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I'm installing a decorative brick wall (individual thin bricks) for the first time. I glued all the bricks and now I'm working on the cement (mortar) around the bricks. I did a few rows yesterday for a test. While applying the mortar, some fell on the bricks. I wiped the bricks with a dry cloth as much as I could but the bricks are now covered with a thin "coating" that makes them pale and matte.

Q1: How can I clean the bricks?

Q2: How should I work the rest of the wall to avoid that?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted


I would try a stiff brush and water. If this does not work, you may be able to try a muriatic acid solution, but I would look at the manufacturer's recommendations first. Depending on the brick color and type, this may discolor the brick.


  • Apply the grout using a grout bag to minimize the mess.
  • When the joints are filled, wait until the grout is the consistency of wet beach sand.
  • Go over the joints with a brick jointer.
  • As you are jointing, periodically wipe down the brick surface with a wet mason's sponge to remove any grout from the brick face (clean the sponge out in a bucket of water as you go).
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Muriatic acid is very effective. – jlpp Nov 3 '10 at 19:42

After you finish, but before it cures, try powerwashing them. Start with low pressue or back up a ways at first to make sure you dont ruin the new mortar, then move closer or increase as you can.

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This is an indor wall. – Sly Nov 4 '10 at 16:44

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