How to Clean Brick Efflorescence

pressure washing a brick wall
  • 4-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-25
What You'll Need
Spray bottle
Hard-bristled scrub brush
Baking soda
Rubber gloves
Safety goggles
Muriatic acid
Paper breathing mask

Efflorescence is a white build up on brick surfaces. If you've recently noticed brick efflorescence on any of your home's indoor or outdoor brick surfaces, you may be curious about how to get rid of it. Fortunately, even brick efflorescence that's had time to set in can easily be purged with the aid of a few common cleaning tools.

Step 1 - Rinse Your Brick Surface

Before proceeding to remove any brick efflorescence, you will need to give the affected brick surface a thorough rinsing. To do this, simply spray the surface with a garden hose, paying special attention to any efflorescence-laden areas. If the efflorescence doesn't appear to have set in, try scrubbing it off with a hard-bristled scrub brush, as this alone may be enough to get rid of it. Use an extension rod for further reach. Should this prove unsuccessful, dry the freshly rinsed surface with the aid of a Shop Vac and proceed with the next step.

Step 2 - Apply Your Cleaning Solution

a squirt bottle

Now that your brick surface has been given a vigorous rinsing, it's time to create and apply your homemade cleaning solution. Begin this step by producing a mixture that is 10 parts cool water and one part muriatic acid inside of an empty spray bottle. Once the aforementioned ingredients have been combined, securely seal the bottle, then don a pair of protective rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin and eyes from coming into contact with any wayward cleaning solution. To err on the safe side, you may also want to put on a paper breathing mask to prevent any droplets of cleaner from finding their way into your mouth.

After taking the necessary measures to protect yourself, you'll be ready to apply the newly formed solution. Using your spray bottle, apply your homemade cleaner to any parts of your brick surface that have been affected by efflorescence. When performing this step, make a point of avoiding any efflorescence-free areas of your brick surface, as well as any nearby plant life. Once your cleaning solution has been applied, allow it to sit for several minutes before moving on to the next step.

Step 3 - Clean Your Brick Surface

a brick patio

Having given your homemade cleaner ample time to set in, you're ready to begin cleaning the brick efflorescence. Begin this step by using a hard-bristled scrub brush to vigorously scrub off any efflorescence deposits. If the efflorescence has set into the brick surface, the task may require a substantial amount of elbow grease. If at any point, you feel yourself becoming physically exerted, take a short break to recharge your batteries.

Once you've successfully managed to get rid of all the brick efflorescence, use a garden hose to rinse off any remaining traces of your cleaning solution. To get rid of the smell your cleaning solution will leave, scrub some baking soda onto any freshly cleaned areas, then once again rinse them with a hose. Lastly, use a Shop Vac to fully dry the wet areas.