Will SH Harm or Stain Brick?

This guy just had new gutters installed and I guess that made him notice the mildew on his soffits. He wants the soffit and window frames washed.

I have heard that SH can stain brick, I don’t have any experience with brick myself. Can it damage the brick? If so, what are your suggestions on how to clean? Maybe a scrubber on a pole, or maybe gutter butter? Any suggestions would be great. If I am mistaken about the SH harming the brick let me know. Thanks guys!

SH in house wash mix won’t even begin to clean brick much less ruin it. Right @MrSparkleVA?

You’ll be fine. Just dial back your surfactant if you use any at all on that.

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NAH, SH has no impact on brick whatsoever. OTOH, it’s really bad for the organisms that inhabit brick :slight_smile: GO STRONG for badly stained brick.


It’s the rinsing that’s a pain with the surfactant because its porous. The time you save in rinsing by putting up two passes of just SH and water is worth it. You can leave house wash mix without surfactant on the brick without rinsing if you want to.

Because of its texture and porosity brick doesn’t need surfactant.


Stucco and drivvit are cleaned similarly right? Its porous and doesnt need much surfactant?


Exactly. I use about 3 oz of Elemonator per 5 gallons now on everything, but brick. So far it’s been about perfect.

If you don’t get all the Elemonator out of stucco, dryvit, and masonry it’ll weep bright white lines from the cracks. Happened once, but luckily I was just cleaning the house to prep for paint. Dodged a bullet. The tiny cracks were everywhere. 2-4 bright white, 12 to 18 inch lines on every side.

Bout had a heart attack.


I don’t do a lot of brick for the reason that I premix my sh and Elemonator in the chem tank. If I take on brick I’ve gotta carry fresh buckets of SH without it. Huge pain.

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Dang lucky for sure. So you really need to be careful with the elemonator. I’m ordering some tonight. So it seems like you really need to thoroughly rinse the crap out of it to prevent those lines. Can you go back or are you screwed once it’s dried up and causes the lines?

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No. Elemonator in itself is harmless. It’s when it suspends the SH in it that the alkalinity leaves the lines so far as I can tell. It rinses super easy on vinyl and painted surfaces, but nothing with a soaping/sudsing property will be easy to rinse out of something porous.

Elemonator is 1000x better than dawn or gain or whatever some of these folks are using. Rinses so easy, but does it’s job in helping the SH stay on the surface. Dawn bubbles forever and is so dang hard to rinse with cold water.

Just use less Elemonator than the suggested usage. It’s too much in my opinion. IBS said they use 8 oz in 35 gallons, but I like 3 oz to 5 gallons for myself.


I was washing out the bottom rack to my dog’s cage (put her in there when I’m not home, she’s will chew a wall down) the other day and thought I’d use some Elemonator since it was close by. It took FOREVER to rinse off. That stuff is very concentrated and has to be used in moderation. Lol On the plus side, my dog went in the cage and laid there sniffing it for around two hours straight. She LOVES the stuff. So now when she just walks by my shed, where I keep my bulk supplies, she will walk around and around sniffing it. She wants it so bad. lol

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I use elemonator and sh mix DS on brick with excellent results. Red and especially white brick come out looking perfect

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This is the first time I have heard about that white line stuff… I have a all brick house that is coming up … I was going to x jet straight sh (12.5%) in a 5 gal bucket with 5 oz of elemonator… now u have me worried, maybe I should replace the elemonator with some ebc

Just don’t add Elemonator or less Elemonator. Easy day. Rinse well and you’re good to go.

Ya my area is mostly stucco in florida so I’ll go sans elemonator or very little. I’ll experiment on my house and see what works. Thank you, you’re always helpful man.

My tip is be super careful on stucco if you use Ox acid to remove rust stains on it. For me it removed the rust stain but whitened the finish beyond what the rest of the house was. I didn’t know it would happen but the guy asked for the rust stains to be removed. He got what he wanted. I used a sprayer. I won’t do that next time. I will brush on and rinse sooner. As soon as the rust is no longer visible


Super valuable tip! So the oxalic acid can’t sit too long if it’s stucco. Thank you, I’d rather learn from your mistake than freak out on the job lol. Thank you for that info.

What was your mix ratio?? I have been mixing about a cup to a gal …

It’s a big two story all brick house going to need some hang time for the top of the house , what do you think I should go with to get that hang time , if I went straight sh if would just run right down …

You’d be surprised. Take a pump sprayer with the same ratio and spray it on some brick. See how long it takes to dry… foreverrrr lol

You’ll get hang time due to the porous nature and texture.


Put a little Elemonator in it. Just rinse well.