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close up of a gloved hand cleaning a brick wall with a brush

Handy guide: How to clean brickwork

There is no single best way to clean brickwork. The techniques and methods of brickwork cleaning must be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the reason cleaning is required. You’ll also need to consider where the brickwork is. Do you need to clean exterior brick walls, interior brickwork, brick pavements, or another type? Some techniques, such as pressure washing might be suitable for outdoor brick cleaning but isn’t suitable for indoors.

Cleaning brickwork:

Here are a few common brick cleaning techniques that may be suitable for cleaning clay brickwork. With every method, we highly recommend testing on a small, hidden area for committing to the whole area.

Guidance when cleaning brick walls and what to avoid

  • Consider the time of year, will your problem likely go away with changing season? Think about this before taking drastic steps to remove blemishes from bricks.
  • Don't unnecessarily clean old brickwork. It is more vulnerable and cleaning may cause more harm than you started with.
  • Never use a pressure washer on old brickwork. Older buildings may not have been built with the same damp prevention methods that modern masonry uses.
  • Reconsider using water-resistant solutions and paints on bricks. In some cases, this might be suitable but be wary as these can sometimes trap moisture within the bricks.
  • Avoid the temptation to use metal brushes on bricks as this will likely damage the appearance.

There isn’t a definitive guide to one method of brick wall cleaning, as it really does depend on a number of factors. Always check with the brick manufacturer if you have any doubts about cleaning techniques. Plus, our colleagues in branch will be happy to offer suggestions. drop into your local Gibbs & Dandy with details about your issue and we’ll always do our best to help.

We'd recommend these further reading resources on cleaning bricks: