Given that schools are full of young people who don't yet fully understand the consequences of their actions, it should come as no surprise that they're magnets for graffiti. Even the best schools with the top students suffer from graffiti problems for time to time, so it's important that you know how to clean these pen and paint marks when they surface.
Here are 3 common cleaning chemical mistakes to avoid when cleaning up graffiti in your school.
Not Choosing Safe Products
Getting graffiti off tables and walls may be important, but it's not as important as keeping your students healthy. That's why it's crucial that you always use the safest cleaning products for graffiti removal. Ideally, it's best to use more natural cleaning fluids that don't contain toxic substances like ammonia or phthalates. These substances can irritate your students' skin if they touch surfaces they were used on; they also emit micro-particles into the atmosphere that can cause breathing problems.
Not Testing the Chemicals First
Another mistake many schools make is not testing their cleaning chemicals on each surface before using them. Nowadays, many good graffiti removal products are technically suitable for use on all surfaces. However, that doesn't mean the chemicals will treat those surfaces kindly. Some desks, doors, walls and tiles have delicate coatings that quickly deteriorate when exposed to harsh chemicals. To avoid this, do a patch test on each surface you want to clean graffiti from and check the area after a day. If the patch doesn't look worn or discoloured, you're good to go; if it does, try a slightly weaker product instead.
Relying on the Cleaning Solution
Once you've found a great graffiti removal chemical that's safe for students and tough on markers and paint, you may think all your graffiti problems are solved. However, it's not a good idea to rely on cleaning solutions to tackle graffiti in the long term. Even gentle cleaning solutions can make surfaces wear quicker, as can the repeated friction of a cleaning cloth or scrubbing brush. Constantly cleaning graffiti can also be time consuming and does little to stop students from repeatedly vandalising school surfaces.
It's best to use cleaning chemicals as a last resort instead, employing a more proactive approach to stopping graffiti. Choosing graffiti-proof school furnishings and painting walls and floors with an anti-graffiti coating are good places to start, as are harsher punishments for students caught vandalising.