Categories Brick

What Do Bricklayers Use To Clean Bricks?

Like a meticulous artist restoring a masterpiece, bricklayers employ an array of techniques and products to cleanse bricks from various types of stains and discolourations. The cleaning process is not strictly limited to surface scrubbing but encompasses deep cleaning methods that penetrate the brick’s pores. Various substances such as phosphoric acid, oxalic acid, sodium hypochlorite, potassium hydroxide, and caustic soda are used depending on the nature of the stain or discolouration. Calcium stains and efflorescence require different treatment strategies compared to organic growths or timber stains. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of these varied techniques, post-cleaning treatments for preservation purposes, and maintenance methodologies employed by bricklayers for brick cleaning procedures. The insights offered will help restore the original appeal of bricks while maintaining their integrity over time.

Initial Removal of Dirt and Debris

In the initial stages of brick cleaning, bricklayers typically focus on removing dirt and debris, employing vigorous brushing and scraping techniques to eliminate surface contaminants. This preliminary stage is integral to the overall process as it prepares the bricks for further deep cleaning methods. Power washing is a common method employed during this phase due to its ability to dislodge stubborn grime efficiently. However, care must be taken when using power washing tools due to their potential to damage the integrity of the bricks if not handled correctly.

Scrubbing also plays a pivotal role in this stage, often done in conjunction with chemical solutions that are specially formulated for breaking down difficult stains without causing harm to the brick surfaces. The use of brushwork ensures that every crevice and corner can be reached, thus guaranteeing comprehensive cleaning.

Steam cleaning and other abrasive methods are also utilised by bricklayers depending upon the nature of the dirt or stain present on the bricks. These techniques offer substantial advantages as they can effectively remove both organic growths such as algae or mould and more resistant stains like efflorescence or calcium deposits.

Lastly, pressure washing is another commonly used tool by professionals during this initial phase; it significantly aids in loosening grime stuck in joints while ensuring minimal damage to surrounding areas. Hand tools such as scrapers are also incorporated into this process for their precision in handling intricate details on brick surfaces.

Therefore, through these various methods including power washing, scrubbing with chemical solutions, steam cleaning and pressure washing aided by hand tools, efficient removal of dirt and debris from bricks can be achieved, preparing them for any subsequent specialised treatments.

Deep Cleaning Techniques

Deep cleaning techniques for bricks, employed by professionals in the field, can make a world of difference to the aesthetic appeal and longevity of brickwork. These methods are necessary when dealing with tough stains that cannot be removed through basic cleaning procedures. At Mitre Clean, we have honed our expertise over many years, providing industry-leading services that utilise specialised tools and effective solutions.

  1. Acid Stains & Iron Welding Splatter: Incorrect use of hydrochloric acid often results in acid burn – an iron oxide stain appearing as yellow to brown rust-like discolouration on the bricks. Professional techniques involve using phosphoric or oxalic acid for removal.
  2. Calcium Stains & Efflorescence: Milky films on brickwork are usually due to setting reactions of Portland cement and bricklaying sand while powdery deposits occur due to soluble salts, excessive water and evaporation. We address these issues with full-strength equivalent products and brushing with a stiff dry brush respectively.
  3. Organic Growths & Soil Grime Stains: In damp soil areas, organic growths such as moss can occur which require vigorous brushing or scraping for removal. Airborne deposition often results in grime stains especially in industrial areas—handled effectively with scrubbing using liquid detergent.

Our team is adept at handling various other challenges from vanadium stains caused by too strong concentrations of hydrochloric acid to manganese stains arising from excessive water penetration. We strive for excellence in all aspects of our service delivery ensuring each project benefits from our vast experience and stringent attention to detail.

Our professional deep-cleaning techniques are instrumental not only in restoring bricks’ aesthetics but also prolonging their lifespan—a testament to Mitre Clean’s commitment towards exceptional service delivery across Brisbane.

Post-Cleaning Treatments

Following the comprehensive brick cleaning process, post-cleaning treatments are implemented to ensure the longevity and maintenance of the restored brickwork. At Mitre Clean, we understand that protecting your bricks is just as important as cleaning them. Therefore, we offer surface protection and sealing services to keep your bricks in their best condition for years to come.

Surface protection involves applying a sealant to the cleaned brickwork. This layer acts as a barrier against future stains and organic growths, thus prolonging the life of your bricks. It also aids in stain prevention by reducing permeability and making it more difficult for stains to penetrate the surface of the brick.

