How to Remove Effervescent Stains From Bricks

Updated February 21, 2017

Effervescent salt stains, otherwise know as efflorescence, can accumulate on brick when excessive moisture from rain or snow is absorbed. This absorbed moisture pulls natural salts from the brick and as the moisture dries this can result in unattractive white stains. Effervescent stains do not signal structural problems, however aesthetically they can detract from outward appearance of your brickwork. Remove salt deposits from brick and restore the beauty of brick walls easily with just a few basic household items.

Scrub the area with a dry, plastic bristle scrub brush to loosen and break up the stains.

Rinse the stains by spraying fresh water from a hose. High-pressure sprayers are useful for further loosening of the stains.

Mix together a solution of water and mild liquid detergent in a plastic bucket, tub, or mixing bowl. Use two teaspoons of detergent per gallon of water. Continue to remove the stains by scrubbing them with the solution using the plastic bristle scrub brush. Continue to dip the brush into the solution as needed while scrubbing away the stains.

Rinse the area thoroughly with fresh water. Allow the area to dry and repeat this process if any remaining stains are evident.


For extreme build up and long-neglected effervescent stains, muriatic acid can be used in lieu of the detergent. Soak the area with fresh water before applying muriatic acid. Use one part muriatic acid to twelve parts water. Thoroughly rinse after removing the stains. Muriatic acid can be found at most home improvement and hardware stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bristle scrub brush
  • Water hose with sprayer
  • Mild liquid detergent
  • Plastic bucket, tub, or mixing bowl
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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.