Yakima City Council to try out Graffiti Repellent - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Council to try out Graffiti Repellent

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Yakima, WA -  Graffiti has become a growing problem in Yakima.

Now the city is trying out a new, proactive approach to keeping graffiti off public property.

It only takes a few shakes and quick a spray to do graffiti that can take hours to wash or scrape off a sign or a wall.

"On the left side, we have our graffiti repellent" says Ralph Blakely, Co-owner of Graffiti Gone!.

He demonstrates how the repellent works.

It was applied to the left half of a stop sign.  The spray paint comes off with a cloth, some rubbing alcohol and little elbow grease.

It's much less labor intensive than the use of a razor blade to scrape off the spray paint and it won't damage the surface.

"Basically, you are applying a little bit of a glossy surface," says Blakely.

He also says the repellent they use actually helps extend the lifespan of the surface of the sign.

Since graffiti continues to be an ongoing problem, the Yakima City Council is willing to give it a try.  Graffiti Gone! received a little more than $20,000 to test out the repellent at two public locations.

Right now, the city uses Graffiti Busters to paint over graffiti.

"In some instance, it's almost as bad as graffiti itself.  If you have a white block on a blue wall, it's almost like a canvas for graffiti artists," says Blakely.

Along with trying out this repellent, the city is working with Yakima Police to set up a graffiti sting operation at an unspecified location.

Hidden cameras will be installed to catch taggers in the act.

It'll cost about $4,000 to monitor those cameras for two months.