The Effortless Way To Brighten Up Your Outside Brickwork

Not only is brick an incredibly strong building material, but many people also love its visual appeal. Bricks of all colors can give a home an attractive appearance, helping it feel luxurious and refined. Many brick colors also do a relatively good job of masking dirt and grime due to their dark hue, but even the sturdy material has its limits. Eventually brick will need to be cleaned thoroughly, dirt and grime scrubbed or washed away. While there are several ways to clean and brighten brickwork, either outside or inside, one of the best options is to use distilled white vinegar.

Vinegar is mildly acidic and useful for scrubbing away and dissolving dirt that has collected on the surface of bricks. After cleaning with vinegar, your brick will be cleaner and brighter and your home's exterior will look better than ever before. Keep in mind, however, that you'll need to dilute the vinegar properly and apply it correctly to ensure it won't do more harm than good. Whether you want to freshen up your home's exterior, clean a brick floor, or brighten your brick fireplace, vinegar can be a great help.

How to use vinegar to clean brick

Before cleaning your brick, you'll want to saturate the surface with plenty of water. Because bricks are porous, dry bricks will quickly absorb cleaning agents. Applying a layer of water beforehand helps keep your cleaner on the surface of the brick to do its job. If working outdoors, you may want to use a garden hose to spray the bricks beforehand. You can use another method such as a spray bottle to apply water when you clean your brick fireplace or another interior feature. 

To clean brickwork with vinegar, mix an equal amount of warm water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mixture onto the brick. Let the mixture sit on the brick for a few minutes to break up the dirt before scrubbing it with a masonry sponge or an old toothbrush. Aim to be gentle rather than aggressive. Finally, wash the vinegar solution away using water. 

After you're done with this, it's a good idea to apply some baking soda as well. Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to a bucket of warm water and then rinse the brick with the solution. This can help neutralize the vinegar and remove acid from your brickwork. Finally, rinse the brick with warm water once more to complete the job. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all the dirt, vinegar, and baking soda you used, and then dry the bricks quickly to avoid damage.

Precautions to take when cleaning brick

Remember to be careful when using this method to clean the exterior of your brick home, brick floors, fireplace, or other brick features. Vinegar can damage bricks if not used correctly or if you apply it without saturating the brick with water first. Always dilute vinegar before using it to prevent adverse effects and surface erosion. 

You should also be extra careful with the vinegar method if the bricks are painted. The acidity of vinegar can react with certain paints and cause damage, leading to discoloration and causing the paint to strip and flake. Also, keep in mind that there are certain types of vinegar you shouldn't use for cleaning. Stick to distilled white vinegar when cleaning brickwork.

When using this method to clean brick, be sure that you consider the surroundings as well. Take steps to protect plants and soil that are located underneath a brick wall or near a brick walkway. Use a protective tarp or another barrier to prevent contact with vinegar. Vinegar may harm plants and other construction materials, so you'll want to be aware of this when using it to clean your brick home.