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How to clean interior brick

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people find interior brick walls and floors charming. However, unlike their exterior counterparts, interior brick surfaces are troublesome to keep cleaned. Unsealed bricks have rugged surfaces that catch and trap dust, requiring more than regular dusting to keep clean. Care must be taken while cleaning the bricks in order to avoid discolouring or causing the brick to crumble and break off.

Empty an entire bottle of dish detergent into a small bucket; an old, cleaned out ice cream bucket is an ideal sized bucket for this project. Pour regular table salt into the dish detergent, stirring as you pour. Stop stirring and pouring when you have created a thin consistency paste.

Dip the sponge in the mixture and transfer the mixture onto the bricks. Use a real sponge instead of a foam sponge, as the foam sponge is more likely to rip and tear when rubbed against the brick surfaces. Blotting the mixture onto the brick prevents the need to rub the sponge around, and delivers an adequate amount of the paste to the surface of the brick.

Work with one small patch at a time. Stop blotting on the paste after you have covered a small space; if you are working on an interior brick wall, work from floor to ceiling.

Scrub the pasted area with the brass bristled scrubbing brush; leave the resulting lather to sit on the surface of the bricks while you apply paste to an adjacent patch of similar size. Repeatedly apply paste, scrub and leave the lather to sit while you cover the entire surface with the paste and lather.

Empty the remaining contents of the bucket and rinse out thoroughly. Refill the bucket with warm tap water.

Start at the top of the wall or in one corner of the brick surface and begin wiping the later away from the brick. Do this by over saturating an old rag and rubbing it across the brick. Water may begin to pool, so you will need a towel to blot up the water before it does damage to the floor or subflooring around or underneath your brick surface.

Tip

Avoid heavy duty cleaning by dusting and vacuuming your brick surfaces more frequently, preferably once per week. Use a damp or tack cloth for weekly cleaning and dab the cloth across the brick surface to blot up cobwebs and dust forming on the surface.

Warning

Never use sand blasting tools or a chemical known as muriatic acid, as these methods and substances cause marring and discolouration to the interior brick surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish detergent
  • Table salt
  • Spoon
  • Small bucket
  • Sponge
  • Several brass bristle scrub brushes
  • Warm tap water
  • Old rag
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About the Author

Stephanie Daniels is a freelance writer residing in Louisa, Kentucky. Daniels focuses on parenting, children, gardening and home-decor articles. She was the manager of Home Decor for Home Depot for 4 years. Daniels has written for many online publications and enjoys ghostwriting.