Graffiti removal methods

Options for removal

There are various ways to treat graffiti and a range of available products. Council does not endorse any particular product or manufacturer.

  • Painting over the surface in a dark colour. Graffiti shows up more on light-coloured surfaces.
  • Applying chemicals that are designed to remove graffiti or using solvents that help remove paint.
  • Sandblasting or water-blasting.

Paint it out

If the graffiti is on a painted surface, sometimes it’s easiest to paint over it. Remove as much of the graffiti as possible before painting. Some graffiti markers tend to bleed through the new coat of paint so use a sealer coat before painting the whole surface. Do a test on a small area first to see if this will happen.

Choose a dark colour to paint out graffiti; the marks are less likely to show through and the colour will make the site less attractive to other graffiti vandals.

Chemical removal

The most reliable chemical method is to use a product designed specifically to remove graffiti, which is available from many hardware stores.

Sometimes graffiti can be removed with liquid laundry or dishwashing detergent. These may remove felt pen graffiti from glass, aluminium, terrazzo, smooth cement and similar surfaces. Liquid cleansers, eucalyptus oil, solvents and mineral turpentine can also be effective.

If the graffiti writer has used aerosol paint on an unpainted surface, be sure to act quickly. Paint will quickly penetrate absorbent surfaces like porous brickwork and be very difficult to remove.

Important: Whatever chemical you use, make sure you follow the safety procedures recommended by the manufacturer.

Solvents & other products

It is possible to remove graffiti from your own property with the help of specialist products. New and improved graffiti removal products regularly appear on the market. Phone your local hardware store to check on current availability.

Always ask for the least toxic product to protect yourself from harm while removing graffiti. Council does not endorse any particular product or manufacturer.

Here are some examples of graffiti removal products:

  • Muck off
  • So-Safe Graffiti Remover
  • Graffiti Remover
  • Guardian Graffiti Remover
  • Goodbye Graffiti

As these products may contain toxic substances, please take all precautions recommended by the manufacturer.

Mechanical removal

If you want to remove extensive aerosol graffiti from an unpainted surface, it may be best to have it sand or water blasted. Look in the Yellow Pages under Cleaning Contractors.