Time to give your brick floors a new life
Brick floors may seem more difficult to clean than it is. Contrary to popular belief, brick is easy to maintain, provided you’re using the right cleaning methods.
If brick floors are exposed to grit and dirt for too long, these abrasives can act like sandpaper and cause the floor to degrade over time. Besides getting dirty, the floor’s seal may also be damaged due to dirt exposure.
While most other floor types have specific deep cleaning requirements, the maintenance for brick floors is much simpler. Even better, if the brick in your house is sealed, it will withstand water exposure quite gracefully.
However, irrespective of the type of flooring, every surface needs some level of care.
In this guide, I’ll teach you how to clean brick floors. Since all these methods are straightforward, you don’t need to be a cleaning guru to follow them.
Yes, you can vacuum brick floors. In fact, you should vacuum them daily to remove the dirt and gravel from the surface.
Opt for a vacuum that’s suitable for hardwood floors. Use the brush attachment for cleaning pet hair and dust off the bricks. Don’t use beater bars or other hard accessories since they’ll break the seal on the brick floors.
Alternatively, you can use a broom to sweep bricks. While cleaning, don’t forget to attend to the mortar since this is where most of the dirt is gathered.
If the brick in your house is sealed, you won’t have to worry much about cleaning. However, unsealed bricks tend to create a lot of grit. Thus, they may damage hardwood floors, carpets, and other parts of the house.
If you sweep or vacuum daily, you can prevent this from happening.
Besides sweeping, you can also mop bricks since it’s a great way to remove dust and debris.
If you’ve ever read a cleaning guide, you’d know there’s rarely a cleaning recipe that doesn’t have vinegar. Since it’s acidic and has natural cleaning properties, vinegar makes a fantastic home remedy for brick floors.
Whenever there’s a mention of vinegar, baking soda is most often the next ingredient on the list since they both work together well.
Borax is also alkaline like baking soda, but much more concentrated than it. That’s why you should only use a small amount of Borax on the bricks.
Add two tablespoons into a gallon of water, and you have a mixture that you can use for regular or spot cleaning.
Dip the mop into the cleaning solution. Then, wring out the extra moisture and dampen the mop. While mopping the brick flooring, make sure to apply a bit more force than you would on your hardwood floors. Doing so will help the brick cleaner get into the crevices in the surface.
However, if you’re dealing with stubborn stains, a nylon brush with tough bristles will help you break them up.
Leftover moisture can cause damage to the surface in the long run.
Make sure to let the floor dry sufficiently before allowing foot traffic on it again. Drying the brick floors is also a good way to prevent smudges.
Since patio floors are outside the house, they’re subject to more damage due to weather changes. Therefore, you’ll have to use more extensive deep cleaning remedies for these bricks. In some cases, you may have to use sulfate-based solutions for a thorough cleanup.
Alternatively, you can put your pressure washer to use. It can help remove tough stains and break up old dirt or grime.
When using a pressure washer, use the fan-spray nozzle. Keep the nozzle at a distance from the floor. You can also use a flat-spray nozzle as a substitute.
Depending on the brand you’re using, the washer will come with instructions on how to use it for brick surfaces without causing discoloration and etching. Follow the steps carefully.
However, if you don’t know how to use a pressure washer, hire a professional. If you scrub the floors roughly, it can cause scratches and leave marks that are impossible to remove.
Steam cleaners have dual functionality as they also disinfect along with the cleaning. That’s why it’s good to have one at home.
You can use them on different surfaces, including bricks. Owing to the penetrating ability, steam cleaners can get into the tiny crevices in the flooring and clean them thoroughly.
Plus, they disinfect the surface without using any chemicals.
Therefore, steam cleaning is a viable option for bricks. Simply use the settings according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and you’ll be good to go.
Sweeping or vacuuming brick floors daily is a necessity. But you should also deep clean them every week to ensure that stains and dirt don’t set into the surface.
Here are the ingredients you need to make this cleanser for brick floors:
Sufficient drying will help prevent streaking in the long run.
A common concern with the brick floor is the amount of dust that it brings along. Since this dust has fine particles, it’s difficult to remove with a quick sweep. The worst part about it is that it spreads to the rest of the house.
The main reason behind this is the usage of hydrochloric acid-based cleaning methods after installing the floor. Although hydrochloric acid (3)is hazardous, it’s effective at cleaning bricks.
A disadvantage of using muriatic acid is that it reacts with the limestone grout and produces lime that appears at fine dust on the floor. Truth be told, there’s not much you can do to prevent this.
However, you can combat this by flushing the floor with water to remove the muriatic acid altogether.
It’s important to go for an expert bricklayer who’ll use an advanced commercial cleaner to remove the acid residue after installing the bricks. Due to this, the dust production will be significantly reduced, making it easier for you to keep the floor clean.
Brick floor absorbs moisture due to its porous nature. Moreover, an unsealed brick floor also produces more grit that spreads from one part of the house to another.
Therefore, it helps to seal the brick floor. You can use two kinds of sealers for the process.
However, sealing the bricks will change the floor’s appearance. For example, when you apply a film-forming sealant on the floors, it will make the surface darker.
Likewise, some wax sealants may change color with time, turning a dingy yellow.
Besides sealing, you can also wax the brick floor in your house. Typically, two types of waxes are used.
These waxes have a heavy-duty effect. You can apply them to unsealed floors too. Besides protecting the floors from stains and liquid spills, they also add a shine to the surface. However, you can’t use a water-based wax if the previous polish on your brick floors was solvent-based.
If the older wax was water-based, it still has to be stripped to apply the new wax. Otherwise, the polish can buildup with time.
A solvent-based wax forms a protective coat on the brick floor. If the surface previously had water-based wax, you can still use the solvent-based variant on it after stripping the previous coating.
Most people prefer having brick flooring because of its old-school vibe. Since grit and dust are common issues with brick flooring, you need to be consistent about cleaning. With daily sweeping and vacuuming, you can keep the surface dust-free.
However, when it’s time to deep clean the floors, you need to bring a damp mop out. Another way to reduce the dirt is to apply a sealant to the brick floors in your home.
How do you care for your household brick floors? Also, let me know which of these methods of cleaning brick floors do you like the most.