Bricks

Published on April 17th, 2013 | by Henri

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Removing cement dust from bricks

Q.    I’m building a brick wall at my house, and when I clean with a wet rag the cement off the bricks it leaves me a white dust that doesn’t seem to come off. If there is a chemical that I can buy or what can I use so the brick looks clean without the white dust?

A.    Using a wet rag simply spreads the cement onto the bricks. You should only brush the bricks with a dry brush as soon as the mortar has dried to remove small mortar particles. Wait about a week before removing larger mortar particles with a wood or plastic scraper. Then, to remove smears, wash the bricks off with a 10 percent solution of muriatic acid (one part acid to nine parts clean water).

Mix the solution in a nonmetallic container by adding the acid to the water — never add water to the acid. Before applying the solution, saturate the bricks with clean water. Brush the solution and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Muriatic acid is very caustic; wear heavy rubber gloves, skin and eye protection and pour it slowly into the water container.

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