Best graffiti Removal Techniques

What are the Best Graffiti Removal Techniques?

by Alfredo Mendoza, onGraffiti RemovalPressure Washing , November 11, 2021

Find out what graffiti removal tools work best, how to use them properly, and why you should remove graffiti as soon as possible.

Finding the best graffiti removal techniques and strategies may be a tedious and time-consuming process for many property owners. Graffiti can take up to three years before it ultimately fades away, but there are ways to make the graffiti disappear much quicker.

This blog post will discuss different tools and techniques that professionals use when removing graffiti from various surfaces. Let’s get into it!

In this article:

  • Graffiti Removal Strategies and Techniques
  • Cleaning Strategies: Smooth Surfaces vs. Rough Surfaces
  • Essential Graffiti Removal Tools for DIY
  • How to use solvents and cleaners for removing graffiti?
  • Our essential graffiti removal recommendations

Graffiti Removal Strategies and Techniques

There are a few incredible graffiti artists in the world, yet it appears that most of the time, graffiti is senseless vandalism. If your property is vandalised with a “tag,” here’s what you should do next.

Is it Permanent?

You should first consider if the graffiti was done with permanent markers or paint. Some graffiti media may be washed away with water or a pressure washer. If you have a permanent “art piece” on your hands, it’s time to try something more potent.


Cleaning Strategies: Smooth Surfaces vs. Rough Surfaces

Different sorts of surfaces need distinct cleaning methods. Here are the most effective strategies for eliminating vandalism, regardless of the surface type.

Smooth Surfaces

Graffiti removal is easier on smooth surfaces like metal and glass (street signs, windows, etc.). Try a small amount of cleanser in the area to test for removing paint; if it comes off without requiring additional chemicals, you should be OK with just elbow grease. Continue to clean the graffiti until it has been removed by scrubbing with cleaner.

Rough Surfaces

Graffiti is especially difficult to remove from rough surfaces. Porous materials like bricks or cinder blocks may require additional cleaning agents. Begin by applying a generous amount of cleanser to the surface and waiting for it to soak in. Scrub the graffiti with an abrasive pad or even steel wool until it is removed. It is likely that you will require pressure washing. 

Even after the paint has been scraped away, a distinct discolouration remains—a clear indication of vandalism. In many situations, the whole wall needs to be repainted. 

If you need more information on how to deal with rough surfaces, check our ultimate guide to remove graffiti here


Essential Graffiti Removal Tools for DIY

Professional graffiti removal services can be expensive, but DIY may end up costing you more! If anyway you want to give it a try first, here are a few tools you should consider: 

  • Aerosol-Based Solvent: Chemicals that get rid of graffiti are best applied with an aerosol-based solvent, which allows you to reach difficult areas like cracks and crevices. Most off-the-shelf removal chemicals require the chemical to be sprayed onto a dirty surface in order to penetrate the paint. It is best that you use a chemical remover after pressure washing, as its high-pressure stream will help aid in removing difficult graffiti residue left behind by other chemicals or scrubbing.
  • Clean Cotton Rags (painters rags): Cotton Rags can be helpful to remove graffiti from small surfaces. Use it with a chemical solution to soak the rag, then wipe off the graffiti from your walls or rocks using firm pressure.
  • Paint Rollers & Brushes: A paint roller or brush may also help you remove complex graffiti, especially if it is done on smooth surfaces. Use a chemical solvent that can be rolled onto the surface and wait for it to penetrate into the dirt before wiping it off with a cotton rag.
  • Garbage Bags: Use a garbage bag to collect all of the old paint chips and pieces that are scraped from your walls or rocks.
  • Matching paint: Paint the colour you’re trying to match over the previously cleaned area to hide any lasting sign of the graffiti.
  • Paint Scraping Tool: If you’re trying to remove the graffiti on brick or cinder block walls, a paint scraping tool will be helpful. You can use a screwdriver or putty knife to scrape the graffiti from your wall (this may take ages).
  • Wire Brushes. For a wide range of outdoor surfaces, wire brushes are cheap and efficient graffiti removal solutions. It eliminates graffiti rapidly, even though it leaves brush marks. It’s perfect for sidewalks and curbs, as well as smooth stone or brick surfaces.
  • Pressure Washer. Investing in a pressure washer is worth it if you have multiple surfaces that need cleaning, as power washing will make any chemical solution work better and more efficiently. In some cases, however, using too much water may harm the exterior of your building.
  • A protective dust mask. It will prevent some of the adverse health effects of breathing in paint, aerosols and chemicals. Handling with care will keep you safe during the cleaning process. If unsure about how to use your equipment safely, make sure you do some research beforehand!
  • Get Safety glasses or eye goggles.
Best graffiti Removal Techniques with Chemicals

