- Surfaces of masonry and masonry walls, especially above ground, generally need no exterior treatment.
- However, masonry walls sometimes develop "efflorescence," a white, powdery substance.
- This can often be cleaned off with a stiff brush and water.
- If it does not respond, use one-part muriatic acid to nine parts water.
- Rinse thoroughly before and after.
- If the efflorescence is green, use one-part caustic soda to ten parts water.
- We recommend that a professional be hired to do this. CAUTION: If you decide to do this yourself, both muriatic acid and caustic soda are dangerous. Wear rubber gloves and goggles. Pour slowly into water to prevent splashing.
- When it comes to maintenance cleaning, scrub dirt off manufactured stone with a stiff-bristle brush using a mild detergent and water.
- For tougher cleaning problems, try using one-part white vinegar mixed with eight parts water.
- Pre-moisten the stone with clean water, dip a plastic or brass brush (never use a steel wire brush on manufactured stone) in the vinegar/water mix and lightly scrub the area.
- Then rinse the area immediately with clean water to remove all the vinegar/water mix from the surface.
Although most synthetic stone manufacturers warn against using harsh cleaning or bleaching products or pressure washers on their stones, you can try them at your own risk. Owners have indicated they have been able to do this with success using extreme care.
- Always test the cleaner or bleach in an out-of-the way area to see if the stone or mortar color runs.
- Be aware that the use of virtually all cleaners/bleaches/acids or pressure washers can void the manufacturer’s warranty.
- If you use these things, proceed with extreme caution and you do so at your own risk.