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How to Remove Mortar Residue from Brick [2 Effective Methods]

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Smeared mortar residue on brick surfaces is quite common. Regrettably, this indicates poor work. Many people seek ways to remove mortar residue from bricks. Maybe you are one of them.

How to remove mortar residue from brick?

For the removal process, you have two methods. Using muriatic acid to remove mortar residue is the first method you can try. When using muriatic acid in this way, you must take a few precautions. And, you don’t need muriatic acid for the second method. The 2nd method is a lot safer than the first one.

It was just a teaser. I’m going to go into more depth about these methods now. Curious to know more? Then don’t leave until you’ve finished reading this article.

Let’s continue!

2 Removal Methods of Mortar Residue from Brick

It is possible to remove mortar residue from brick using two different methods. You have to pay close attention to them. I’ve put together a detailed step-by-step guide for each method for your convenience. 

So, let’s have a look at each of them in turn!

Method-1: Using Muriatic Acid to Remove Mortar Residue

Professionals always recommend using muriatic acid for the removal of mortar or cement. Although it will work, and also it’s risky to handle. You’ll need to use safety. 

Cleansing in this method requires that you abide by all instructions strictly.

Materials Needed

  • A Garden Hose 
  • A Pair of Safety Goggles
  • Acid-resistant Rubber Gloves
  • Plastic Buckets
  • Plastic Brush with Stiff Bristles
  • Household Ammonia
  • Muriatic acid (standard concentration)

Step-1: Wear the Appropriate Safety Clothing

Make sure you know the right safety tips for using muriatic acid. It is highly corrosive and acidic. A high-approval respirator with an acid-grade filter is required when handling acid. 

You should wear acid-proof gloves, goggles, closed-toed shoes, or other safety footwear. You can buy this safety clothing at a hardware store or online. Put down plastic sheets at the foot of the wall to serve as acid drop cloths.

If you accidentally get acid on your skin, have a box of baking soda as a first-aid remedy. There is a risk of chemical burns from muriatic acid.

Step-2: Follow the Directions on the Acid’s Packaging

If you’ve purchased a product, be sure to read any instructions or warnings that come with it. Check out the guide and instruction on the back of the package for dilution and application. 

The most common ratio is a muriatic acid solution of one part acid to nine parts water. But while etching concrete with muriatic acid, the acid solution should be one part acid to ten parts water.

Step-3: Add Water to the Muriatic Acid to Dilute It

First, add water to an acid-resistant bucket, and then add muriatic acid to the bucket. This will prevent acid from sprinkling you if there is a splashback.

Step-4: Spray Water on the Brick

If you’re going to use acid on a wall, make sure the surface is completely soaked with water first. Do not use muriatic acid on a dry brick to avoid damaging your wall.

Step-5: Use an Acid-resistant Brush to Apply the Acid 

You need an acid-resistant brush, so the bristles don’t deteriorate as you apply it to the brick. Dip the brush into the acid solution you’ve made. And spread it over a tiny area of the brick you’re trying to clean. 

To avoid damaging the brick in your wall, test a small area with the acid. Complete it before applying it to the whole thing.

Allow the acid to break down the brick mortar by allowing it to soak in. The acid should not be allowed to dry on the bricks entirely. Otherwise, they may get damaged.

Step-6: Use a Brush to Scrub the Mortar

Scrub the brick vigorously with a medium bristle brush. The mortar that binds the bricks together can deteriorate if you brush them too hard in their joints during cleaning. 

Scrape the mortar and acid sludge onto a drop cloth. Keep scrubbing until the dry mortar has been completely gone.

Step-7: Rinse the Acid with Water

Make sure no acid dries to the brick while you work. Dried acid weakens and discolored brick. Keep a garden hose or a pail of water nearby to rinse away the acid after removing the mortar.

Method-2: Using a Chisel to Remove Mortar Residue

When it comes to removing tough stains, experts advise going to acid-based cleansers. If harsh chemicals or pricey products aren’t appealing to you, this option might be worth a shot.

Materials Needed

  • A Garden Hose
  • A Chisel
  • A Hard Wire Brush

Step-1: Water the Brick with a Garden Hose

Before removing the dried mortar, wait at least 7 days for it to cure completely. Before chiseling, soak the wall with water. 

This technique will simplify removing the mortar and protecting your bricks. Use a bucket of water and a garden hose to wet the brick before you begin working thoroughly. 

Also, you can try different types of hose bibs as your preference for doing the work easily.

Step-2: Use a Chisel Held Parallel to Remove Extra Mortar from the Brick

Ensure that you hold the chisel at a 20 to 30-degree angle. Do it when you’re working on sections that have built-up mortar. Chisel the dried-up mortar from the wall with a light tap on the end of the chisel’s tip. 

Work your way down from the top. Then, work slowly and carefully. Remove as much of the wall’s mortar as you can before heading through the next step. 

I suggest not removing all of the mortar at once. Break it down into smaller pieces.

Step-3: Use a Wire Brush to Remove the Excess Mortar 

Back and forth across the brick face is the best way to remove any residue that has broken off of the mortar. Scrape away any hard mortar that wasn’t chiseled away. 

To avoid discoloring the brick in that area, avoid spending prolonged periods. In this step, your pavers can be dirty from the excess mortar which falls out. Just don’t be panicked because you can also clean pavers by using muriatic acid.

Step-4: Buy New Matching Mortar if Any Mortar is Cracked or Damaged

Removing a piece of mortar is as simple as taking it to your local brick supplier. You can combine more because the provider can match the color and consistency.

Prepare your mortar and use a mortar bag to repair any damage. Shape the mortar with a jointer tool once it has dried for 20 minutes.

Here we’ve added two most famous mortar recommendations for this step:

Product-1
Product-2

These mortar recommendations can help you with a limited budget. Also,you can find them in your nearby shop. 

The mortar residue should now be easy to remove on your own. So you can do it  without getting any help from a professional.

FAQs

Question: What’s the finest brick cleaner?

Answer: Get the same amount of vinegar and water and the spray bottle. Spray them over the bricks and let them dry. Sponge mop the bricks. If the bricks are dusty, scrape them with a nylon-bristled scrub brush.

Question: Is it possible that vinegar could harm bricks?

Answer: Pavers, bricks, and flagstones should never be cleaned with only vinegar. Vinegar can harm the surface and damage the color of the bricks.

Question: When it comes to removing plaster residue, where do you start?

Answer: To get rid of the sticky residue, douse a cotton ball with nail paint remover. Then hold it on the patch for one minute before gently rubbing it. The acetone in the polish breaks down popular glues and adhesives.

Conclusion

That was all I had to say regarding how to remove mortar residue from bricks

One warning for you. Remember, acid should not be used on bricks that are light in color. Acid can cause discoloration and joint weakness.

Bye till next time!