Ways to Clean your Bricks

in Brick

 

Have some old bricks lying around? Been wanting to clean your brick walls but not sure where to begin? We’ll show you the ways to get them looking like new again. 

You chose to build with bricks because they looked gorgeous; they’re durable, fire-proof, termite-proof, and easy to recycle. The problem now is, they look quite messy and you’re not sure how to get them looking like new again without damaging or replacing them.

Not to worry though. Whether you’re planning to recycle and reuse them or simply wanting your house to look pretty and pristine again, there are plenty of ways for you to clean your brick.

Washing your brick

The first and probably the easiest way would be just to wash it with any mild detergent and water. Using a 5-gallon bucket, mix one scoop of washing detergent with 3 ½ gallons of water. Soak the brick in the mixture and scrub vigorously. Once thoroughly cleaned, wash off with clean water. If the dirt and stains seem to be much too tough for a mild detergent, there are plenty of other brick cleaners you can buy that would be more effective. These often contain a mixture of acid and detergents that are sure to get tough dirt out, but be careful. Don’t let it set for more than 15 minutes and wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles as these cleaners may be quite caustic.

While washing your brick may be the least expensive option, the downside is it will take up a lot of time and effort, especially if you are cleaning one brick at a time. But if you’re willing to give the time and energy, why not?

Pressure Washing

Another option would be to pressure wash your bricks clean. Pressure washing allows you to clean your bricks conveniently and effectively without having to use chemicals or breaking your back. You have to be extra careful when using it though; aside from wearing protective gear you have to make sure not to use pressures beyond 3000psi otherwise it might damage the brick or wash away some of the joint sand between the bricks. Cleaners can also be used with the pressure washer but are not necessary, since the pressure alone can even cut through mold that might be growing on your bricks.

Acid

It is not advisable to use acid to clean bricks as they may permanently discolor or mottle the brick. This should only be used as a last resort and with extreme caution. Muriatic acid will remove almost anything, so be sure follow instructions on the acid bottle carefully and always wear protective gear. Do not let the acid set for more than 5 minutes and use an acid brush when scrubbing stubborn dirt.

Sandblasting

Sandblasting is a method that propels very fine bits of material at very high velocities to clean or etch a surface. This material can be anything from steel grit, walnut shells, powdered abrasives, rice hulls and even Styrofoam balls. It is quite effective but like acid, it is viewed only as a last resort to take out stubborn dirt as it can harm the surface of fired brick. The brick can then become susceptible to water damage or become pitted and the mortar joints may soften. If you decide to try it though, better use softer materials such as nut shells, rice hulls or Styrofoam balls so as to avoid damaging the brick.

 

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paul spence has 16 articles online

Paul Spence is a gardening enthusiast and a home buddy.

 

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Ways to Clean your Bricks

This article was published on 2011/05/15