When we started this blog, off of the back of our Instagram account, I imagined I’d always be writing about super exciting renovations and DIY projects. I imagine you probably thought that too! I can only apologise for writing about cleaning bricks but we were inundated with requests on how we did this in a recent story on our Instagram. I guess the majority of people (at least in the UK) live in a brick house and if your house is as ancient as ours then it’s likely the brickwork is looking less than desirable.
I can’t say I ever paid much attention to people’s brickwork but since we cleaned ours; it’s the first thing I now notice. It’s amazing what a difference a little clean up can do and I think people were interested because it is something so minimal that everyone can do with a maximum impact.
After a little research online we cam across Sika Brick and patio acid cleaner. It had some good reviews and at £13.79 for 5 litres we thought it was worth a shot. Firstly you need to asses whether this is safe for you to use.
We were using it on our front, on street brick wall where we knew it couldn’t harm any animals, wildlife, plants or humans! It’s acid so you need to be aware of your surroundings. You also need to take into account the type of brickwork you are using it on. Our wall is fairly old but it’s sturdy with no visible damage. If you have an old crumbly wall then either test on a real small area first or maybe seek advice from the brand. Please don’t come after us if your wall falls down or your prized turnip crop shrivels up and dies. Also PLEASE wear protective glasses, not swimming goggles or Raybans; buy some protective eyewear and gloves whilst you’re purchasing the acid.
We are normally “sod it let’s just whack it on and see how it goes” kind of people but there is a little prep that you need to do first.
- Soak the area to be treated with clean water.
- Using a wire brush, brush off any moss, excess dirt or stains or loose material.
- Rinse the area again with clean water.
- Mix your solution according to the instructions and taking into consideration the amount of staining. Sikka advise mixing 1 part cleaner to 2 parts water and if this is not strong enough then you can up the ratio of cleaner and decrease the water. You can also use this completely neat if there is a lot of staining. After testing we chose to use it neat, as the normal ratio to water mixture just wasn’t cutting through it.
- We applied ours to the wall using a plastic mister bottle. Spritz onto the area and then immediately scrub the area in circular movements with a brush.
- Once you have worked the acid in, flood the area with clean water (we used a watering can for this). You will literally see all the grime and years of pollution flood off of the wall. It’s very satisfying!
- Once you have worked along the whole wall, repeating the above steps, thoroughly clean the wall and pavement area with clean water to ensure there are no acid remnants lying around.
You can get quite carried away doing this, so be sure on the areas you want to treat first. Ideally we would love to do the front of the house but it would probably require scaffolding assembly to reach everywhere. Don’t start an area knowing you can’t finish it because the difference is very noticeable.
Good luck, it’s worth the effort.