Stain treatment is another essential component of our post-cleaning process. Despite our best efforts during cleaning, some stubborn stains may still persist. In such instances, we use targeted stain treatments designed to address specific types of blemishes like calcium deposits or iron welding splatter.

Long-term maintenance and care are crucial for preserving the aesthetic appeal and structural integrity of your brickwork over time. We provide advice on regular upkeep routines, including suitable products for DIY cleanings between professional sessions.

Brick rejuvenation is at the heart of our service philosophy at Mitre Clean. Through restorative processes like mortar and cement smear treatment or removing organic growths, combined with post-cleaning treatments like sealing or preventive measures against future staining, we breathe new life into weathered or stained bricks.

Our commitment extends beyond delivering unparalleled results; it’s about ensuring those results last long after our team has left your property. With Mitre Clean’s extensive expertise in brick restoration services across Brisbane, you can trust us to deliver a superior standard of care for your commercial properties’ exterior surfaces.

Preservation and Maintenance Methods

Preservation and maintenance methods are essential aspects of brickwork, ensuring the longevity and aesthetic appearance of the material. Bricklayers employ various techniques to maintain bricks’ optimal condition, focusing on preventive measures to protect against future stains and organic growths.

Brick sealing methods play a crucial role in these preventive measures. Sealing provides a protective barrier that prevents water absorption, reducing the risk of efflorescence or salt deposits. Sealants also offer resistance to UV rays and harsh weather conditions, thereby extending the lifespan of the bricks.

Equally important are stain treatment approaches which aim to address common problems like calcite, efflorescence, and vanadium stains. Proper stain treatment not only restores bricks to their original state but also prevents further damage caused by untreated stains. For instance, vanadium stains can be removed using sodium hypochlorite or potassium hydroxide while calcium stains can be treated with full-strength equivalent products.

Moreover, the removal of organic growths such as lichen, mould and algae is crucial in maintaining the structural integrity and aesthetic quality of bricks. These growths often thrive in damp areas and can cause significant damage if left unaddressed.

Incorporating preservation steps into regular maintenance routines ensures sustained brick cleanliness post-treatment. Adopting comprehensive cleaning practices that include sealing techniques for protection against adverse conditions, targeted stain treatments for specific issues, and proactive measures for removing organic growths will ensure that bricks retain their original beauty over time while resisting potential damage from environmental factors. This approach embodies Mitre Clean’s commitment to offering superior brick cleaning services in Brisbane.

Mitre Clean Project

At Mitre Clean, we recently faced a complex architectural build that presented a myriad of challenges, including a combination of mortar smear, calcium stains, and block colour variations. This project demanded exceptional precision and care, particularly as we worked over burnished polished concrete while coordinating with multiple trades simultaneously on-site. Effective water control was another critical aspect that required careful management throughout the duration of the project.

We utilised a specialised chemical blend and advanced cleaning processes to clean and unify the blockwork, addressing the diverse array of stains and discolourations. Our bespoke cleaning techniques ensured that the final appearance of the blocks was consistent and visually appealing. Our comprehensive approach not only removed the existing stains but also preserved the integrity and aesthetics of the brickwork.

Our meticulous efforts and expertise did not go unnoticed, as the client, architect, and builder expressed their immense satisfaction with the outcome. We were also engaged to repair and ColorTrete damaged blocks and drill holes, tasks that required precise colour matching to blend seamlessly with the existing structure. This attention to detail ensured that the repairs were virtually undetectable, maintaining the overall cohesion and visual appeal of the build.

Our ability to overcome the inherent challenges of this complex project and deliver a superior result stands as a testament to our expertise and dedication to quality in brick cleaning and restoration services. At Mitre Clean, we pride ourselves on our ability to tackle even the most challenging projects and deliver exceptional results that exceed our clients’ expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What specific products or chemicals are used to remove stubborn stains such as acid burns or vanadium stains?

Bricklayers utilise professional cleaning services employing eco-friendly cleaners for effective brick preservation. Phosphoric or oxalic acid is used for acid burns, while vanadium stains are treated with sodium hypochlorite or potassium hydroxide following accurate stain identification methods.

How does the cleaning process differ for various types of stains, such as oil, bitumen, tar stains, and organic growths?

