How to Clean Brick Floors (Step-By-Step Guide)

by Jan 7, 2021Cleaning


Brick floors can seem harder to clean than they are. Contrary to popular belief, bricks are easy to maintain if you use the right cleaning methods.

If brick floors are exposed to sand and dirt for too long, these abrasives can act as sandpaper and cause the floor to break down over time. In addition to soiling, the floor seal can also be damaged by dirt.

While most other floor types have special deep cleaning requirements, maintenance of brick floors is much simpler. Even better, if the brick in your house is sealed, it will withstand water exposure quite smoothly.

However, regardless of the type of floor, each surface needs some care.

In this guide, I will teach you how to clean brick floors. Because all of these methods are straightforward, you don’t have to be a cleansing guru to follow them.

Can you vacuum the bricks?

Yes, you can vacuum brick floors. In fact, vacuum them daily to remove dirt and gravel from the surface.

Choose a vacuum that is suitable for hardwood floors. Clean your pet’s hair and dust with a brick brush. Do not use chopsticks or other hard accessories as they will break the seal on the brick floor.

Alternatively, you can use a broom to sweep the bricks. During cleaning, do not forget to take care of the mortar, as most of the dirt accumulates here.

If the brick in your house is sealed, you don’t have to worry much about cleaning. However, uncompacted bricks usually produce a lot of flakes. Therefore, they can damage hardwood floors, carpets and other parts of the house.

If you sweep or vacuum every day, you can prevent this from happening.

How to clean brick floors with a mop?

In addition to sweeping, you can also mop bricks as it is a great way to remove dust and debris.

1.Select the cleaning solution

If you want to use a commercial cleaner, make sure it is a mildly alkaline solution. Alternatively, you can choose home remedies such as those discussed below.

Vinegar

If you’ve ever read a cleaning guide, you know there’s rarely a cleaning recipe that doesn’t have vinegar. Because it is acidic and has natural cleaning properties, vinegar is a great home care for brick floors.

  • Mix a cup of vinegar with a liter of water.
  • Stir the mixture well to combine the ingredients.
  • Clean the bricks with the whole solution or keep it in a bottle for daily use.
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In addition to shining a brick floor, vinegar also disinfects it,(1) removal of disease-causing bacteria(2) from home.

Baking soda

Whenever vinegar is mentioned, soda is most often the next ingredient on the list because both work well.

  • Measure out two tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Add them to a liter of water.
  • Mix them to form a pasty consistency.
  • Use it to remove hard stains from a brick floor.

Because baking soda is alkaline, it helps break down acid mess. In addition, it smells the floors and removes all nasty odors.

Borax

Borax is also alkaline than baking soda, but much more concentrated than that. Therefore, you should only use a small amount of Borax in a brick.

Add two tablespoons per gallon of water and you have a mixture that you can use for regular or spot cleaning.

2.Start moping

Once you have selected the cleaner you want, go ahead and start wiping the brick floors. Follow the recipe recommended for commercial cleaners on the product packaging.

Dip the mop in the cleaning solution. Then wring out the excess moisture and moisten the mop. When moping a brick floor, make sure you use a little more force than on your hardwood floor. It helps the brick cleaner get into the cracks in the surface.

My tips

Do not use a flat moped at work as it will lose its shape when used on a rough surface. Instead, a spin or string mop is great for brick floors.

However, if you are dealing with stubborn stains, a nylon brush with hard bristles will help you break them down.

3.Let it dry

After moping, remove excess moisture with a dry towel. Go to the mortar lines to make sure there is no water there.

Residual moisture can damage the surface in the long run.

Make sure you allow the floor to dry sufficiently before allowing foot traffic again. Drying brick walls is also a good way to prevent stains.

How to clean brick patio floors?

Because patio floors are outside the house, they can be more damaged due to weather changes. Therefore, you need to use a wider range of deep cleaners for these bricks. In some cases, you may need to use sulfate-based solutions for thorough cleaning.

Alternatively, you can use a pressure washer. It can help remove hard stains and break down old dirt or grime.

Use a pressure washer when using a fan spray nozzle. Keep the nozzle away from the floor. You can also replace the flat spray nozzle.

Depending on the brand you use, the washer has instructions for using it on brick surfaces without causing discoloration and corrosion. Follow the instructions carefully.

If you do not know how to use a pressure washer, hire a professional. If you rub the floors roughly, it can cause scratches and leave marks that are impossible to remove.

