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How to Clean Brick Stains

Most brick stains can be cleaned with a scrub brush, water, or cleaning solvents. When you clean brick stains in or around your home, you will improve the appearance and add value to your property.

Brick stains
  1. Efflorescence is a white powdery substance that can often stain brick. These efflorescence brick stains are caused by deposit of salts. The mortar used to construct your brick wall has a fairly high amount of salt.

  2. To clean efflorescence brick stains, use a stiff bristled brush and water. Scrub the area and the stain should clean off the brick. If the stains are heavy, you can use a general household cleaning solution.

  3. If these efflorescence brick stains continue to return, this may be a sign that water is entering the wall due to a defect, water line leakage, or poorly installed flashing. Take action to prevent potential damage to your masonry.

  4. To clean brick stains resulting from iron or rust deposits, apply oxalic acid, diluted 1:10 with water. One word of caution, do NOT combine the cleaning acid and water in a metal container. Wear rubber gloves when using the acid.

  5. Before applying the cleaning solution to the brick stain, apply water to the brick surface. This will prevent the cleaning solution from soaking into the brick too quickly. Scrub the stained area with the cleaning solution.

  6. Removing paint stains from brick can be difficult as the brick is very porous. However, you should attempt to clean the brick yourself prior to calling a professional. Your efforts to clean the brick paint stain may pay off and save you money.

  7. For newer paint stains on brick, use a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP). Mix one fourth cup of TSP with a gallon of hot water. Apply the solution to the brick stain using a heavy duty scrub pad or brush. Allow the solution to soak on the brick stain for a couple minutes. Then rinse with warm water.

  8. To clean an older paint stain on your brick, you will have to employ heavy scrubbing or sandblasting.

  9. Smoke stains on brick are a common problem, especially around a fireplace. Clean the brick stain using a scouring type cleaning powder that contains bleach. Scrub the stain with a stiff bristled brush. Rinse and repeat until the brick stain is removed.

  10. We have also encountered success using a mixture of ammonia and water to clean brick stains. Many do it yourself experts also recommend trying a water and vinegar solution.

  11. IMPORTANT: Choose one or the other methods. NEVER mix bleach with ammonia.

  12. Having your house egged by some vandal is bad enough, dealing with the clean up makes it worse. To clean brick stains caused by eggs, turn to oxalic acid. Use the same methods outlined in Step 2 above.

  13. Warning

    NEVER mix bleach with ammonia. Do NOT combine cleaning acid and water in a metal container.