Stain identification techniques are as diverse as the stains themselves. Eco-friendly cleaners tackle oil, bitumen, and tar stains while temperature impacts cleaning efficiency. Organic growths require brushing, whereas brick material differences necessitate specific treatments.

Are there any potential risks or hazards associated with using certain cleaning products or methods on bricks?

Cleaning precautions are essential in brick cleaning due to potential product toxicity, which poses health implications for workers. Furthermore, improper disposal of these substances may negatively impact the environment, requiring mindful handling practices.

In what scenarios would a bricklayer need to refer to a manual for the removal of specific stains, such as graffiti paint or oil stains?

When confronting stain types such as graffiti or oil, a manual necessity arises for bricklayers. Specific removal methods outlined in manuals tackle these challenges, providing targeted solutions for graffiti removal and addressing oil stain complexities.

What are the best practices for preventing future stains and organic growth on brickwork after the cleaning process?

Brick preservation techniques involve the use of stain-resistant sealants to protect against weather-related damage and organic growth. Natural cleaning methods are also employed periodically to maintain the aesthetic and structural integrity of brickwork.


Brick cleaning, a crucial part of maintenance, involves various methods depending on the type of discolouration. This includes using phosphoric and oxalic acids for iron oxide stains, sodium hypochlorite for vanadium stains, and full-strength products for calcium stains. Efflorescence is brushed off while organic growths require vigorous scraping or weed killer. Smoke and soil stains necessitate sugar soap or specialist cleaners, whereas timber stains require an oxalic acid solution. Thus ensuring the longevity of brick structures and preserving their original beauty.

Categories Brick

Is Professional Brick Cleaning Worth the Investment?

In the picturesque yet challenging subtropical climate of Brisbane, buildings are frequently subjected to harsh weather conditions and pollutants. This relentless exposure often results in brick deterioration, which not only compromises the aesthetic appeal of properties but also threatens their structural integrity.

While the allure of do-it-yourself methods may tempt homeowners, drawn by the initial low costs, such approaches come with hidden risks. Improper cleaning techniques and the use of incorrect chemicals can lead to further staining and even structural damage, compounding the very problems they aim to solve.

This is where the specialised expertise of Mitre Clean proves invaluable. Our services are meticulously tailored to match the local climate and the unique characteristics of different brick types. From deep washing to stain removal and even graffiti eradication, we employ a variety of advanced techniques. By leveraging our deep knowledge and commitment to safe and effective cleaning methods, we help property owners not only preserve but enhance the longevity of their structures. This proactive maintenance avoids the hefty expenses associated with more drastic measures like complete replacements or extensive rendering in the future.

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Choosing regular maintenance by seasoned professionals like Mitre Clean is not merely a wise financial decision—it’s a strategic investment in the value and durability of your brick structures. It frees property owners from the burden of complex upkeep, ensuring peace of mind and lasting benefits. Thus, professional brick cleaning is not just a service; it’s a cornerstone in the preservation of your property’s beauty and structural soundness.

Maintaining brick structures in Brisbane’s subtropical climate is more than just a matter of aesthetics—it’s a critical step in safeguarding the longevity and structural integrity of buildings. The unique weather conditions and environmental factors prevalent in the region make regular maintenance an indispensable practice.

Unchecked mould, algae, and mildew growth, exacerbated by the subtropical climate, pose serious threats to brickwork. Left untreated, these biological agents can lead to decay and damage, necessitating costly repairs or even complete replacements.

Professional brick cleaning services like Mitre Clean offer tailored solutions designed to combat these challenges effectively. Our experts possess in-depth knowledge of various brick types, understanding their porosity and hardness levels. This expertise enables us to select the most appropriate cleaning methods for each specific situation.

While some bricks may respond well to high-pressure water cleaning, others require specialised treatments such as safe chemical mould removal or the use of commercial paint removers for graffiti elimination. By employing the right techniques, we ensure not only optimal cleaning results but also the preservation of the brick’s integrity.

Moreover, safety is paramount in all our operations. DIY methods, while seemingly cost-effective, often come with inherent risks. Improper use of cleaning agents or techniques can inadvertently cause damage to the brickwork or even lead to accidents.

Furthermore, regular professional maintenance ensures compliance with local regulations, particularly crucial for preserving the integrity of heritage-listed structures. By entrusting the upkeep of brickwork to professionals like Mitre Clean, property owners not only mitigate the risk of expensive repairs but also contribute to the long-term preservation of Brisbane’s architectural heritage.

