Cleaning a Brick Floor

brick flooring installations
© Portstone

Brick can be maintained with relative ease, but it has to be cared for on a regular basis to keep it looking its best. 

Regular Cleaning Maintenance:
The floor should be mopped, swept, or vacuumed on a regular basis to keep it free of small pieces of dirt and debris. These tiny grains can act like sandpaper on a brick floor over time, and so need to be removed to maintain the integrity of the seal, and the floor itself.

Exact Brick Floor Cleaning Regimen

To be undertaken on a weekly basis as needed

1. Thoroughly sweep, vacuum, or dry mop the floor to remove any dirt or particles that may be clinging to its surface.

2. To create a natural cleaning solution, take a bucket, and mix 1 part vinegar, with 10 - 15 parts water. The more vinegar you use, the stronger and more pungent the cleaner, and its scent will be.

The following are alternative cleansers which can be used to clean a brick floor.

Borax: 2 tablespoons mixed with a gallon of water
Baking Soda: 1 - 2 tablespoons mixed with a gallon of water

In addition, any good quality natural stone and tile cleaning agent which you purchase from your hardware store should be effective at cleaning a brick flooring installation.

3. Take a clear, dry mop and dip it in the cleaning solution. Then wring it out completely so that it is no more than slightly damp.

Note: We recommend the use of a microfiber mop rather than a sponge based mop.

That is because brick flooring is quite hard and caustic, and can cause the sponge to fleck and fall apart when used on these hard, unglazed tiles

4, Mop the floor using a vigorous back and forth motion to remove any hard stuck grease, dirt, or stains that may have gotten into the brick. If necessary, a scrub brush can be used to spot treat particularly difficult areas.

5. A brick floor can potentially be mopped multiple times. However it will be necessary to dump, and recreate the cleaning solution each time so that old dirt is not tracked onto the clean surface.

6. When complete, you may want to go over the floor with a soft towel, a wash cloth, or a dry mop in order to remove any loose liquids that may still be pooling in shallow oasis across the surface. This will prevent streaking and and smudges as the floor dries completely.

More Information About Cleaning Floors

Cork Floor Cleaning
Carpet Cleaning Information
Cleaning Tile Grout Lines

 

Dealing With Brick Floor Dust

 

Sometimes brick flooring will have a pale, fine dust that seems to emit from its surface. This can cause a mess when tracked by feet to other floors. Usually this dust is caused by the use of muriatic acid to clean the brick after it was initially installed. If this acidic substance is not then flushed thoroughly away, it can remain in the grout lines, eating away at their integrity and causing that pesky dusting effect.

Solving this problem is a matter of flushing the floor with clean water, one or more times, in order to remove any traces of the muriatic acid that remain in the grout lines.

This can be done with a damp mop or a sponge, and should generally continue until the dusting effect stops completely.

 

Cleaning Brick Patio Flooring

 

When dealing with outdoor surfaces you are going to have to get more extreme with your cleaning methods. Commercial brick cleansing agents containing acidic substances, and or sulphate based cleansers may be necessary. In some cases a pressure washing machine will have to be employed to remove tough, set in stains.

Unfortunately, the problem with rough scrubbing and pressure based washes is that some scratching may occur. In an outdoor setting this can add to the rustic charm of the installation. However it is something to be aware of if you plan to undertake a regular vigorous cleaning schedule.

 

Grout Lines

 

The grout is the most susceptible part of a brick flooring installation.

Annual sealing will help, but in some cases staining agents or liquids will be able to penetrate down into these seams and cause problems. When that happens cleansing agents can be applied directly to grout lines with a scrub brush. In extreme cases you can also completely remove and reinstall the grout.