How to Clean a Brick Floor

Indoors or on your patio, maintain brick floors with these household cleaners

Close up of a brick wall and floor

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Project Overview
  • Total Time: 10 - 30 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0-$10

You can maintain brick floors with relative ease, but it has to be cared for regularly to keep it looking its best. Dust and dirt can collect in the mortar between the bricks. Sweep or vacuum the brick daily to remove dirt and grit that hides in the crevices. Tiny grains can act like sandpaper on a brick floor and, over time, wear down any sealer on the floor and damage the brick itself.

How Often to Clean Brick Floors

In addition to an everyday sweep or vacuuming, it's a good idea to clean your indoor and outdoor brick flooring weekly. Begin your weekly cleaning by thoroughly sweeping, vacuuming, steam cleaning, or dry-mopping the floor to remove any dirt or particles clinging to the surface.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Broom or vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Towel, washcloth, or dry mop
  • Nylon scrub brush (optional)
  • Steam cleaner (optional)

Materials

  • Brick, stone, or tile cleanser; vinegar; Borax; or baking soda
  • Water

Instructions

How to Clean Brick Floors With a Cleaning Solution

  1. Sweep or Vacuum the Brick

    Sweep or vacuum the brick to remove the dirt and grit in the grout and crevices.

  2. Make or Buy a Cleaning Solution

    Either buy a cleaning solution for natural stone, brick, or tile or make a homemade solution using vinegar, Borax, or baking soda as your active ingredient and mix it with water (recipes below) in a bucket.

  3. Mop the Brick Flooring

    Dunk a mop into the cleaning solution and wring it out thoroughly so that it is no more than slightly damp. Mop the floor using a vigorous back-and-forth motion to remove stuck grease, dirt, or stains. If necessary, use a stiff nylon scrub brush to attack stubborn dirt and grime.

    Tip

    Microfiber mops hold up much better than sponge mops on the rough surfaces of brick floors.

  4. Wipe Off the Liquid

    After mopping, you may want to go over the floor with a soft towel, a washcloth, or a dry mop to remove liquid from crevices and grout joints. A fast wipe will prevent streaking and smudges as the floor dries completely.

    Tip

    Steam cleaning is a great way to keep brick surfaces clean indoors and out. Steam washing with a steam cleaner or steam mop will give you good results quickly without needing cleaning solutions or chemicals. Steam can clean sufficiently and more effectively than some pressure washers.

How to Deep Clean Brick Floors

  1. Use an Acid or Sulfate-Based Cleaner (Option 1)

    If your brick has excessive accumulated dirt, you will need a stronger cleaning solution, such as a commercial brick acidic cleaner or sulfate-based cleanser. Read cleaner labels carefully, and follow the manufacturer's directions to prevent etching or discoloration of the brick.

  2. Pressure Wash or Steam Clean the Brick Surface (Option 2)

    Instead of chemicals, try using a pressure washer or steam cleaner to remove tough, set-in stains. Take note: Rough scrubbing or too strong pressure washing can scratch or mark the brick. Use a flat- or fan-spray nozzle on a pressure washer, and keep the nozzle a safe distance from the brick surface.

Tips to Keep Brick Floors Clean Longer

  • Sealing a brick floor or fireplace will make it easier to clean. 
  • Freshen periodically with commercial brick cleaner.
  • Scrub grout lines with cleansing agents. In extreme cases, you can also completely remove and reinstall the grout.

DIY Cleaning Solution

You can make a DIY cleaning solution using vinegar, Borax, or baking soda as your active ingredient.

  • Vinegar-based solution: Mix 1 part vinegar with 10 to 15 parts water
  • Borax-based solution: Mix 2 tablespoons Borax with 1 gallon of water
  • Baking soda-based solution: Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 gallon of water

Removing Stains From Brick Floors

Brick is susceptible to stains from mortar, mildew, rust, paint, graffiti, and more. You can acid wash, bleach, or use commercial cleaners made to clean brick. Home remedies for hand cleaning soot stains include using a vinegar and water solution or water-diluted laundry detergent. Use a cleaning solution with liquid dish soap or laundry detergent mixed with water for oil stains.

Removing Dust From Brick Floors

When new, indoor brick flooring may have pale, fine dust that emits from its surface. This dust can cause a mess when tracked by feet to other floors. Usually, this dust is caused by using muriatic acid to clean the brick after bricklayers initially installed it. If this acidic substance is not flushed away thoroughly, it can remain in the grout lines, causing the dusting effect.

You can solve this problem by continuously flushing the floor or brick face with clean water to remove all muriatic acid traces in the grout lines. Use a damp mop or a sponge repeatedly until the dusting effect stops completely.

When to Call a Professional

Consider hiring a professional cleaner if your indoor brick floors or outdoor patio bricks look dull or badly stained and you don't have the time or sweat equity to tackle the job. Brick cleaning companies, masonry installation and repair, and landscape companies come equipped with pressure washers, steam cleaners, and chemical supplies to handle all your brick cleaning needs. It can cost about $200 to $300 for professional power washing for outdoor patios, roughly $50 per hour, and the cost for supplies.