Personal Account: Saving a Home’s Aesthetic with Expert Brick Cleaning

One of our most memorable projects at Mitre Clean involved a residential brick cleaning job that initially went wrong due to inexperienced handling. An enthusiastic homeowner had hired an untrained cleaner who thought he could tackle the job using a high-pressure washer (gerni) and hydrochloric acid. While the immediate results seemed promising, with the mortar smear effectively removed, the celebration was short-lived. Within two weeks, orange stains began to emerge on the bricks, growing increasingly worse over time. This was a classic case of damage due to the improper use of cleaning chemicals and techniques.

The Challenge

The situation presented several challenges. Firstly, the chemicals required to remove the orange stains were not only classified as dangerous goods but also posed significant risks to the surrounding fixtures, including windows and other fittings. Moreover, such stains are notorious for potentially reappearing, which means they could require multiple treatments to fully eradicate.

Mitre Clean’s Intervention

Understanding the gravity of the situation and the potential costs the homeowner faced if the issue led to rendering the house, our team at Mitre Clean stepped in to address the problem. With our expertise in handling complex brick cleaning issues, we meticulously planned and executed a series of treatments.

We employed a tailored approach that involved three separate treatments, ensuring each was conducted with the utmost precision and safety. Our team utilised specific, less invasive chemicals and adjusted our techniques to prevent any damage to the surrounding areas.

The Result

The outcome was a resounding success. Not only were we able to completely remove the stains, but we also preserved the integrity and appearance of the brick. The brick manufacturer, the builder, and, most importantly, the homeowner were immensely satisfied with the result. They had been concerned about the potential need to render the house, which would have been a costly endeavour running into tens of thousands of dollars. Thanks to our intervention

Categories Brick

Brick Cleaning Brisbane

Did you know that Brisbane’s subtropical climate can significantly affect the condition of your bricks, leading to issues like mold, algae, and mildew growth?

We’re here to guide you through the complexities of brick cleaning in Brisbane, including the influence of weather conditions, the type and condition of your bricks, and the presence of stubborn stains.

We’ll also delve into the environmental impact of brick cleaning, local regulations, necessary safety measures, and the critical decision of whether to do it yourself or hire professionals.

Additionally, we’ll introduce you to Mitre Clean, our company offering specialised brick cleaning services in Brisbane for over 20 years. We expertly handle organic growth removal, mortar and cement smear treatment, stain treatment, and optional brick sealing.

Let’s explore why it’s often more beneficial to trust the professionals, like Mitre Clean, for consistent, high-quality results rather than risking potential damage from DIY methods.

Considerations for Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning bricks in Brisbane’s unique subtropical climate, you’ve got to factor in a whole lot more than just a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush. The type of bricks, their age, weather conditions, and even local regulations all play a crucial role in determining the best approach to bring your bricks back to their original beauty.

Choosing the right cleaning method is an integral part of this process. Different types of bricks have varying degrees of porosity and hardness, which can influence the selection of cleaning techniques. For instance, pressure washing might be effective for some bricks, but could cause damage to more porous or older bricks.

Assessing the condition of the bricks is another critical factor. It’s not just about how dirty they are; we also need to consider their structural integrity. Older bricks may be more fragile, requiring a gentle touch, while bricks with heavy stains or efflorescence might need a more aggressive approach.

Remember, it’s not just about making your bricks look good – it’s about ensuring they remain strong and durable for years to come. So, let’s work together to find the best approach for your brick cleaning needs in Brisbane.

Professional vs. DIY

You might think it’s a cinch to tackle that grime and mold on your own, but here’s the real deal – choosing between a DIY approach and hiring professionals isn’t as straightforward as you’d think. DIY challenges can include lack of expertise, risk of damage to bricks, and safety concerns especially when dealing with stubborn stains or working at heights.

DIY ApproachProfessional Services
Requires personal time and effortSaves time and effort
Potential risk of damaging bricksEnsures safe and effective cleaning
May not fully remove stains or mouldSpecialised methods for comprehensive cleaning
Safety concerns, especially when using chemicals or working at heightsAdherence to safety standards and use of appropriate PPE
May require purchasing or renting equipmentAccess to professional equipment and expertise

The benefits of professional services are clear. They not only save you time and effort but also provide the assurance of safe, comprehensive cleaning. Professional services like Mitre Clean have the expertise to effectively remove even the most stubborn stains without damaging your bricks. So, if you desire a sense of belonging in your community, having clean, well-maintained bricks can be a great start. Consider carefully before you decide to take on those bricks yourself.

