Q:

How do you remove creosote stains from brick?

A:

Quick Answer

To remove creosote from brick, protect the area with plastic sheets and create a cleaning paste. Apply the paste to the bricks, leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes, remove it with a stiff brush and then rinse it off with cold water. Wear gloves, goggles and a face mask during the task.

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Full Answer

  1. Prepare the area

    Place plastic sheets, or tarps, around the fireplace to protect surrounding furnishing from debris. Open all windows and doors to keep the room well-ventilated.

  2. Wear appropriate gear

    Prevent accidental injury by wearing non-ventilated goggles, a face mask and rubber gloves.

  3. Create the cleaning paste

    In a large mixing bowl, combine equal amounts of salt and liquid dish washing detergent. Add a half cup of ammonia, and stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes a creamy paste.

  4. Apply to the bricks

    While wearing rubber gloves, smear a coating of the paste over the creosote-saturated bricks. Continue until the entire area is covered. Allow the paste to rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

  5. Scrub away the creosote

    After the paste has mostly-dried, vigorously scrub the bricks with a stiff brush or steel wool sponge. Scrub in a circular motion, and continue until the paste and creosote are removed.

  6. Clean the bricks

    Fill a spray bottle with cold water, and saturate the bricks. Wipe away remaining creosote and cleaning paste with a clean towel.

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