiti immediately to discourage graffiti artists. Install increased lighting and security, and develop a neighbourhood watch program.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Scrub brush
- 1/2 cup strong detergent
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- Chlorine bleach
Mix 1/2 cup strong detergent, 1/2 cup vinegar and a gallon of hot water.
Scrub the graffiti with the detergent and vinegar mixture until clean.
Rinse with warm water and allow to dry. Repeat if necessary.
Combine 1/2 cup chlorine bleach with 1 gallon warm water. Scrub hard surfaces with the bleach mixture to lighten any remaining paint. Rinse well and allow surfaces to dry.
Tips and warnings
- Remove graffiti immediately before the paint hardens and adheres to the surface.
- Use hot water to remove graffiti from metal surfaces. The heat causes metal to expand, which breaks the paint bond. Try heating the metal with a hair dryer as well.
- Paint over graffiti. Scrub it first, as described above, especially around the edges to soften the lines so they're not noticeable under the paint. Apply a sealer and paint over the graffiti with exterior paint and a paintbrush.
- Inform city officials of any graffiti so they can track graffiti activity.
- Remove graffiti by blasting it with a power washer. Hold the power washer at a slight angle so it doesn't damage surfaces and use the minimum water pressure required: for masonry and brick, use 100 psi; for cement, use 10,000 psi; for general cleaning, use 500 psi.
- Wear gloves when using chlorine bleach, and never mix bleach with other chemicals.
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