Get a free quote

We'll be in touch with you within 24-hours to confirm your quote.

    Drag and drop files to upload

    To assist us in quoting the job accurately, please attach photos of the property that requires our services.

    Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 256 MB.
    Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 256 MB.
    Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 256 MB.

Get a quote

graffiti prevention

preventing and removing graffiti blog by kleenit

Graffiti removal tips and techniques

Fast graffiti removal is essential to prevent further vandalism of a site. Kleenit offers swift graffiti removal, and to help keep our communities tag-free, we’re providing some valuable tips for effectively removing graffiti from various surfaces. While we’re not making any brand recommendations in this article, they may be mentioned as guidance on materials and methods to help tackle graffiti and explore further solutions.   Before we begin: The best treatment is prevention While we’ve yet to find a surefire way to prevent vandalism, there are well-documented approaches for helping to stop graffiti before it occurs. Crime prevention through environmental design, or CPTED, methodologies suggest that immediately removing graffiti, practising general upkeep, reducing potential ‘dark spots’ for visibility and preventing access to potential blank canvases all help to prevent graffiti. Additionally, CCTV, sensor lights and real or imitation security systems all have a part to play in communicating to would-be vandals that the risk is just not worth it. Applying anti-graffiti coating may be a worthwhile investment for some types of surfaces. Anti-graffiti paint is a unique material that lessens another paint’s ability to permanently adhere to the surface, making rapid graffiti clean-up a breeze and further reducing ongoing maintenance costs. Unfortunately, “anti-graffiti paint” does not mean the coating will prevent graffiti from being applied. The basic five-step process for cleaning graffiti is relatively consistent, though the detail and ingredients may change depending on the surface (read further for more on that): Prompt action is crucial — don’t leave it for longer than necessary. Start with the most gentle option to prevent further surface damage. If the ‘tag’ is fresh, mild soapy water and a sponge may be enough. Then try specific solutions suitable for the surface and graffiti medium. Get ready for runoff! Paints and solvents can stain or damage floor surfaces like concrete and bricks or contaminate your garden beds. Make a plan for where the water and chemicals will go. Don’t clean up your place and dirty the waterways. Test on a small area first. If you’re unsure of the material, call in an expert. Protect yourself with safety gear (PPE). Depending on the chemicals used, that may include a full-body chem suit, sturdy waterproof boots, safety glasses, face shield, respirator, and heavy-duty gloves. How to treat graffiti on metal Metal like Colorbond®, corrugated steel, and truck sides often attract graffiti — but thankfully, metal is one of the easier surfaces for paint removal. On plain, uncoated metal, you may try common paint thinners such as mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, or acetone on paper towels or a sponge, and dispose of these appropriately. Aggressive solvents can harm the paint finish of Colorbond® steel, so read the instructions, contact the maker, and always spot-test somewhere less visible. In some cases, we’ve found that WD-40 can help break up and lubricate off certain types of marker paint pens without adverse interactions with metal. Use extreme caution with abrasives such as steel wool, as scratching may just buff in the deviant's ‘design’ to the metal or surface paint. Even a plastic sponge scourer or table salt can leave marks in finishes if you’re vigorous with them. If paint thinners are not an option or do not work, consider power-washing the graffiti with a pressure washer. Be careful with your nozzle selection; the finer the jet, the more likely you are to etch the metal. If all else fails, consider painting over the graffiti to restore the surface's appearance, potentially with an anti-graffiti product. Note that with Colorbond®, some anti-graffiti coatings may yellow and flake off over time if applied to their coatings. Kleenit is happy to advise of what options may be most suitable for your surface. Cleaning graffiti off metal, recap:  Try water and household detergent first. Test, then wipe with common paint thinners or graffiti removal products. Light penetrating oil may work for fresh paint. Nail polish remover works well for some marker pens (Sharpie). Power-wash with caution or opt for repainting. Wood surfaces: How to clean graffiti Wood surfaces require special care to prevent damage. If the wood is sealed with paint, stain, or sealer and isn't weathered, wipe the graffiti with mineral spirits. However, avoid this method on weathered wood to prevent pushing the paint deeper into the surface. Low-pressure power washing can be effective, but ensure the pressure doesn't drive the paint deeper into the wood grain. If these methods fall short, sand the wood and repaint it. If sanding or spraying, use caution on R3 and R4 treated pine (the green stuff) as this is treated with arsenic and perhaps other chemicals. Cleaning graffiti on wood, recap: Use mineral spirits on sealed wood. Avoid mineral spirits on weathered wood. Low-pressure power washing or