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Old 12-14-2011, 09:49 PM   #1
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Removing excess mortar from brick hearth


So i just built a brick hearth in my living room. Apparently I'm not very good at buttering bricks, because despite my best efforts when laying it, the bricks look mostly grey from the mortar. Will Muriatic Acid fix that?

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Old 12-14-2011, 11:02 PM   #2
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Removing excess mortar from brick hearth


It will but it shouldn't be used inside. It could also ruin nearby metals and pianos and computers. How about a photo? There may be a safer way to do it.

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Old 12-15-2011, 10:37 AM   #3
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Removing excess mortar from brick hearth


I guess what I was reading everywhere was to dilute it 10:1 in water and scrub it on with a brush. Is that really still dangerous indoors? I've scrubbing with a good brush and it really doesn't do anything to take off the mortar. I'm not sure if ti makes a difference but I used type S mortar. I'll try to upload a picture tonight.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:51 AM   #4
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Removing excess mortar from brick hearth


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I guess what I was reading everywhere was to dilute it 10:1 in water and scrub it on with a brush. Is that really still dangerous indoors?
Well then DO IT if you thinks that's the thing to do. You can't buy Muriatic Acid full strength that I know of, it is already diluted when you buy it at the store.

Here's the MSDS Sheet on the chemical. Read it then use it if you still have the nerve.http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdf...ruik|100119310
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:11 PM   #5
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Removing excess mortar from brick hearth


Muriatic acid will remove mortar. Unless you are in an unfinished basement, that acid is going to make a bit of a mess. Normally you wash all over the brick and scrub, not just put a few drops on the spot you want to remove. But first you go over the whole area and chip out all the bigger pieces manually.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:16 AM   #6
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Removing excess mortar from brick hearth


An old fashioned way of removing excess mortar from brickwork is to rub the bricks with another similar, or softer brick. In many cases this works really well.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:22 AM   #7
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Removing excess mortar from brick hearth


Exactly what Stuart said. An abrassive of equal or stronger grit would be ideal here. . . like a pumice stone on a ceramic stove top.

Always use OTHER methods first and if they don't work - then pull out the heavy artillery . . . Muriatic Acid is extremely caustic and can eat through flesh - don't use it willy nilly!

I've had similar issues with thinset and grout and all those chemicals sold in stores didn't do a DAMN THING for it - it's not a chemical-breakdown that's needed, it's brute force.

In the future: wrap your brick facings with painter's tape :D
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:44 AM   #8
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Removing excess mortar from brick hearth


Muratic acid would be the last resort, especially inside IMO.

The first thing I'd try is a 3-M "Scotchpad" or the like with laundry detergent and water.

The next would be vinegar & water.

You can also try Stuart's suggestion, as it often works as well.

Then, if those don't work, there are many professional cleaners that are far safer to use than the muratic. Google "Sure-Klean" products for a vast array of options.

All of the techniques hinge on how rough the brick faces are though, as well as how much mortar is really on them.

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