Out of all the projects that you can use a pressure washer for, reverse graffiti might be the most artistic and unique.
Reverse graffiti is often called many different things (clean tagging, clean graffiti, dust tagging, clean advertising, grime writing), but the main idea behind it is the same; create works of art, simply by cleaning and removing the dirty areas off surfaces.
Most of us in our lives have seen an extremely dirty car with the phrase “Wash me” written in the dirt on the car. Albeit simple and scaled down, this is a great example of reverse graffiti, and perhaps one of the first.
From reverse graffiti’s humble beginnings of someone using their fingertip to etch a sarcastic phrase on a dirty car, to now being used commercially as a form of advertising, the activity has certainly come a long way.
What started with a single fingertip and a phrase has since evolved into a much more innovative, complex, and environmentally friendly form of expression. More and more frequently, you can find large murals of reverse graffiti being created all over the world.
People now create their works of reverse graffiti with the help of stencils, brushes, and of course, pressure washers! Pressure washers are a crucial aspect to reverse graffiti because the high-powered water blasting at the dirty surface is much more effective than hand scrubbing the surface to create the designs.
When it comes to picking a pressure washer to use for reverse graffiti, you’ll want a machine with enough PSI (pounds per square inch) to properly clean the area you’ve selected. If the area you’re aiming to clean is covered in hard dirt, paint, or other items that require more effort to rid from the surface, then choosing a machine on the high end of the PSI scale would be your best bet (i.e. the AR383).
The AR383 (shown below on the left) packs 1900 PSI of power into a 27-pound machine, making it a good choice for cleaning areas full of stubborn dirt and other hard to clean grime.
If you’re looking for something more portable than powerful, then the 19-pound, 1500PSI AR118 model (pictured below on the right) is a great pick.
One of the main ways that people make reverse graffiti artwork is by placing stencils over the dirty area they are cleaning. This helps the artists create designs that are very detail-oriented. Whether your design is dependent on detailed precision spraying or hitting as much of the dirty area as you can, you want to make sure your pressure washer nozzle is to set a correct angle for the job. Remember, the larger the angle of the pressure washer nozzle, the wider the water spray. For precision sprays, a low degree nozzle would likely be best, since it will spray a powerful line drive of water at the targeted area. For jobs that don’t require such precision, a 45-degree nozzle angle will produce a less powerful stream, but it will spray the largest width of water, thus allowing you to cover more area at once.
Be sure to visit the AR Blue Clean store to check out our full line of pressure washers and pressure washer accessories to help you with your own piece of reverse graffiti.
Note: The legality and ethical nature of reverse graffiti has been questioned by some communities and individuals, so we recommend always asking for permission before creating a reverse graffiti piece of your own in public.