How to Remove Dried Mortar from Brick and Stone

How to Remove Dried Mortar from Brick and Stone

Few things are more frustrating than hazy mortar smears and stains on brick. Luckily, those pesky mortar smears don’t have to stay there! Mortar remover and brick cleaner can help you clean up a messy-looking brick in no time. 

Cleaning Options For Mortar Remover

Muriatic Acid 

If you spend a few minutes on home improvement blogs looking for a solution to mortar smearing, you will hear about muriatic acid.  

  • Muriatic acid is sold usually as a chemical solution for pools.  
  • Muriatic acid is very strong and comes in highly concentrated qualities that must be diluted before use. Consequently, straight muriatic acid should be handled carefully and be a last resort measure. 

Hydrochloric Acid 

Hydrochloric acid is another name for muriatic acid. However, the acids differ in their purity. Muriatic acid has various impurities in it instead of solely HCL molecules.  

  • Hydrochloric acid is often found in mortar removers and masonry cleaners as part of the active ingredients.  
  • When it is in a mortar remover or masonry detergent, hydrochloric acid still must be diluted for use and handled carefully. Most mortar removers and masonry cleaners will have instructions on how to properly handle the detergent and explain how to dilute it properly.  

Safety in Removing Mortar 

Before you begin using a mortar remover prepare the area you plan to clean in making sure that you won’t be letting the mortar remover wastewater get into stormwater drains or other areas. Put up barriers to ensure the mortar remover will not go anywhere it isn’t wanted. Wear protective equipment including rubber gloves, clothing that covers your skin, and protective goggles. It’s even better if you wear things that are waterproof to avoid any possible spray from seeping through clothing.  

The Cleaning Process of Mortar Remover

After you’ve selected your mortar remover or masonry cleaner of choice it’s time to start cleaning! It’s recommended that you first dry brush the brick to remove any loose debris. Before applying mortar remover or masonry cleaner make sure to wet the brick. Most detergents will instruct you to do this as well but make sure to check the instructions anyways. Once your brick is wet, you can apply the mortar remover. The most common way is to apply the mortar remover from bottom to top. After letting it sit for the specified time rinse the remover off from top to bottom. It’s important to not let the mortar remover dry on the stone or brick as the acidity of the cleaner could cause damage. After you’ve rinsed off the brick it should be good as new.  

Looking for Good Masonry Cleaners and Mortar Remover? 

Ecolink has a series of masonry-related cleaning products, including mortar removers! Click here to browse through our selection and learn more! 

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