Q:

How do you remove creosote stains from brick?

A:

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.

  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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