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How to Clean Brick Walls

Mar 31, 2021

Have your once-attractive brick wall lost its character due to dirt, stains, and discoloration? Looking for solutions to restore its original charm and how to clean brick walls?

If you want to restore the beauty of your wall’s brick surface, there are several remedies and techniques you can use. We’ll share some of them here to help return your brick wall’s allure and elegance.

Cleaning Interior Brick Walls

Indoor and outdoor brick walls require different cleaning supplies and materials, as their levels of environmental exposure vary. If you want to clean bricks inside your house, here’s a list of home and industrial remedies you can use to get you started:

Home Remedies

Dish Soap and Salt

Soap’s ability to dislodge dirt, grease, and oil, plus salt’s absorbent and abrasive qualities, is an excellent home-made solution for cleaning your brick. In preparation, use equal parts of soap and salt to create a gritty paste which you will apply on the brick surface.

Once you have it prepared, use a clean rag to spread it evenly. You should apply the formula section by section to prevent it from drying out before scrubbing it.

When you’ve applied the dish soap and salt solution to the section, thoroughly scrub the prepared areas from top to bottom. When you’re working, be sure to avoid using a wire brush! Its stiff bristles can damage and leave markings on your brick surface. I suggest you stick to a nylon bristle brush instead.

Once you’ve finished with all the brushing, let it sit for ten minutes, then wipe it off with a rag soaked in warm water. If there are any loose dirt and salt left on the clean brick surface, use a vacuum to remove them.

You can see improvement with this home solution.

White Vinegar and Baking Soda

baking soda to get rust off metal

Vinegar, which is acetic acid, is an excellent natural cleaning chemical. Its dissolving power is strong enough to break down mineral deposits, dirt, and grime. Baking soda, on the other hand, is a mild base that will readily react with vinegar. This reaction gives their cleaning power when combined, although once it is over, the remaining solution is just saltwater.

For cleaning an entire wall, prepare a gallon of warm water and then blend it with an equal part of the acid. Add a few drops of dish soap, then combine them well.

Use a spray bottle to apply the vinegar and water blend on the brick surface, then let it sit for around 10 minutes. This will allow the solution to work and slowly dissolve the grime. Once done, use a nylon scrub to remove the loosened dirt from the brick.

For areas with tough stains, mix baking soda with a bit of dish soap to create a paste for application. Apply this material directly to the affected area and let the chemical reaction work on cleaning brick surfaces for 10 minutes.

Once the time has elapsed, use a nylon-bristle brush to scrub off the area. When done, rinse off the cleaning solution with warm water. The clean brick wall should slowly reveal itself as you’re flushing the acid and base solution off the wall.

Home remedies can only go so far though. It will be too time-consuming to scrub a whole wall, and cannot get the nooks and crannies.

Industrial Remedies

Boric Acid Powder

how to clean brick surfaces with boric acid

This powder can be bought at your nearby home improvement and hardware stores. Its antifungal and antiseptic characteristics allow it to tackle stains on the brick surface that home remedies may not remove.

Of course, we should always put safety first, so rubber gloves, safety glasses, and other safety gear are a must when working with industrial chemicals. When preparing the cleaning solution, mix one tablespoon with a gallon of warm water in a bucket. This is the dipping blend you’ll use for brick cleaning.

Get to work by starting tart at the top of the brick wall, then make your way to the bottom. This will prevent any streaks from affecting the cleaned parts. As you work, be sure to continuously dip your brush in the solution to prevent it from drying out.

Once done, rinse the cleaned section with a clean rag soaked in water. You should begin to see a clean surface as you’re washing off the boric acid mix.

Cleaning Exterior Brick Walls

Bricks in an outdoor environment are exposed to more harsh weather. They’re likely to experience extreme temperatures – from the summer sun’s heat to the cold of the winter night. They’re also more likely to be wet for much longer than indoor surfaces, making them more prone to stains and fungi growth.

However, since they’re outdoors, we can use more powerful solvents to deal with these tougher stains. You can also use a hose and a huge amount of water to make the work easier.