Mitre Clean Services

Ready to give your home’s or projects exterior a fresh, clean look? Trust Mitre Clean’s professional services to get the job done right, without causing any damage to your precious brickwork.

Our experience in the field of brick cleaning in Brisbane, combined with our use of safe and effective methods, ensures that the integrity of your bricks remains uncompromised. We don’t just clean; we revitalise your brickwork, making it look as good as new.

The benefits of brick cleaning are numerous. Not only does it enhance the aesthetics of your home or project, but it also helps maintain the structural integrity of the bricks. Particularly in Brisbane’s unique climate, regular maintenance is crucial to prevent issues like staining and organic growth that can lead to discolouration and structural damage.

At Mitre Clean, we go beyond surface cleaning. Our specialised solutions, including anti-bacterial and anti-microbial treatments, ensure your bricks stay cleaner for longer. We focus on treating biological growth at the source, preventing future issues and prolonging the life of your brickwork.

So why wait? Let Mitre Clean take care of your brick cleaning needs in Brisbane, ensuring the beauty and durability of your brickwork for years to come.

Why Choose Professionals

Imagine being an art restorer, painstakingly working on a timeless masterpiece. The precision, the expertise, the gentle touch – it’s not just about applying the right strokes, but also about preserving the original integrity. That’s how professional services treat your home’s exterior, with the meticulous attention of an artist and the skilled hand of a craftsman, ensuring every detail is handled with the utmost care.

When it comes to brick cleaning in Brisbane, the benefits of hiring professionals far outweigh the risks of DIY brick cleaning. As professionals, we understand the unique climate of Brisbane and how it impacts your bricks. We have the knowledge to choose the right cleaning method for different types of bricks, whether they’re new or aged. We’re equipped with the right tools and eco-friendly cleaning solutions to deliver a thorough cleaning without causing damage.

On the other hand, DIY brick cleaning can lead to irreversible damage if done incorrectly. The use of improper cleaning methods and harsh chemicals can erode the brick’s surface, affecting its durability and appearance. So, why risk it? Trust the professionals to restore the beauty and integrity of your brickwork, treating every brick with the care and respect it deserves.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I schedule professional brick cleaning in Brisbane’s climate?

“We recommend scheduling professional brick cleaning every few years. This routine protects your brickwork and manages cleaning costs. Despite Brisbane’s challenging climate, our eco-friendly services ensure minimal environmental impact while maintaining your property’s aesthetic appeal.”

What specific precautions need to be taken when cleaning heritage-listed brick structures in Brisbane?

“We’re mindful of Heritage Conservation Techniques when cleaning heritage-listed structures. Traditional Cleaning Methods are carefully used, respecting the structure’s historical value. We ensure our practices maintain the structure’s integrity while effectively removing dirt and stains.”

Are there any specific local regulations in Brisbane that I should be aware of before starting a brick cleaning project?

“We’re not aware of specific regulations for brick cleaning in Brisbane. However, it’s crucial to use appropriate brick cleaning equipment to maintain Brisbane’s brick aesthetics. Always ensure compliance with local and environmental guidelines.”

How long does the process of professional brick cleaning typically take in Brisbane?

“Typically, a professional brick cleaning project takes around 1-2 days. However, this depends on factors like the size of the area, cleaning techniques used, and cost estimation. We ensure your bricks are cleaned thoroughly and efficiently.”

Can professional brick cleaning services in Brisbane remove graffiti without damaging the brick surface?

“Yes, our graffiti removal techniques can effectively clean graffiti off bricks without causing damage. We use eco-friendly cleaning solutions and methods that are tough on stains but gentle on your brick surfaces.”


In conclusion, we believe brick cleaning in Brisbane is no small feat. It’s a Herculean task best left to professionals like Mitre Clean who have mastered the art of brick cleaning.

They tackle stubborn stains, fend off biological growth, and maintain your bricks’ health with expertise that’s second to none. Trust us, the cost of DIY mistakes can dwarf the price of professional help.

Choose wisely!