How To Clean Mortar Off Bricks Without Acid

Tuesday 19th December 2023

Ellen Warren

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A worker placing a brick on mortar


Staining on brickwork is common due to factors from age to weather conditions. However, stains caused by mortar can make brickwork appear improperly placed or insecure. Smeared mortar caused by excess use or spreading during placement, can be removed safely without corrosive chemicals.

At ICE Cleaning, we offer brick cleaning services where our technicians will work carefully to eliminate stains and damage to your brick surface without using harsh chemicals. With our TORIK cleaning system, we apply a gentle technique to remove mortar from your bricks.

Read on to discover how different types of mortar require unique approaches and how old bricks demand special attention.

Understanding mortar on bricks

Mortar is crucial in the construction industry, as it binds bricks together to create strong and durable structures. However, its strong nature can make it hard to remove from brick surfaces.

This mixture of sand, lime, and cement becomes rock-hard once dried, so removing excess mortar needs patience and care. Research indicates that using force or harsh chemicals may damage your bricks.

Maintaining those charming brick walls without compromising integrity requires knowledge about different types of mortars, and eco-friendly cleaning methods.

Importance of eco-friendly cleaning methods

Eco-friendly cleaning methods are crucial when it comes to removing mortar from bricks. Green cleaning techniques are essential for preserving the condition of your bricks and our planet.

Using harsh chemicals might seem like a quick fix, but these can damage the brickwork and our ecosystem. Using these eco-friendly techniques will cause no harm to old or fragile bricks that harsh chemical interventions could damage.

These alternatives often use simple ingredients found in most homes, making them kinder to the planet and more economical. Incorporating sustainable practices into maintenance routines helps preserve our shared heritage and encourages healthier living spaces.

Tools required for mortar removal

To clean mortar off bricks, you'll need a few specific tools. Firstly, a chisel and hammer will let you chip away large chunks of mortar. But be gentle to avoid damaging the brick underneath.

Next, use a wire brush - it is perfect for scrubbing smaller bits stuck on the surface. You can get these from any DIY store.

If there are still spots left after this, consider using an eco-friendly cleaning solution for bricks. Always remember to wear safety goggles and gloves when handling these tools.

How to clean mortar off bricks

The first step is placing water across the mortar to dampen it slightly. You can do this by gently applying a spray of water across the mortar or using a wet rag to apply water across the stains.

With a hammer and chisel, gently tap the chisel at an angle against the mortar. Remember not to force it, as this can damage your brickwork. If there is still mortar left after using the chisel and hammer, consider switching to a wire brush for a more delicate scrubbing action. 

Handling different types of mortar

Mortar types vary, each with an individual cleaning method. For instance, lime mortar is more delicate than cement-based and needs a softer touch.

You will need to identify your mortar type before you start cleaning. Once you know what kind of mortar you have, you can select the right tools and approach for the task.

Remember that using the wrong methods can damage bricks or leave unwanted stains. So, always test on a small area first before proceeding.

Addressing weathered surfaces and old bricks

Caring for weathered surfaces and old bricks can be a delicate process. These materials have stood the test of time, but harsh cleaning methods could cause more harm than good.

Brick cleaning services by ICE Cleaning offer professional help in dealing with such delicate situations. To avoid causing further damage, always use soft brushes or cloths to clean mortar off older brickwork.

Preventive measures and maintenance

To keep your bricks looking their best, regular maintenance is key. One practical step is to apply a high-quality brick sealer, which protects against water damage and mortar staining.

Always remove any spills or stains promptly as they occur - the quicker you act, the easier it will be to eliminate them. For this purpose, an eco-friendly cleaning solution would be beneficial.

Avoid harsh chemical cleaners that could deteriorate the brickwork over time. Instead, use more gentle methods like scrubbing with a soft brush. If you are still struggling to clean these surfaces, you can turn to ICE Cleaning for help.

Get in touch

For brick cleaning services, you can rely on the team at ICE Cleaning. Our team use industrial-grade techniques to clean your bricks, utilising gentle methods to ensure your surfaces remain undamaged and restore them to their original state.

To learn more about our brick and stone cleaning services, visit our website today to request a free site survey and free, no-obligation quote. Contact our team at 0208 066 0360 or, where we will assist you no matter where you are in the UK, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Reilly Peters

Reilly Peters

Business Development Manager

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