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How to clean brick floors?

Steam cleaners have two functions because they also disinfect with cleaning. That’s why it’s good to have one at home.

You can use them on different surfaces, including bricks. Thanks to the penetrating ability, steam cleaners can get into small cracks in the floor and clean them thoroughly.

In addition, they disinfect the surface without chemicals.

Therefore, steam cleaning is a useful alternative to brick. Just use the settings as recommended by the manufacturer and you are good to go.

Weekly cleaning of brick floors

Sweeping or vacuuming brick floors on a daily basis is essential. But you should also clean them deeply every week to prevent stains and dirt from getting to the surface.

What do you need

Here are the ingredients you need to make from this cleaner for brick floors:

Step by step

  • Depending on the area to be cleaned, add one part vinegar to ten parts water.
  • Mix Borax with a liter of water.
  • Add baking powder to a gallon of warm water.
  • Now combine all of these ingredients and add the required amount of commercial cleaning solution.
  • Dip the mop into the solution and moisten it by twisting the excess mop water.
  • Mop the brick surface by moving the mofead back and forth.
  • Be a little tight to break down grease and stains.

If some mess is too stubborn to clean with a mop, break it with a nylon brush. Finally, use a dry mop or towel to remove moisture from the mortar joints.

Adequate drying helps prevent streaks in the long run.

How to deal with dust on a brick floor?

A common concern with a brick floor is the amount of dust it brings. Because this dust contains fine particles, it is difficult to remove it quickly by swiping. The worst thing is that it spreads to the rest of the house.

The main reason for this is the use of hydrochloric acid-based cleaning methods after floor installation. Although hydrochloric acid (3)is dangerous, it effectively cleans bricks.

The disadvantage of using muric acid is that it reacts with the limestone mortar and produces lime that appears as fine dust on the floor. Honestly, you can’t do much to prevent this.

However, you can combat this by rinsing the floor with water to completely remove murine acid.

It is important to go to an expert mason who uses an advanced commercial cleaner to remove acid residues after installing the bricks. As a result, dust production is significantly reduced, making it easier to keep the floor clean.

Should a brick floor be sealed?

A brick floor absorbs moisture due to its porous nature. In addition, an uncompacted brick floor also produces more sand that spreads from one part of the house to another.

Therefore, it helps to seal the brick floor. You can use two different sealants in the process.

  • Permeable seals: These seals clog the surface pores as they are absorbed into the brick floor. Thus, no liquid can pass through the surface because the seal already occupies the pores.
  • Film-forming seals: These seals form a film on the brick floor. Because this film is stain and waterproof, it protects the bottom surface from damage.
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Most homeowners choose a different one because it is easier to maintain. In addition to preventing water absorption, the membrane also does not allow dust to pass through.

However, compacting the bricks changes the appearance of the floor. For example, when you apply a film-forming sealant to the floor, it makes the surface darker.

Likewise, some wax seals may change color over time by changing to a dirty yellow.

Polish and wax

In addition to sealing, you can also wax the brick floor of your house. Two types of waxes are typically used.

1. Water-based waxes

These waxes have a heavy effect. You can also apply them to unsealed floors. In addition to protecting floors from stains and liquid leakage, they also add shine to the surface. However, you cannot use water-based wax if the previous polishing of the brick floors was solvent-based.

If the older wax was water-based, it must still be removed to apply the new wax. Otherwise, polishing may accumulate over time.

2. Solvent-based waxes

The solvent-based wax forms a protective layer on the brick floor. If the surface previously had water-based wax, you can still apply a solvent-based modification to it after removing the previous coating.

Warning

If you do not have the necessary tasks, hire professionals. Otherwise, you may end up ruining your brick floor when you try to wax, seal, or polish them.

Let the bricks start cleaning

Most people want a brick floor because of its old school feel. Since sand and dust are common problems with a brick floor, you need to be consistent in cleaning. With daily sweeping and a vacuum cleaner, you can keep the surface dust-free.

However, when it’s time to clean the floors deeply, you need to bring a damp mop out. Another way to reduce dirt is to apply sealant to home brick floors.

How do you take care of the brick floors in your home? Also, tell me which of these brick floor cleaning methods you like the most.

about the author

Harold K.Haresty

Harold is a flooring specialist at TheHouseWire who trains people on the floor by writing related guides. He is a well experienced flooring expert with nine years of experience in the industry.

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