How to Clean Brick

Keep water stains from ruining your house's appearance

Is your brick siding covered with hard-water stains from your lawn sprinkler? Here's how to clean them and make the bricks look like new again.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

How to clean brick

Hard water stains on brick walls can be as tenacious as an uninvited fly at a picnic. Generally, they're composed of calcium carbonate and you'll need an acid-based cleaner to get rid of them. However, don't use muriatic acid (which is commonly suggested), because it can stain or bleach many colors of brick and cause aluminum window frames to corrode. Instead, several brick cleaners are available that, because of special buffers, work well without the staining problem. Your local brick dealer probably carries these products. But if not, ProSoCo and Diedrich Technologies offer reputable cleaning products.

When you clean the brick, remember that you are using an acid-based product and follow all precautions and directions. After cleaning your brick, avoid some future headaches by sealing it with a siloxane or silane-based sealer (available from the same sources listed above). To find out more information on cleaning, visit the Brick Industry Association.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Stiff-bristled nylon brush with long handle

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Acid-based brick cleaner