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Old 02-14-2019, 02:57 PM   #1
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Cleaning White Bricks


We have black all over the bricks surrounding the wall of our house (it's also on our house, but not as bad). I have a pressure washer that will do up to 2800 PSI, but I've read it's not good to do too much pressure, especially on the house. What sort of chemical can I use to cut this down so its easier to wash down?
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:57 PM   #2
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


I'd try spraying it down with bleach [use a pump up garden sprayer] maybe add some detergent. I suspect that will make a big difference. Sometimes scrubbing is also needed - an old broom works good for that.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:58 PM   #3
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


Pressure washer can destroy brick. Any idea what the coloring is from? If not, I'd start with the hose, some dishwashing soap and a brush.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:00 PM   #4
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


I'm guessing it's mildew which bleach is very effective at removing.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:03 PM   #5
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


A pressure washer is okay if you know how to use it. You can spray it first with bleach as Mark suggested. If that doesn't do the trick, rent a gas powered pressure washer. Don't waste time with electric. Start with a green or yellow tip about 3 feet from the wall. If that doesn't work, use a red tip but stay about 10 feet from the wall & move closer SLOWLY. If you see pieces of mortar flying through the air, step back again.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:06 PM   #6
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


I've pressure washed dozens of brick walkways, houses, decks and have never destroyed anything, and I'm using a 3800 PSI washer.
Does your washer have a hose you can set in a gal. of bleach?
Mine does, so I use the wash nozzle first with the bleach to mist it down, within an hour you should already be seeing a difference in the look.
Then I come back and do as GuapO suggest.
I just hate using pump sprayers for anything.
There to slow, and have not had one yet last more than a year, even when buying the so called life time high dollar ones.
Once clean if you seal the brick and cut back the over hanging trees it will stay looking nice longer.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:16 PM   #7
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Does your washer have a hose you can set in a gal. of bleach?

Once clean if you seal the brick and cut back the over hanging trees it will stay looking nice longer.
Awesome - thanks. I have a this pressure washer: http://bit.ly/2UV9ZaI

It says that you can only use soap in the dispenser, and not bleach.

How would I seal it? What do I purchase?
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:24 PM   #8
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


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How would I seal it? What do I purchase?
I wouldn't seal it. Clean it & leave it alone.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:03 AM   #9
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


I've always got multi yrs out of every pump up garden sprayer I've owned but I do clean them up at the end of each job.


I've never been fond of running cleaner thru the PWer pump. IMO you have better control and are more efficient using a garden sprayer. Sealing the brick will keep them drier and less likely to mildew [or not as bad] I'd ask at the paint store [not a paint dept] what they recommend if you decide to go that route. Make sure the brick is dry first!



While I'd use a PWer, I wouldn't rely on pressure alone to clean the brick. I prefer to use the white or yellow tip. The red tip is too easy to do damage with and/or leave cleaning stripes in the wall.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:37 AM   #10
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


lots of great advice here - thanks everybody!
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Old 02-25-2019, 02:00 PM   #11
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


Here's an "after" photo. I sprayed it down with bleach, waiting about 15 minutes then pressure washed. FYI, I've done some research on getting those stains (Georgia red clay) off the bottom portion and I'm going to give White Ox a try. Stay tuned.
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Old 02-25-2019, 04:22 PM   #12
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Re: Cleaning White Bricks


Doesn't even look like the same wall!

That Georgia red clay doesn't come off without a fight, it's even hard to scrub off of a vehicle. Wish you luck.
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