Graffiti can be a real problem with our railway stations and trains. For some reason, people today seem to really like to target these areas. Perhaps it is because they are frequented by so many people on a daily basis that their ‘artwork’ gets seen by many eyes.
Removal of this grafitti presents two unique problems – removal from brickwork in which the paint can get embedded right into the pores of the brick, and removal from the trains themselves. The latter poses a problem due to the fact that you want to be able to remove the paint of the graffiti without damaging the original underlying paint.
You cannot use your ordinary household domestic cleaning products for this job! Socomore is a company that specialises in train cleaning and provides a number of products designed specifically with this job in mind:
Diestone DLS is a multi-purpose cleaning solvent which does not contain any teratogenic or carcinogenic ingredients. It’s solvent power is very high and is very good for degreasing metallic surfaces before painting. It isn’t corrosive on metal surfaces.
Comoral CFP is a phosphate free cleaning agent that is water soluble. It creates a thick foam and is designed to be used with a foam gun. It does not have any solvent and is not flammable. This cleaner is extremely effective at stripping very dirty metallic and plastic parts.
For removing paint from the brickwork around the railway station you will need an aerosol solvent and a pressure washer. As soon as the graffiti is noticed it should be addressed as the paint is absorbed by the porous surface of the brick making it much more difficult to remove over time.
There are many commercial cleaners that can be used; spray these liberally onto the affected area and allow to soak in. Then you can use a pressure washer to try and blast the now loosened paint particles out of the brickwork.
Depending on how thick the paint has been applied, and how much time has passed since it was painted, the regular cleaning and pressure washing technique might not work.
Another option is sand-blasting. This removes the top layer from the brick work but you have to be very careful with this as the sand is very abrasive (which is why it works) but it can take off too much of the brick surface if you are not careful.
Another option is a cold-jet machine (which uses dry ice) which can sometimes work better than a sand blaster and has virtually no cleanup. It is non-abrasive and so is more gentle than the sand blasting method.