How To Clean Mortar Dust Off Bricks


My very neglected dirty, our of heavy winter, ready to cleaning bricks. 


Recently I’ve layered a 11x14 herringbone patio underneath my fence. I used standard red paver bricks and after filling in with sand/mortar dry mix and misting it with water , little mortar particles remained on the bricks.

So I’ve decided to clean and brighten them before sealing.

Here is what will you need:

1.      Muriatic Acid

2.      Plastic Bucket

3.      Scrubbing brush

4.      Plastic bristle paint brush

5.      Protective glasses

6.      Waterproof gloves

7.      Wood stick

Before starting your project, make sure you wear clothing that you don’t mind throwing in the trash after you’re done.

Ok, so this is a very old photo of the front of my house (6 years old) because I forgot to take a photo of it from a far when I was taking photos for this blog post – go figure. But you will get a feel of the size of my lawn which is approximately around 25’ x 40’.

Because I wanted these gorgeous plants to be visible, ok ok I wanted to show of (I still do, so don’t judge me), I have decided to just create a low hedge alongside the street side of my lawn, because my final lawn goals are kind of insane. (more on that in another post). Let’s talk about Golden Euonymus a bit.

I’ve had a really great experience doing this project many times because it really isn’t as dangerous as some may say, you just need to be little careful.


1 gallon water + 12oz muriatic acid

Here is my little patio before. As you can see ,there are little white spots on the bricks which I want gone.



First, I used my broom to clean off any excess dust and debris. I geared up, and mixed in the water/acid mixture.

Note: Always, always pour water in the bucket first , then add acid. You don’t want acid splashing back up at you if you were to pour water into acid.


Take a wood stick and gently stir the water mixture.

Now , you dip the paint brush into the mixture and “paint” water mixture over bricks individually. To speed up the process , I have actually taken the bucket and slowly poured on the bricks, then took a wide broom trowel and rubbed it into bricks, carefully spreading water/acid along the entire patio area.

At first I was scared that the acid would totally eat away all the mortar between my bricks , but it didn’t. You will hear sizzling but this is a weaker dilution that isn’t that strong and powerful to destroy the grout.

Leave on for about 5 minutes, then take the stiff bristle brush and scrub the bricks. This is when your fully protected skin will be thankful to you, because the bristles will splatter all over. So be very careful.

After gently brushing the bricks for a few minutes, I took my water hose and rinsed patio off.

Let it dry.

ETCHING BRICKS (preparing for paint)

You will need:

1 gallon water + 16oz muriatic acid

The process will essentially be the same , except this is a stronger dilution and will strip the bricks off it’s original sheen so the paint adheres to it better.

After the cleaning process, you are definitely going to want to seal your bricks.

For my project , I have decided to refill the mortar between my bricks as they’ve settled lower than what I originally anticipated , plus I wanted really white joint filler to get that French provence look on my bricks.

You can read about “How to refill paver joints with white mortar” here.

After refilling the joints I sealed my bricks with >>>>>>

Here is the before and after ! 

Happy brick cleaning!


Thank you for reading my little blog. Love and Light ! 




Hi, I am Karolina and I am a wife and a mom to Sara. I am an interior designer by passion, a  DIY'er by trade and an avid gardener. Click on my photo to learn more about my story...