How to clean a block retaining wall

Written by april dowling
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How to clean a block retaining wall
Remove dirt and grime from breeze block retaining walls to improve the appearance. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Retaining wall systems aesthetically enhance landscapes, control erosion and eliminate steep slopes. Concrete breeze blocks are an ideal building material for retaining walls, due to their strength and longevity. Although breeze block retaining walls are durable, they are not impervious to dirt accumulation. Exposure to soil, water drainage and airborne dust particles causes retaining walls to appear dingy. Regularly cleaning breeze block retaining walls maintains their appearance and improves a landscape's overall appeal. Basic cleaning solutions can effectively clean breeze block retaining walls.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Spray nozzle
  • Garden hose
  • 3-gallon plastic bucket
  • 2 gallons warm water
  • 2 tbsp mild liquid dish soap
  • Plastic tarps
  • Nylon scrub brush

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  1. 1

    Attach a spray nozzle to the end of a garden hose. Spray the breeze blocks with water from the garden hose to rinse off loose dirt, dust and other debris. Wash from the top of the wall downward.

  2. 2

    Inspect the wall for remaining stains and stubborn grime build-up. If more cleaning is needed, fill a 3-gallon plastic bucket with 2 gallons of warm water. Add 2 tbsp of mild liquid dish soap to the water. Thoroughly mix the solution.

  3. 3

    Lay plastic tarps at the base of the wall. Thoroughly cover the ground with the tarps to protect vegetation from runoff.

  4. 4

    Scrub the breeze blocks with the soapy water, using a nylon scrub brush. Clean from the top of the wall down. Immediately rinse the soapy breeze blocks with water from the garden hose.

  5. 5

    Rinse the entire retaining wall with water from the garden hose to remove any remaining grime and soap.

  6. 6

    Allow the wall to air-dry. Repeat the cleaning process if necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • Remove extremely stubborn stains with a solution of hydrochloric acid and water. Follow the acid manufacturer's instructions on the product's label.
  • Do not use pressure washers on breeze block retaining walls; excessive water pressure can cause dirt and stains to become embedded in concrete.

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