How to Remove Soot From Brick: What You Need to Know

Remove soot from the brick. Brick is tough and durable, but it can start to look dark or black with soot buildup over time. This happens when your home is heated by a wood stove or gas fireplace, and the smoke particles become trapped in the pores of the bricks. How to remove soot from brick: To prevent this from happening, you need to scrub these surfaces every few months with a strong degreaser like TSP, which is mixed with water at a ratio of 1:5. You can also make your own cleaner by mixing bleach with water at a ratio of 2:1.

Fire Damage Restoration

Fire Damage Restoration

Black Soot on Bricks

Bricks are a tough and durable building material, but they can start to look dark or black with soot buildup over time. The soot on brick is a result of incomplete combustion from the burning of coal. It can be removed by using a solution that will dissolve the carbon in the soot and then scrubbing it away with a stiff brush or sponge. One such product is called “Carbon-off” Follow these steps to use Carbon-Off

Follow These Steps

1) Fill a bucket with warm water, add about ¼ cup (60 mL) Carbon-off liquid, and stir until dissolved. 

2) Dip your mop into the solution, wring out well, and start scrubbing off stubborn areas of soot. Keep dipping your mop back into the bucket as needed until all areas are clean again. 

3) Rinse thoroughly with clear water to remove any remaining Carbon-Off.

Can You Use Bleach?

Bleach can also be used to clean bricks. For instance, you could mix bleach with water at a ratio of 2:1 and dampen the bricks thoroughly before applying the solution. However, it is important that after cleaning the bricks, they are rinsed with clear water to avoid discoloring them. Another method is to use a high-pressure power washer to clean the bricks.

How to Remove Soot from Painted Walls

How to Remove Soot from Painted Walls


What Can Help

The best thing you can do if damp soot is being deposited on your brick from a wood stove or gas fireplace is to clean the surfaces every few months with the proper mixture of cleaner and water.

You can also lay down bricks or a protective sheet over the surface to protect it from soot buildup.

What Doesn’t Help

There is no quick solution to removing soot from brick. Other methods such as aluminum foil, scrubbing with steel wool or baking soda will not work and can make the problem worse by scratching the bricks and exposing more of the porous material underneath. The same goes for sanding: it may damage your brick and lead to a need for more extensive repairs.

Pressure Washer

You can also use pressure washers, but be aware that the very high water pressure may damage your brick or make it harder to clean in the future. It’s not an effective method with soot build-up on brick.

If you do decide to try using a pressure washer, start by using the lowest setting, and test it on a hidden area to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage.

If you have soot on your brick but aren’t comfortable attempting to clean it yourself or you need more help than can be given here, contact an expert for advice.