Brick’s popularity as a building material is not surprising. The color and texture of brick and mortar structures are aesthetically pleasing to most people, and the overall beauty of brick is hard to beat, no matter what the project. While brick is one of the best materials around for building houses, fireplaces, floors, and more, it also has unique properties that require specific care.
Take, for example, the fact that you need sticky mortar to hold your bricks together. While it makes an incredible adhesive, it can also be really hard to clean off of brick.
Applying mortar can be a really messy process if the person doing so isn’t up to date on the best bricklaying technique. Unfortunately, mortar also has a relatively quick drying time, and once it dries, you’ll need an advanced strategy to get it off.
Thankfully, mortar is easily dissolved with acid because it is an alkaline material. If you’ve got some mortar smeared on your brick facade that you want to get off ASAP, check out these 5 steps to removing that unsightly mortar from your pristine brick layout.
Cleaning Mortar Off Bricks is a Simple Fix
The first step to cleaning mortar off brick is to take precautionary measures to protect anything that might be harmed by cleaning chemicals near the brick. This could mean plants, window sills, doors, or anything else you don’t want to spill acid on. You can do this by covering up plants with a tarp and marking off sensitive areas with masking tape.
You’ll also need the appropriate protective equipment like eyeglasses, rubber gloves, and even a rain suit. Next, you’ll need a highly effective cleaning product.
For cleaning mortar off of bricks we recommend using Prosoco Sure Klean 600
With this cleaning solution, you’ll want to use 1 part concentrate to 6 parts water.
How to clean mortar off of brick, step by step
Using an acidic cleaner to clean mortar off of bricks is a relatively simple process. It goes something like this:
1. Pre-wet the surface
Applying plain water to the surface helps lubricate it before you begin.
2. Apply the cleaner
Using a pump-up sprayer, apply your cleaning solution to the brick. If cleaning a wall, apply the solution from the bottom up. Make sure to evenly apply the material as best as possible.
3. Let dwell for 1-3 minutes
Once you have a complete and thorough coat of cleaning solution on your brick, you’ll need to give it about 1 to 3 minutes to soak into the excess mortar. During this time, that excess mortar will be getting softer and easier to scrub.
4. Scrub excess mortar
For getting mortar off brick, you’ll need a stiff fiber brush. A piece of light masonry or a wood scraper will also do just fine. Make sure you aren’t using metallic scrapers to clean mortar from brick, because the acidity of the cleaning solution and the metallic composition of the scrapers will create an adverse reaction when combined.
If you see an area with an especially heavy amount of excess mortar, you may need to go back, reapply the cleaner and spot-clean the surface, scrubbing until you have the results you desire.
5. Rinse thoroughly
Once you’re done cleaning mortar off the brick, you’ll need to wash off your brick wall to remove all the excess cleaning solution. You can do this by rinsing thoroughly from the bottom up, and then back down until your bricks are totally clean. You should then give your bricks as much time as they need to dry.
How to clean mortar off of brick without acid
Although it's recommended to use acid-based cleaners for best results, you might try using a chisel and a wire brush.
After drenching your brick wall with water, gently peel off mortar with light chisel taps. Make sure to wear protective eyewear while doing that. After that carefully remove tiny spots with a wire brush without damaging the brick.
Cleaning mortar off brick is easy with the right product
When removing brick mortar, you’ll need a heavy-duty cleaner just remember to mix the right ratio as suggested by the manufacturer of water and solution in your pump sprayer. And always make sure you’re covered from head to toe in every piece of protective gear you might need.