How to Clean Old Brick


Several methods are effective for cleaning brick, most of which require common cleaning products and scrubbing. Old brick may be trickier because it has had a long time to accumulate grime, dust, paint or stains. For each method, check back to the "Things You'll Need" section to make sure you have everything.

Things You'll Need

  • For every method:
  • Broom
  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Cleaning rag
  • Scrub brush with coarse bristles
  • Stirring implement
  • Dish Detergent Method:
  • Grease-fighting dish soap
  • Table salt
  • Borax Method:
  • Borax
  • Ammonia Method:
  • Ammonia
  • Pumice powder

Dish Detergent Method

  • Mix 1 part detergent with 1 part table salt and a small amount of water. Stir until it forms a paste.

  • Spread the paste onto the brick using the cleaning rag.

  • Scrub the paste into the brick.

  • Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Borax Method

Ammonia Method

  • Mix 2 parts dish soap with 1 part ammonia and 1 part pumice powder, then add hot water until it forms a paste.

  • Spread the paste onto the brick using the cleaning rag.

  • After dipping the scrub brush in hot water, scrub the paste into the brick.

  • Allow the brick to dry, then rinse with hot water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before you begin, try brushing off the brick with a broom. The brick might not be stained, just dusty.
  • If the brick is brittle, be careful not to chip it by scrubbing too hard.
  • Pumice powder may be difficult to find in stores, but is available at sites such as
  • Ammonia is considered a dangerous chemical, so make sure you are fully educated on its use before attempting to use it.
  • Borax is all natural, but can be harmful if swallowed.

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  • Photo Credit BRICK WALL image by brelsbil from
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