Gregory Locke, 27, an attorney from Harlem came across the scene Saturday evening when he got on an uptown train on the city’s 1 line at 50th Street.
Locke told NBC News that he and his fellow passengers found swastikas and other graffiti on every window, door and advertising display.
“The train was silent as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do,” Locke said in a Facebook post.
“One guy got up and said, ‘Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.’ He found some tissues and got to work.”
Locke told NBC News that his fellow passengers then began looking for hand sanitizer, while others started wiping off the graffiti, which was gone before the train made it as far as Lincoln Center at 66th Street.
Locke said that one woman who helped remove the graffiti became visibly upset. She was from Texas, and said she had never dealt with an incident of this kind before, he said.
Police in New York City reported a spike in bias crimes in the city in the aftermath of last year’s presidential election.
There were at least 13 incidents of swastikas being painted in public places after the election, including some with graffiti that mentioned Trump