Home Remedies


how to clean brick walls with bleach

This common household chemical is typically used in disinfecting and whitening clothes. And although it will not remove dirt, it will readily clear mold mildew and moss, making it perfect for outdoor applications.

Be aware that bleach has harmful fumes and is an irritating chemical. You must have safety gear and good flowing air when working with this to avoid personal injury. Also, don’t mix bleach with ammonia, acids, and other household chemicals, as it may cause unsafe reactions.

In preparation, dilute a tablespoon of bleach in a gallon of warm water. Also, be sure to remove debris and loose dirt from the surface before applying the mixture. You can use a sponge or a sprayer to ensure even application on sections of the area you’re cleaning.

Once the chemical is applied, you can begin scrubbing the brick with a nylon brush. As always, work from top to bottom to avoid streaks on the cleaned brick sections. If the bleach starts to dry out, just spray a little bit more while you’re scrubbing to make your work easier.

Once you finish with the brush, hose down the solution.

Industrial Remedies

Muriatic Acid

If you have to deal with really stubborn grime and stains, then it’s time to bring out the big guns. Muriatic acid is one of the most common yet strong solvents available in the home section of stores and supermarkets.

It is made by diluting hydrochloric acid by about 14 to 29 percent. Although it’s less potent than HCl, we must still use safety gear, like gloves and goggles, when working with it. Also, never add water into acid, as it could cause the mixture to boil violently and splash concentrated acid.

For cleaning your brick, pour one and a half cups of muriatic acid in a gallon of warm water. Place the diluted cleaning solvent in a spray bottle and then apply it to a section of the brick area to be cleaned.

While still damp, use a bristle brush to clean the surface gently. You can then let the spray mixture sit for a few minutes on the surface to dissolve any harder stains that may have stuck on the brick.

Once done, rinse the solutions completely off the bricks with a garden hose and water. You should have a clean brick exterior afterward.

Aside from the solvents and solutions mentioned above, you should also have various materials at your disposal. These are rubber gloves, eye protection, a bucket, a nylon bristle brush or scrub, a garden hose or pressure washer, a tarp to protect the floor for interior work, and other tools.

You would also need to allocate time. If you’re looking to clean your entire house, you should give two to three days, depending on the scope of work. Weather is also a consideration, as cleaning a brick exterior is plain impossible during inclement weather.

Also, a lot of elbow grease is involved in getting your desired results. If you’re prepared to spend time and effort to get a clean brick facade, choose one of the methods and ready all the supplies you need before starting.

Most of the options are by using harsh, even toxic chemicals, otherwise, it will not be strong enough to clean brick surfaces which is why you should consider sandblasting.

Dustless Sandblasting

cleaning outer wall of building with sandblasting before and after

Before & After

Dustless Sandblasting is likely the best option to clean brick surfaces or even remove paint from them. With powerful blasting using eco-friendly materials it can clean bricks or even remove paint in a fraction of the time than the methods above, even better than power washing. It is also the most thorough as it does the job even in the tightest of spaces.

Let Professionals Handle Brick Cleaning and Paint Stripping

If cleaning brick walls or even floors is not your forte, then you should let a professional handle it. OnsiteMB professional sandblasting can help save you time and effort. We’ll also work thoroughly to ensure your brick structure is as good as new.

We can clean your brick building in less than half the time it will take huffing and scrubbing will. The dustless blasting and other cleaning methods they employ are safe and environmentally friendly. Dustless blasting is also your option if you are searching for the best solution on how to remove paint from brick surfaces.

Return the natural beauty of clean brick buildings with OnsiteMB!

OnsiteMB provides sandblasting services in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas Fort Worth North Texas, and everywhere in-between. We regularly operate in Oklahoma City, OK, and Greenville, TX, but travels throughout the region to your site.

Check out our gallery to see samples of our work and contact us for a quote today.

Remove Paint from Stone Fireplace before and after pictures

Before & After


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