Brick is a classic building material that looks beautiful for homes and buildings. However, hard water stains sometimes build up on brick surfaces, making them unsightly.

Removing these mineral deposits takes more work than removing mud from bricks, but it is hardly impossible. Below, I cover the most efficient methods to remove hard water stains from brick.

Vinegar and Brush Method

One of the most effective ways to remove hard water stains from brick is by using undiluted white vinegar and a nylon scrub brush. Acidity in the vinegar dissolves mineral deposits. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Lay down plastic drop cloths to protect any nearby grass, plants, and shrubs from potential runoff. 
  2. Spray the affected brick with vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes. Spraying loosens the bonds of the mineral deposits. 
  3. Scrub the bricks vigorously with the nylon brush. Most stains should come out. 
  4. Apply more vinegar as needed.
  5. Rinse the bricks thoroughly with a hose or pressure washer. 
  6. Inspect the bricks and re-apply vinegar to any remaining stubborn stains. 

For tougher hard water stains, create a cleaning solution by mixing 1/4 cup of trisodium phosphate into 1 gallon of warm water. Apply the solution to the brick and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

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Take proper safety precautions, including wearing goggles, gloves, and protective clothing. The phosphate solution provides extra cleaning power for deep stains.

Professional Brick Cleaners

For commercial jobs and homes with extensive hard-water staining, use a professional-grade brick cleaner. Some professionals use Prosoco Sure Klean Custom Masonry Cleaner. For weaker, try an alternative like Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover.

Image Credit: Canva

Products like Procoso Masonry Cleaner break down mineral deposits, salts, and other stubborn stains without damaging the masonry. Before application, check the product data-sheet and take necessary precautions.

Apply the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let it sit for the recommended time, and rinse thoroughly. Using the proper cleaner minimizes the need for extensive scrubbing and protects the brick’s integrity.

BioClean Hard Water Stain Remover is a safer cream-based alternative. Apply it to the stained area, let it sit, scrub it with a brush, and rinse. For light or mild hard water stains, cream cleaners may suffice. They’re easy to apply and remove stains.

Protecting Against Future Stains

To prevent future hard-water stain buildup, apply a silicone water repellent, which fills in pores, causing water to bead and roll off the surface rather than soak in. The repellent quality minimizes contact time between the minerals in the water and the masonry. Products like Ghostshield Lithi-Tek LS 9500 Water Repellent provide long-lasting protection, and you can apply them with a sprayer or roller. You usually need only one coat.

Adjust sprinklers so they don’t spray on the brick, and install gutter downspouts and proper drainage to divert rainwater away from the foundation. Reducing brick’s exposure to mineral-laden moisture over time and catching and removing stains early make cleaning easier.

So, Is Hard Water Stain Removal for Brick Difficult?

It’s not hard to remove hard water stains from brick surfaces, especially when you use the proper products and techniques. Simple tools like diluted vinegar take care of mild staining. More buildup may require trisodium phosphate or help from a professional cleaner. Also, take safety precautions and test products in inconspicuous areas first. 

However, if you want a higher degree of professionalism to the table, consider a professional liquid brick cleaner.

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FAQs About Hard Water Stains on Brick

What causes hard water stains on brick surfaces?

Mineral deposits typically cause hard water stains on brick from water containing high levels of calcium and magnesium. The minerals leave unsightly stains over time.

What is an easy DIY method for removing hard water stains from brick?

Mixing equal parts white vinegar and water and applying the solution to the stained area can help dissolve and remove hard water stains from brick. Scrub with a brush and rinse thoroughly.

Are there commercial products available for hard water stain removal on brick?

Commercial brick cleaners and acid-based solutions exist to remove hard water stains. These products can be effective, but use them cautiously and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Is there a preventive measure to stop hard water stains on brick in the first place?

Installing a water softener to reduce the hardness of your water supply can help prevent the formation of hard water stains on brick and other surfaces.

What precautions should I take when attempting to remove hard water stains from brick?

Precautions to take when removing stains from brick include ensuring proper ventilation, wearing protective gear, and testing cleaning solutions on small areas. Consult a professional if you’re uncertain about a safe and effective DIY stain removal.

Editorial Contributors
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Jordan Tyler Quinn Farkas

Expert Writer & Reviewer

Jordan Tyler Quinn Farkas is a globetrotting content writer hailing from the USA. With a passion for pest control, he brings a unique perspective to his writing from his early years working for one of the largest pest control companies in America. Throughout his early 20s, Jordan gained valuable experience and knowledge in the field, tackling pest infestations head-on and ensuring the well-being of countless homes.

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Sabrina Lopez


Sabrina Lopez is a senior editor for Today’s Homeowner with over 7 years of writing and editing experience in digital media. She has reviewed content across categories that matter to homeowners, including HVAC services, home renovations, lawn and garden care, products for the home, and insurance services. When she’s not reviewing articles to make sure they are helpful, accessible, and engaging for homeowners like herself, Sabrina enjoys spending time with her family and their two parrots.

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