White, powdery stains leaching from brick walls are actually crystalline salt deposits. Newly constructed brick walls often contain excessive moisture, which eventually evaporates and transfers salt deposits known as efflorescence onto brick surfaces. Although efflorescence stains are generally temporary, constant exposure to moisture can create an ongoing problem. Fortunately, efflorescence is merely an aesthetic eyesore and not structurally damaging. Nevertheless, the white, powdery stains are unappealing on brick surfaces. Remove white leeching from bricks using basic materials.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Dry, stiff-bristle cleaning brush
- Household cleaning sponge
- Plastic spray bottle
- White distilled vinegar
Scrub the powdery stains off the brick surface with a dry, stiff-bristle cleaning brush. Detach as much efflorescence as possible.
Dampen a household cleaning sponge in water. Do not soak the sponge, as excessive water often causes efflorescence to permeate bricks and reappear as the water evaporates. Wipe the slightly moist sponge over the bricks to remove loosened efflorescence dust the broom missed.
Fill a regular spray bottle with white distilled vinegar if efflorescence lingers. Disperse the vinegar generously onto the bricks, thoroughly drenching the efflorescence. Let the efflorescence absorb the vinegar for five minutes.
Scrub the remaining efflorescence thoroughly off the bricks with the brush.
Moisten the cleaning sponge in fresh water. As previously, do not soak the sponge. Wipe the barely moist sponge over the bricks to rinse away the vinegar. Disperse the vinegar generously onto the bricks, thoroughly drenching the efflorescence. Let the brick surface air-dry.
Tips and warnings
- Substitute a stiff-bristle broom for the cleaning brush.
- Remove stubborn efflorescence with diluted muriatic acid. Follow all of the muriatic acid manufacturer's instructions.
- Avoid pressure-washing the bricks; pressure washers force additional moisture into the bricks, causing more efflorescence.
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