6 Simple Steps to Clean a Brick House (Lots of Pictures)

Published by: | Updated: February 1, 2023
JCS Refresh How To Clean Brick House

Bricks feature a classic, elegant, and timeless appearance. 

However, if not cleaned regularly, the opposite appearance occurs. You’re left with a dark, dirty surface that encourages the growth of mold and mildew.

A large area of brickwork in your home may be impossible to clean with manual scrubbing alone. 

In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about cleaning brick so you can keep your property clean and looking new.

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About The Author

Meet the expert behind this article. 



Co-owner & Service Director

Hey there, I’m Cody. 

A decade of residential and commercial pressure washing led me to start JCS Refresh. Now I can share my knowledge with folks like you. 

Reading from Washington State?

Contact our team for a quote and you might meet me in person.

Quick Answer

If you want a quick overview of the upcoming article, we’ve summarized the process in five simple steps.

Here’s how to pressure wash a brick house:

  1. Clear the area
  2. Prep your machine and supplies
  3. Wear safety equipment
  4. Hook up your pressure washer
  5. Apply soap from the bottom up
  6. Rinse from the top down

Quick questions before starting

The process can be incredibly delicate for bricks. 

Before you start pressure washing, you must know a few things.

Can you pressure wash brick?

Yes, you can pressure wash bricks. The key is ensuring that the brick is in good condition, which means it is free of damage. 

Chipped or cracked bricks may not be able to withstand even the lowest pressure machine, causing further damage.

Can you pressure wash painted brick?

Yes, but only if you plan on repainting. Pressure washing is an effective method for removing paint and preparing it for a fresh coat.

JCS Refresh How to Clean a Brick House

How difficult is this to do?

Pressure washing brick falls into the medium-difficulty category. 

How long does it take to pressure wash a brick house?

It takes about 30 minutes for smaller homes, two hours for medium-sized homes, and up to five hours for larger homes.

How much do materials cost?

  • Pressure washer – $160 to $380 or $40 to $100 per day if renting
  • Brick cleaner of your choice or oxygen-based detergent – $17 to $35 per gallon
  • Pump Sprayer (optional) – $10 to $25, depending on the size.
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What pressure washer brick cleaner do I need?

You can target moss, mildew, and algae with an oxygen-based cleaning detergent. 

Use a pressure-washer-safe and environmentally friendly cleaning product. If you need help determining if the product is safe for your machine, you can apply it with a pump sprayer instead of running it through your pressure washer.

What pressure washer PSI is best for brick?

We recommend a PSI of 800 or lower.

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Items needed to pressure wash a brick house

You’ll only need three things to start pressure washing. 

Pressure washer

You can use a gas or electric-powered machine to increase or decrease pressure depending on your cleaning surface. 

Prices vary depending on the type and features, but light-duty pressure washers cost around $160 to $380 heavy-duty pressure washers. 

If you decide to rent, the cost ranges from $40 to $100 per day.

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Cleaning solution

You can use any brick cleaner, multipurpose cleaner, or oxygen-based detergent as long as it is brick-safe and pressure washer-safe. Prices range from $17 to $35 per gallon.

Pump sprayer (optional)

Most pressure washers include soap or chemical injectors, but pump sprayers work fine too. The price ranges from $10 to $25, depending on the size.

If you buy your machine, the total cost of all the needed supplies ranges between $187 and $440.

If you’re pressure washing a two-story house, we’ve covered this briefly in our article on how to wash a house.

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How to pressure wash a brick house

Now that we’ve answered the question, “can I pressure wash brick?” and covered everything you need, including what supplies you’ll need, let’s get started.

1. Clear the area

Remove any toys, furniture, plants, or other items that could get wet. Cover electrical outlets, exterior lights, and holes.

2. Prep your machine and supplies

You can now pour your cleaning solution into your detergent tank or pump sprayer. Make sure to follow the directions on your detergent’s label. Remove any remaining air or pressure from your wand if you’ve previously used your machine.

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3. Wear safety equipment

Put on your safety equipment, mainly your safety goggles, rubber boots, and safety gloves. Even the lowest pressure nozzle can cause skin damage if you hit your body while spraying. 

Check out our article on how to use a pressure washer to learn more about what you should wear while pressure washing.

4. Hook up your pressure washer

Connect the hoses to your machine, the water supply, and the wand. 

Instructions may also differ depending on whether you’re using a gas or electric-powered machine, so check your manual before getting too far.

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5. Apply soap from the bottom up

Working in small sections, begin spraying the soap with the soap nozzle from the bottom to avoid streaks when rinsing. 

Allow the soap to sit on the surface for approximately 10–15 minutes. Keep an eye on it to prevent some areas from drying out.

6. Rinse from the top down

Attach your 25-degree or 15-degree nozzle. 

Before switching to a more robust nozzle, begin with the widest spray and test your pressure and distance from the surface. Then, rinse from the top down so that dirt from the surface does not go down as you rinse the surface.

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Safety considerations 

Here are three safety precautions to take beforehand:

Always point your wand in a safe direction

Point your wand away from your body, other people, plants, and animals. High-pressure water can cause severe injuries and damage to property.

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Test the pressure in a small area

Start with the widest pressure and a distance of at least 12 inches. The key is to find the right amount of pressure to clean without damaging the surface.

Use brick-safe cleaning products

Brick is a porous material, and the wrong detergent can eat away at it. Check to see if it’s safe to use with your pressure washer and if it contains any toxic substances for plants or animals.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of our reader’s most common questions surrounding this topic.

If you have a question that still needs to be answered here, please contact us, and someone from our team will get back to you.

How much does it cost to pressure wash a brick house?

The cost is calculated per square foot, with mild to moderate jobs costing between $0.15 and $0.35 per square foot and difficult projects costing between $0.40 and $0.80 per square foot.

Can you pressure wash limewash brick?

A limewash coating can be removed with high-pressure water. We only recommend pressure washing to prepare the surface for repainting.

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What do you spray on brick before pressure washing?

Spray an oxygen-based or brick-safe detergent on the surface for about 10–15 minutes to dissolve the dirt, mold, and mildew buildup.

How long does it take brick to dry after pressure washing?

Brick needs roughly 24 hours to dry after pressure washing thoroughly.

Before and after brick house pressure washing

We’ve gathered some before and after pictures to highlight the power of pressure washing.

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A house made entirely of bricks presents a great challenge. However, brick surfaces are relatively easy to keep clean. 

When cleaning bricks, check the material’s condition, use the recommended PSI level, use a detergent safe for bricks, and make sure to use all the techniques you’ve learned in this article.

Thanks for reading!