How to remove hard water stains from brick

Written by april dowling
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How to remove hard water stains from brick
Magnesium and calcium in water produce stains on brick homes. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Hard water from sprinklers and garden hoses can cause unsightly mineral stains to form on exterior brick surfaces. These chalky, white stains ruin the appearance of bricks and make home exteriors appear dingy. Hard water stains become more difficult to clean off the longer they persist on bricks. Promptly treat hard water deposits to preserve the bricks' aesthetic appeal and prevent permanent stains. Remove hard water stains from bricks using certain solutions and techniques.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Plastic dust sheets
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Nylon scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • 1/4 cup trisodium phosphate
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • Plastic bucket
  • Safety goggles
  • Long clothing
  • Rubber gloves

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  1. 1

    Cover the plants, shrubs and grass at the base of the bricks with plastic dust sheets to protect them from runoff.

  2. 2

    Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. Spray the affected bricks with the vinegar.

  3. 3

    Scrub the bricks with a nylon scrub brush to remove the hard water stains.

  4. 4

    Rinse the bricks with water from a garden hose to wash away the vinegar and loosened deposits.

  5. 5

    Inspect the bricks for remaining hard water stains. If scaly white deposits persist, mix 1/4 cup of trisodium phosphate with 1 gallon of warm water in a plastic bucket. Wear safety goggles, long clothing and rubber gloves for protection against the cleaning solution.

  6. 6

    Scrub the bricks with the trisodium phosphate solution using the nylon scrub brush. Keep the trisodium phosphate on the bricks for a couple minutes.

  7. 7

    Rinse the bricks with water from the garden hose to wash away the trisodium phosphate solution. Allow the bricks to air dry completely.

Tips and warnings

  • Seal bricks with a siloxane-based sealer to protect them from hard water stains.
  • Mix and apply the trisodium phosphate solution according to the manufacturer's directions to prevent safety hazards.

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