How To Clean Brick Slips

Brick slips are used to create beautiful brick wall finishes - but what happens if they get dirty? Let's take a look into how to clean brick slips.

Cleaning Brick Slips

Cleaning Brick Slips

It's no secret - brick slips are pretty easy to clean, but it can be a daunting thought.

Because the surface of the tile is made to look and feel like a real brick (textured and porous), they can get dirty over time. Dust gathers everywhere so you can expect brick slips to attract it too!

External elements can also cause them to become dirty if installed outside and if you have little ones, look out for their sticky hands!

If you're using the brick slips within a working fireplace, soot may end up getting on them too.

The good news is that the cleaning process is generally quick and easy. The technique we're describing today has been used for decades (maybe even centuries - but with different products).

So let's get in to it and bring that brick slip wall back to life!

What You Will Need

To clean the brick slips, you're going to need the following:

  • Sponge (or a cloth or rag)
  • Bucket
  • Detergent (mild) / Washing Up Liquid
  • Duster
  • Wire Brush / Tough Bristle Brush (gentler on the tiles)
  • Table Salt
  • Hoover

 4 Steps To Clean Brick Slips

Now we've got everything ready, we can move on to the exciting part - cleaning!

  1. Firstly, you'll want to make use of the hoover and duster. Dust the wall first and follow up by using the hoover. This will help to remove any loose debris (dust, soot, etc.) that may have collected on the surface over time.
  2. Now you'll want to grab the bucket and add 1 part detergent / washing up liquid and 1 part salt. Add lukewarm water to the bucket and mix to form a malleable and consistent paste. This will be your cleaning solution.
  3. Using a sponge or cloth, apply your freshly made cleaning solution to the brick slips. Then you can take the wire brush (we recommend a softer bristle brush to avoid any damage to the tiles) and scrub the solution into the wall. Allow this to settle for 10 - 15 minutes.
  4. Now you're ready to wipe away the cleaning solution! Take a damp cloth / sponge and lightly wipe the solution from the brick wall. Ensure that you rinse the cloth / sponge regularly with clean lukewarm water. Once you've removed it all, allow the tiles to dry. If you see any cleaning solution left on the wall once dried, repeat this step on the affected area.

Cleaning Painted Brick Slips

If you have painted the brick slips or have pre-painted tiles already, refer to the manufacturers cleaning instructions. We don't advise following the steps above on brick slips that have been painted over.

Take Preventative Action

The heading sounds more shocking than it should! All we mean is taking a few extra steps could help reduce the effort needed to clean the brick slips in the future.

If you have installed the brick slips in an area prone to getting dirty (eg. backsplash in a kitchen), it would be a great idea to seal them with an appropriate sealant.

There are many varieties of sealant available on the market. The 2 most common are matt sealants and gloss type sealants.

A matt brick sealant will leave a clear matt finish over the slips with little change to the colours or surface.

A gloss brick sealant will leave a shiny clear finish on the tiles (like a wet sheen) and enhance the colours.

When choosing a sealant, make sure you get one that can bond to porous surfaces without the need for priming. Once sealed, it'll be much easier to maintain the beauty of the tiles.

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