Brick is classy and timeless, especially for home exteriors. Because of the durability of brick, at some point in your home’s life, you’re going to find it’s time to spruce up the look of your brick exterior.

The question is, how do you go about cleaning brick house exteriors?

The answer is simple in this easy-to-follow guide for basic brick maintenance.

Cleaning Brick House Exteriors: 101

Before you can get started cleaning brick house exteriors or garages, there are a few basic materials and tools needed:

• A power washer
• Bristle brush
• Hose
• Broom
• Vinegar


Of course, the tools and type of brick-cleaning solution you will need will depend on the type of brick your home is made of.

For example, some bricks absorb water more quickly than others. You can test how fast your brick absorbs moisture by spraying it first with water. If the brick color darkens immediately following contact with water, then you want to clean your brick in segments so you don’t soak the entire exterior at once.

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If your brick takes a while to turn color when sprayed with water, you are safe to clean it in large areas together–about 100 square feet at a time.

If you plan on painting brick, it’s especially important to clean it properly before applying the first coat. Failing to do this will leave your new paint looking clumpy and sloppy especially if it is Thin Glazed Brick.

What Kind of Solution to Use?

Again, depending on the kind of brick your home’s exterior is made of, you can either use a commercial brick-cleaning solution or a combination of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water.

The best way to decide what type of brick-cleaning solution is right for your home is to tell your local hardware store attendant what type of brick you have. They can advise you on the best solution for that kind of brick material.

Now on to the steps for cleaning.

1. Protect Your Plant Life

Before you begin cleaning your brick, it’s important to cover your plants or trees. Brick-cleaning solutions can adversely affect your plant life if not protected.

2. Wet The Surface

Get a hose or power washer and spray the entire surface of your brick. Again, if your brick absorbs water quickly, do this in portions, bit-by-bit as you go. The point is to wet the brick before scrubbing it.

3. Get Scrubbing

There’s nothing fancy to this step. Whip out the bristle brush or broom and scrub your bricks with whatever cleaning solution you’ve chosen.

If you did opt for a commercial solution recommended by your hardware store, just be sure to follow the directions on the bottle.

4. Rinse and Repeat

Once you’ve scrubbed the desired area down, use your hose or power washer to thoroughly rinse off the entire area.

Just make sure you spray from top to bottom to avoid missing spots. If you’re cleaning your brick in portions, don’t forget this step and leave potentially harmful chemicals sitting on your exterior.

More Tips for Home Maintenance

Now that you’re a pro on cleaning brick house exteriors you can see there’s no need to hire a professional. Save yourself some dough and clean your brick with ease.

For more helpful home maintenance tips, browse more of our blog.