Removing Mortar From Old, Clay Bricks

House Repair Talk

Help Support House Repair Talk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

PJB12

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2023
Messages
430
Reaction score
269
Location
Detroit, MI
Hi All!

Many of the clay bricks on my house & planter have mortar on the faces. The mortar ranges from a light haze to up to 1/8" thick. The bricks are perhaps around 100 years old. (The house is 125+ years old, but I don't know when it was bricked.) The style is often called "Old Chicago".

I tried sulfamic acid tile cleaner on a test area of light haze & it didn't do anything.
The only other thing I can think of is what we used decades ago when I worked for a tile setter to remove grout haze from un-glazed tiles- 10 parts water to 1 part muriatic acid We'd wet the tiles, brush on the acid mix, wait until foaming stopped & scrub with a stiff bristle brush. A water rinse, then baking soda & water rinse followed with a final rinse after than.

What I'm writing to ask is:
Is there a product that is safer for me and for the earth than muriatic acid?
Will the acid mix damage the clay bricks?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Paul
 
Back
Top