How to clean ivy from bricks

Written by april dowling | 13/05/2017
How to clean ivy from bricks
Ivy vines stick to bricks like glue. (Getty Creative)

Distinguished for its waxy leaves, tough stems and yearlong green foliage, ivy is favoured among gardeners. When allowed to grow, ivy climbs brick walls and eventually covers them with thick foliage. Although ivy does not affect sturdy brick walls, the vines can expand existing cracks in crumbling mortar and loose bricks, allowing moisture penetration. Removal of ivy from surfaces is necessary when bricks become too overgrown or are structurally unsound. You can clean ivy from bricks using basic techniques.

Pull the ivy from the bricks starting at the top of the structure. Wearing gardening gloves, gently yank off as many stems, roots and leaves as possible.

Detach any remaining roots and stems from the bricks using a wooden scraper. Work the scraper underneath the roots and stems until they loosen from the bricks. Pull off the loosened roots and stems.

Scrub the remaining sticky, fuzzy tendrils off the bricks using a dry nylon brush. Detach as many tendrils as possible.

Inspect the bricks for lingering tendrils. If tendrils remain adhered to the bricks, mix a solution of 18 ml (1 tbsp) liquid laundry soap and 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of water in a plastic pail.

Drench a scrubbing sponge in the soapy solution. Scrub the lingering sticky tendrils off the bricks with the sponge.

Rinse the soapy bricks with a garden hose.


Substitute a plastic scraper for the wooden scraper.


Forcefully yanking off the ivy vines can damage the brick mortar. Metal brushes and scrapers can damage bricks.

Things you need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Wooden scraper
  • Nylon brush
  • 18 ml (1 tbsp) liquid laundry soap
  • Plastic pail
  • Scrubbing sponge
  • Garden hose

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