Equipment Questions

Do you recommend a hot water or cold water pressure washer for graffiti removal?

Without doubt, the most ideal machine for the professional graffiti remover is a hot water pressure cleaner around 2000 PSI - 3000 PSI at 2-3 gal per minute.

graffiti removal hot or cold water pressure washer

Any higher pressure for graffiti removal is a complete waste of money, as the machines are used for a quick release rinse of already dissolved or softened graffiti after our products are applied. 

Even though the secret is in the chemicals used, you will find that hot water for rinsing has 100 times the energy of a cold water pressure cleaner. It is this energy that often removes bits of graffiti that can stain some substrates leaving a shadow. 

In reality, you will find that you will get 100% of graffiti removed about 95% of the time (without too much trouble) using a small cold water pressure washer such as our EcoBlaster. However, when you need heat, you really need it! 

Often an inexperienced operator when using cold water will try ‘blasting’ the remaining graffiti/shadowoff, causing grief to the wall, and his customer.When that happens, remember the golden rule that 95% of graffiti comes off in 95% of the time andthe remaining 5% will possibly take you another two lots of 95%’s (that is if it comes off at all).The other thing to remember is that even a 1 or 2% shadow is in fact a 100% failure. 

Usually this difference is the hot water factor!With hot water you will have 100% success 98% of the time first time every time.IE:,There may be just a few jobs in the early days that will try you out, but we are always hereto walk you through them!Any commercial contractor serious about offering professional graffiti removal services will end up needing a hot water machine for a particular job, and in reality the right job can almost cover the extra investment by saving valuable time and materials. 

Plus there are many other commercial cleaning jobs where hot water will be needed including degreasing, paint stripping and general cleaning of grime from hard surfaces.

What size pressure washer do you recommend?

The ideal pressure washer for graffiti removal will spray approx. 2-3 gallons of water per minute at approx. 2000 – 3000 psi.

Typical graffiti can be removed easily with a small cold water machine such as our EcoBlaster. However, for the commercial contractor we always recommend moving up to a hot water unit (see FAQ Hot vs Cold). 

Even the highest PSI pressure washer won’t clean a dirty car, so it’s certainly not going to remove graffiti which has impregnated a porous surface. Don’t ever think that it will remove graffiti by close blasting. One can easily cause damage to walls by blasting too close or using the wrong types of tips because the graffiti removers have either not been left on long enough, have dried out too soon, or have not been flood coated adequately on porous brick and masonry surfaces. 

Always remember that the pressure washer is the last thing started. In graffiti removal, the pressure washer is only being used as a quick release rinse of already dissolved or softened graffiti. It is the graffiti removal products which should be doing most, if not all of the work.

Use a 15° (yellow) fan tip for graffiti removal and keep your gun strokes even and gentle, watching carefully not to come in too close to the surface. If you need to come in closer, be sure to keep the gun moving on the surface to avoid knocking out old mortar joints on brick or removing cement stucco from the surface.