How to use solvents and cleaners for removing graffiti?


You can find several commercial-grade graffiti removing solutions available for more extensive or more demanding jobs. Make sure to follow all necessary safety procedures, as most of them should only be used in well-ventilated rooms. Industrial cleaners are frequently strong enough to require the use of a respirator rather than a basic dust mask. They’re still quite efficient tools for removing graffiti from cars and other surfaces.

Before using any of these products, make sure you do some research beforehand! Your council may advise what safe chemicals to use in case you want to DIY are. Nonetheless, we think it is better to hire a specialist for big jobs to avoid the hassle and any potential health hazard.

Potential Risks

  • The majority of graffiti removing chemicals are very flammable.
  • Respiratory issues
  • Many of these items are potentially deadly, so have a first-aid kit and a phone on hand in case of an emergency – it’s usually better to be safe than sorry.

For more information on hazardous substances and safety basics, you can refer to Work Safe Victoria.

We highly recommend you hire a professional for large graffiti removal jobs. There are real risks involved in using commercial grade graffiti removing chemicals, and it’s best to leave it up to the professionals. It is better to be safe than sorry!

If your council offers a graffiti removal program – make sure you take advantage of this service as they will only use chemicals known not to cause harm. 


Our essential graffiti removal recommendations

Strike While the Iron is Hot

Time is essential! You have a better opportunity of removing all of the paint, marker, or wheat paste if you remove it before the paint has dried. Graffiti becomes more challenging to remove as it dries.


You may also be interested in: Broken Window Effect – The impact of graffiti vandalism in Eastern Suburbs 

Prepare for the worst.

If you don’t get a professional to attend to the issue, you’ll probably need to repaint. It is considerably more difficult to remove graffiti than it is to put it up in the first place. When someone defaces a painted surface, you’ll almost certainly need to paint over the damage with matching paint.

The red bricks nightmare

If your red brick was defaced, you might look for a graffiti removal company that uses biodegradable emulsifying cleaners. It’s complicated to clean brick on your own without damaging the brick.

Fences & Walls

If your painted fence is damaged, a quick paint-over will be the most outstanding solution. If vandalism frequently occurs in your area, keep plenty of matching paint on hand, and it would be wise to think of a protective coating.

Key Takeaways

  • Graffiti removal might be both costly and time-consuming. It isn’t typically as simple as “wiping it off.” However, a rapid response is the most effective method to get your wall, fence, or other property back to its original condition.
  • Contact your council about what they can do to help stop vandalism in your neighbourhood or community. They may have an anti-graffiti program that includes cleaning up old tags and offering rewards for information on those who are caught vandalising the area.
  • Do not attempt any amateur paint removal as it can be extremely harmful to the environment and dangerous to your health.
  • Call an affordable and dependable professional service if you have a significant graffiti problem on public or private property.
  • When choosing what company to work with, look for those insured and bonded so that if any damage occurs during removal services, they will cover it. Recently we posted a detailed article with tips to choose a graffiti removal company.


Ablate Specialists use the best graffiti removal techniques and strategies and are fully insured!

Graffiti is a frustrating problem for both property owners and law enforcement. However, this post should help you understand the best graffiti removal strategies and techniques to get rid of graffiti on your own or with minimal assistance from professionals. We also mentioned some essential tools that will make it easier to remove tags without harming the surface beneath them.

But before we go any further, we want to remind you how hazardous industrial cleaners can be if they’re not used correctly; always follow safety guidelines when using these products.

We hope that this blog post has helped you better understand the graffiti removal process. Now it’s your turn to get out there and clean up some of those pesky tags!