sanding for removal. Plastic: A gentle approach to graffiti removal Avoid paint thinners on plastic surfaces as they can soften plastic, potentially causing clouding or tackiness. Instead, try wiping graffiti with light penetrating oil like WD-40, but avoid it on polycarbonate and clear polystyrene plastic. Fun fact: if you have sun-damaged security flyscreens, WD-40 can also be used to rejuvenate their blackness and shine. A plastic sponge scourer is less likely to damage the area than a coarse scourer, though fine steel wool used judiciously may just do the trick. If those steps haven’t worked, it’s time to break out the pressure washer, starting with the widest nozzle. Unfortunately, painting plastic may not provide a sustainable long-term option due to low adhesion and the effects of weather. But depending on the type, a suitable product may be in your local hardware store. Plastic graffiti cleaning recap: Avoid paint thinners on plastic. Use penetrating oil or gentle rubbing (checking the plastic type first) Try an ultra-fine plastic scourer or steel wool for stubborn spots. Graffiti on glass: A razor’s edge A razor or flexible scraper may be the best option on un-tinted glass. Hold the razor blade at a 30-degree angle with an appropriate handle, and slowly scrape painted graffiti off the glass. For more prominent spots like an office window, you may find it quicker to use a paint thinner — just check which side of the glass is tinted before applying any chemicals. If someone has used a sharp implement to etch into the glass, you’ll need to speak with a glazier about solutions. ‘Graffers” sometimes use tungsten- or diamond-tip drill bits to scratch their tags on glass. Still, some nifty solutions similar to windshield chip fixes may save an expensive replacement. Glass graffiti solutions: Carefully scrape with a razor blade. Ultra-fine bronze wool for persistent spots. Pressure cleaning, potentially with a suitable solvent. Masonry graffiti: The pressure is on If your building is older or heritage-listed, proceed cautiously, as any of the solutions below may lead to further damage in inexperienced hands. Graffiti removal from masonry usually requires power-washing under low pressure, under 700 psi. Professional sand-blasting may be required in cases where the paint has been absorbed into the stone or mortar. However, this usually means a larger area must be treated to keep colouring and natural wear consistent. There are also considerations for public safety to prevent silicosis and environmental contamination when using a sandblaster. Neither pressure washing nor sandblasting may be suitable for painted masonry, in which case, repainting may present the preferred path. Graffiti treatment for masonry, recap:  Power-wash under 700 psi. Sand-blasting as an alternative. Paint over if other methods fail. Concrete graffiti removal isn’t hard with Kleenit For concrete cleaning, opt for a high-strength paint stripper. Ensure your safety by protecting your skin, eyes, and mouth while working with chemicals. Prepare the surface by removing loose paint particles. Apply the paint stripper, wait a few minutes, and scrub with a stiff brush. If necessary, use pressure washing, followed by priming and repainting. Brick cleaning requires a more delicate touch. Use a wire brush with warm water, gently scrubbing to remove graffiti. After scrubbing, use absorbent powder to soak up the remaining moisture, and once dry, apply a transparent protection layer. Diluted hydrochloric acid should only be used to remove mortar stains from clay brickwork and done so with great caution, as it can cause acid staining to the mortar. Rust stains from bore water have their own cleaning specifications. Cleaning one spot of graffiti on a brick wall may also reduce the efflorescence, a powdery deposit of salts that forms on the surface of bricks and mortar. The wall may need to be sponged with a small amount of water to return a surface to a consistent appearance. Brick and concrete graffiti removal recap: Paint stripper gel for concrete. Gentle wire brush for brick surfaces. On bricks, use an absorbent powder to remove moisture. Scrub, pressure wash (prime and repaint if required). Safety Measures and Expert Guidance Always read product labels and follow instructions. Commercial cleaning products often contain potent chemicals that can harm surfaces and pose risks to your skin, lungs and eyes. Graffiti removal experts possess the necessary protective gear and can offer eco-friendly solutions. If you're unsure about the environmental impact, safety or efficacy, seek expert advice before starting. Kleenit offers a specialised approach to graffiti removal, which is especially valuable for swift action to prevent copycat vandals. Where pressure-washing alone is insufficient, our "stripping gel" is carefully applied, adhering to the surface without running. This gel softens and blisters the graffiti paint, enabling high-pressure cleaning equipment to blast it off the surface. Our proven process is efficient and minimises mess. A Graffiti-Free Future Graffiti removal might seem daunting, but with the proper techniques, it's manageable. Swift action, beginning with gentle methods, and leveraging expert advice are essential. Whether metal, wood, plastic, glass, masonry or bricks, options abound. Kleenit can help you to restore the beauty of your building and provide anti-graffiti paint for future protection.   For a no obligation free quote on graffiti removal or prevention, contact us today.  


