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How to Restore Brick

Michael Johnson

Brick facades provide a dramatic architectural style for a building. Brick structures have been used since the early 1400s and modern bricks (clay red blocks that are typically 2 by 6 inches) have been widely used since the 1800s.

With the historic nature of many brick buildings, it is inevitable that many of these brick structures need a cosmetic restoration.

  1. Combine dish soap and water. Mix approximately two tablespoons of dish soap with one gallon of lukewarm water in your bucket. Stir the mixture together until you develop a frothy solution. Drop your brush into the mixture and let set until the bristles are saturated.

  2. Scrub the bricks you wish to clean. Using the bristle brush, begin to scrub the bricks to remove excess dirt. Only scrub in one direction to avoid scratching and excess wear. Make sure you remove all caked-on debris and particles. Make sure to wet every brick, even if there is no visible dirt.

  3. Soak your new brick block in the water. Drop your new brick into the soapy solution and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Make sure this brick is a similar shade of brick to the ones you wish to clean. Additionally, make sure it is the same clay material and not made of concrete and painted to look like a brick.

  4. Rub the new brick against the bricks you wish to clean while both surfaces are still wet. This will transfer the color of the new brick onto the old bricks and give them a refreshed look. Make sure to rub especially well over any scratches and scuffs. Constantly rotate the new brick so that you are using a fresh surface from time to time.

  5. Allow the restored bricks to dry and determine if they need further cleaning If there are only minor touch-ups left, you can rub the area with the dried new brick. Also, you should hose off the bricks to remove all soap. Leftover soap will result in a dingy finish.

  6. Warning

    Be sure not to rub the bricks too hard. Older bricks can crack from the pressure.