Cleaning Interior Brickwork
Bricks have long been a popular choice for constructing homes, and they can be used both indoors and
out. Of course, bricks are often used for indoor fireplaces and hearths, and in recent years, it’s become desirable to have exposed brick walls inside homes. And while brick floors are more common outside, they can also be found inside as well. In order to keep brickwork looking elegant and clean, it’s important to care for it in the right way. Here are some great suggestions:
When it comes to cleaning bricks, it’s always good to try the least-aggressive method or least-
abrasive cleaning solution before taking more drastic measures.
For brickwork that gets dirty or dusty on a regular basis, such as flooring or frequently used
fireplaces, it’s important to remove debris every few days. Sweep with a broom (with natural or nylon bristles, not metal ones) or vacuum with a dusting attachment.
Remove a light soil from bricks by mopping with plain water. The bricks only need to be damp, not soaked. For a deeper clean, mix water and mild detergent and use this solution for mopping. Then rinse well with plain water and wipe dry.
Brick can be purchased sealed or unsealed; the sealing makes them much easier to keep clean. To seal your own bricks, begin by scrubbing bricks with a brush or sponge and mild detergent, then rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. Be sure no dirty water is left behind. Then paint a commercial brick masonry sealer over the bricks and grout, being sure to get it into all dimples and crevices. When the first coat is dry, apply a second one. Apply a new coat of sealer about once a year after the initial two coats have been put on.
If you frequently use your hearth or fireplace area for roasting marshmallows, popping popcorn, or preparing other food, consider sealing your bricks with a penetrating sealer that contains tung oil. This will keep the bricks from absorbing grease and oils.
If your sealed bricks need a vigorous cleaning, try one of these solutions (listed in order from weakest to strongest):
1. Combine an ounce of liquid dish soap and an ounce of table salt and add enough water to make a cream. Rub the solution into bricks with a cloth and allow stand at least ten minutes, then remove with a stiff brush.
2. Make a thick mixture of liquid dish soap, pumice, hot water, and just a little ammonia. Paint the
mixture onto the bricks and let dry, then remove with a wet scrub brush.
3. Shave a bar of naphtha soap into a large pot and add three quarts of water. Boil until all the soap
melts, and then cool. Add one cup of ammonia and one pound of pumice and mix thoroughly. Brush
onto dirty bricks and let stand for at least an hour. Rub away with a stiff brush and rinse with warm
water, then wash with a medium-to- strong detergent and rinse again with warm water.
4. Dissolve half a cup of tri-sodium phosphate in one gallon of hot water and apply to bricks with a
with a stiff brush. Rinse with warm water. Repeat process if necessary. This solution should not come
in contact with skin, carpet, or fabrics. It’s easy to keep your Austin home clean, even if you have brick work! And it’s easy to handle your home cleaning needs, whether light or heavy, with the help of It’s Cleaning Time. Call us today to see how we can free up your time and keep your family happy and healthy.