Anti-graffiti coatings on the rise to say graffiti goodbye!

Graffiti, a problem that's thousands of years old Graffiti, is the act of paint marking other people’s or public property without their consent, has been around for thousands of years, so it’s unlikely we are ever going to eradicate it completely. But there are proven ways to discourage today’s graffiti vandals and protect property against constant defacement. So let’s begin our war on graffiti with these top tips. Is graffiti art? In rare cases, it can be argued that some graffiti has artistic merit. But 99.9% of it is pure vandalism. So, unless you are dealing with a Banksy, Eduardo Kobra, David Choe, Lady Pink or a recognised muralist it is pretty likely that you are dealing an unworthy scribble of a vandal. Graffiti in Australia is a criminal offence and punishable in most states with a hefty fine or imprisonment. It’s also against the law to possess paint or markers with the intent of defacing property. Graffiti laws may vary depending on the state as stated in the following government links for NSW, WA, QLD, VIC, but overall it is a crime. The economic and social costs of graffiti Graffiti costs Australian businesses and authorities around $1.5 billion a year to clean up and control. But there’s also a social cost. When graffiti is allowed to remain on buildings, property and infrastructure, it negatively affects the perception of safety, security and quality of life in that area. It also attracts more graffiti. What is it trying to say? There are various styles of graffiti. The simple one-colour tag is the vandal’s unique signature. Then there’s the throw-up or blockbuster with its characteristic colourful bubble-style or blocky letters. More modern graffiti includes the use of stencils or even posters. The underlying message can be about the individual – the tagger, gang-related or politically motivated. Our message? It needs to go. Be quick. They hate that! Graffiti vandals thrive on seeing their work defacing property for as long as possible. So a great way to ruin their day is to have the graffiti professionally removed straight away. That way, the vandals don’t get the satisfaction of an audience. And they really hate that! How to prevent graffiti? Keep Australia Beautiful’s David Imrie recommends a multi-action strategic approach to prevent graffiti. “Use one of the commercial anti-graffiti coatings on exterior walls, remove any graffiti as soon as it appears and keep the exterior well lit. Good exterior lighting and visible security cameras are good deterrents.” Cheap graffiti protection? Don't make the sacrifice There are two basic types of anti-graffiti coating. A sacrificial coating is cheap and easy to apply, but once defaced needs to be removed along with the graffiti and reapplied. This makes it an expensive choice for areas prone to frequent graffiti attacks. A non-sacrificial coating is a tough, two-part epoxy which forms an invisible barrier which resists the harsh chemicals used to remove graffiti. Applied properly, it can last up to 10 years. Non- sacrificial anti-graffiti paints are also available in most colours. How anti-graffiti coatings contain costs? Concrete, cement and brick surfaces are highly porous and unless they are sealed will absorb all types of paint and marker inks. Conventional paint will seal the surface, but if defaced, the whole area will have to be repainted to avoid a patchwork effect. A non- sacrificial anti-graffiti coating is a barrier between the substrate and the outside word – so only the graffitied areas need to be cleaned leaving the building or structure looking as good as new. For an obligation-free assessment and quote of your premises simply click here. We hate graffiti as much as you do At Kleenit, we’ve been waging war on graffiti for over 30 years and have the equipment, manpower and materials to remove any graffiti from anywhere. We’re also the anti-graffiti coating experts using the very latest techniques using materials approved by the relevant authorities. If your civil project or building needs cleaning or protecting, then call the industry experts for advice and an obligation-free quote.


