Muriatic acid is a powerful and corrosive acidic liquid made from hydrochloric acid, water, and other trace minerals. This product is a very strong acid that will clean dried cement products off stones, bricks, and other masonry surfaces.
But firstly, let's recap what brick acid is. It's basically hydrogen chloride (HCl) dissolved in water. A liquid with a strong smell, it's miscible with water, hazardous and corrosive. It is also known as muriatic acid and hydrochloric acid.
Brick Acid is great for cleaning limescale off bricks but it is awful for many natural stones. It's very common for some builders to recommend using brick acid to clean paving, whether it is for concrete or natural stone but beware you could be doing more damage than good.
Generally, natural stone is very easy to care for but there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing cleaning products to use on them. *Please note – never use brick acid on natural stone surfaces.
Known for its distinctive pungent smell, muriatic acid is typically considered for those looking to clean heavily soiled brick, concrete or stone.
Bleach (For Mold, Mildew, and Moss): A bleach mixture is ideal for removing mold, mildew, and moss from exterior brick walls. Combine a tablespoon of bleach with a gallon of warm water in a bucket, then apply the bleach with a sponge to the brick.
Apply with a brush and allow to stand for 15-20 minutes before using a strong bristle or wire brush to scrub off the stains. Always wash or hose down after application as this will neutralise the cleaner and remove the loose dirt and grime.
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Does brick acid damage bricks? As brick acid is highly corrosive, it can damage certain types of brickwork if it's not used correctly. Brick acid effectively dissolves the top layer of brick, so it shouldn't be used on natural stone surfaces, including stone like limestone and marble.
In a bucket, combine 1 tablespoon of boric acid with 1 gallon of warm water. Mix it all together, being careful to prevent splashes. Use a sponge or brush to apply it to the brick. Only add as much DIY cleaner as you can quickly scrub away.
It's always best to dampen the brick you're going to clean with water before you apply the acid solution. If you just put the acid on dry brick, there is a chance you can burn or damage the brick.
Cemelex contains a high strength Hydrochloric Acid (25%) which means that this is one of the strongest formulations available for brickwork cleaning and descaling. Industrial Hydrochloric Acid is only manufactured up to approximately 36% strength due to the difficulties involved in handling and evaporation.
Avoid Using Muriatic Acid on Bricks
It's best to leave this on the shelf and avoid using this substance on your brickwork. Muriatic acid dissolves the outer surface of the brick.
Muriatic acid can actually cause damage to brick.
Before handling the acidic cleaner, put on rubber gloves and goggles to protect yourself from serious burns. Dry brush the surface of the brick to remove any loose particles. Fill the first bucket with only water. Dip the brush into the bucket of water and dampen the brick until it's thoroughly soaked.
If you must use muriatic acid to remove efflorescence, follow these steps (be sure to follow the safety recommendations earlier in this article): Dampen the wall. Mix the acid with water. 1 part acid to 10 parts water (by volume) is typical, but dilutions as light as 1 part acid to 16 parts water work well, too.
How to remove cement stains from brick with acid. You may have seen hydrochloric acid recommended for removing mortar or cement. It'll get the job done but it's dangerous stuff to handle so you need to be careful – wearing safety equipment and testing the acid on a small area before you start cleaning.
WD-40 may remove paint stuck to brick if applied directly and in large quantities, allowing it to sit on the surface for a few hours.
Rinse with warm water and wipe off with a soft cloth. This method is best for cleaning small areas, like the brick trim around a fireplace. For larger areas like a floor or wall, go with natural cleaner two, vinegar. Mix equal parts vinegar and water and pour into a spray bottle.
Cleaning bricks with vinegar is an effective and natural way to remove dirt and stains. However, it is essential to follow proper techniques to ensure the brick surface's safety and achieve the best possible results.
Mix Dawn and baking soda into a paste to clean detailed brickwork. For old brick, always try the least abrasive method and work your way up. Use a sturdy bristle brush when it comes to fireplace brick cleaning.
Clean your bricks with a cleaning solution, or by using undiluted white vinegar. Once you've prepared the surface of the bricks, you can apply a coat of concrete stain. You can adjust it according to the original color of your bricks. You can choose from a wide variety of water-based stains and acid-based ones.
If you don't have the supplies for the ammonia mixture, you can also use bleach or hydrogen peroxide to remove mold, mildew, and stains. Remove dirt and debris using the broom. Put on safety gear. Pour ½ cup of bleach or hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle with 3 cups of water.