How to clean brick

by Pam

We have a glassed in, covered sun porch which has a real brick floor. As time goes by, we are getting a white film on the bricks. Does anyone know what that is, and how we remove it?

Thank you

  4 answers
  • Busy grandma Busy grandma on Jul 07, 2018
    My father was a mason, we had lots of brick in our home (driveway, fireplace, porch, outdoor planters, light and mailbox pilars, even a bench). I remember him talking about the "salts" coming out. He would clean the brick (but I don't remember what he used to clean it) then let it dry and apply a brick/concrete sealer. He would do this to our driveway on a hot day because it has to fully dry before he would let us step on it. Purpose was to prevent the salt and keep the brick from crumbling when it rained or with our watering. Maybe it's time for you to seal. My father used the large pump type sprayer to apply the sealer.

    • Pam Pam on Jul 07, 2018

      Thank you so much for responding. I will certainly apply a sealer once I remove the white marks on the bricks.

  • Vickey Thomas Vickey Thomas on Jul 07, 2018

    Maybe Oxyclean??

    • Pam Pam on Jul 07, 2018

      That never crossed my mind. Thank you so much for the suggestion.

  • It's likely efflorescence and you can clean it off with muriatic acid. Sealing after cleaning will reduce its reoccurrence.

    • Pam Pam on Jul 07, 2018

      Thanks for the information. I really appreciate your input. Hopefully I can get my bricks cleaned and sealed.

  • William William on Jul 08, 2018
    The white stains are efflorescence. Salts in the motar and brick that come to the surface from water. moisture penetration.

    Efflorescence is water soluble. Cleaning it off is easy. Once clean and dry you will need to use a penetrating sealer to prevent moisture migation within the mortar.

    Diluted Vinegar: If you’re in a pinch, using household diluted white vinegar can be used on efflorescence. It’s less harmful than industrial chemicals and you most likely already have vinegar in your kitchen.

    Brushing: With a strong brush, you can remove efflorescence with ease.

    • Pam Pam on Jul 08, 2018
      William - thank you so much for your very detailed response. I'm pleased to hear this is going to be an easy fix. I'll try the diluted vinegar before I go out purchasing any chemicals to clean the bricks. Thanks also for the link.
      I appreciate you taking the time to respond and help me.