How to remove graffiti fast?

Acting fast on graffiti removal is key! Every business or home can be subject to vandalism such as graffiti from time to time. Unfortunately, this can damage your reputation and alienate customers or make your home or property look downright ugly. For many, the test of how much you care about your property will be in how swift you react to problems such as graffiti. You could have a go at removing it yourself with household cleaning products, over the counter solvents, get out the high-pressure cleaner (see our article on High-Pressure Cleaners) or even paint over it, Yuk Below’s a bit of advice on having a go yourself and some of the problems and dangers. We would recommend checking your insurance policy first. If you cause more damage are you covered? You might even find that you are covered to have the graffiti professional removed. Graffiti cleaning household solutions The first thing you want to do is check if the painted surface is porous or sensitive to chemicals, sometimes trying to fix it without understanding the material reaction can make things worse. If your marked surface is plastic, try first using a simple soap and water solution or a light, penetrating oil. You might find the product used wasn’t permanent and you’re able to lessen the impact. If the marked area is metal, you can try a paint thinning solution or a light, penetrating oil. Over-the-counter solvents to remove graffiti? If you’re struggling to make a dent with household solutions, there is a range of solvents and other cleaning products on the market that can be used for graffiti removal. However, these products can contain toxic substances and are often highly flammable. Make sure you always read the instructions on safe use, wearing the proper eye, skin and mouth protection. These products might also not be suitable for use on worn wood which can absorb the chemicals and the graffiti paint too, making the problem even more ingrained. Steel wool VS. graffiti If you’re prepared to put in a long, hard slog, then it’s possible to remove graffiti using steel wool or a wire brush. Be aware though that this process will take a long time and will leave marks. That’s why you should only use it on a surface which will eventually return to normal through weathering, such as concrete, stone, some metal and outdoor wooden surfaces. High pressure washing to remove graffiti works! A high-pressure cleaner is one of the best means of removing graffiti and can be used on a range of surfaces from masonry to plastic and wood. However, not many people have access to a high-pressure cleaner and may not know how to use one; therefore, you’d be best to use a company offering high-pressure cleaning services for graffiti removal (see our article on High-Pressure Cleaners). When to cover graffiti up? If the graffiti is stubborn, you may decide to just repaint the surface. Of course, this isn’t ideal, especially if the area wasn’t painted, to begin with, however, if you decide to walk this path, make sure you have the closest colour of paint or use a paint matching system. It’s also possible that some of the graffiti will continue to show through, even under several layers of paint. Choosing wisely between, Painting, paint removal, cover-up, or acid wash, acetone and other solvents, sand, or other graffiti cleaning techniques can be the difference between a successful graffiti removal and costly property damage. Remove graffiti the fast, safe and easy way The best way to prevent graffiti from becoming a long-term problem is to deal with it quickly. Kleenit can provide graffiti removal with 48 hours to sites across Australia, using biodegradable chemicals and the latest technology, helping your premises get back to looking smart and professional as soon as possible. We can even follow up with an anti-graffiti coating to prevent the problem recurring in future.