Walls must be cleaned on a daily basis
as block laying proceeds.
Masonry surfaces clean most effectively if the
cleaning is done within 14-28 days after masonry installation.
Mortar and grout smears that remain on the surface for a longer
time result in a more difficult cleandown and may cause undesirable
Final cleandown of masonry surfaces should be
completed before installation of windows, doors, hardware,
light fixtures, roofing materials and any other non-masonry
item that may be damaged by the cleaning product. If such
fixtures have been installed, they must be protected before
the cleaner is applied. All caulking and sealant materials
should be in place and thoroughly cured before cleaning begins.
Protect all surrounding metal and non-masonry
materials, painted surfaces and plant life from contact with
the cleaner, residue or fumes.
Use Burnished Custom Masonry Cleaner by PROSOCO (dilute one
part to 3 parts clean water), carefully following manufacturer’s
instructions. Available at Trenwyth Industries. Do
Never use muriatic acid on units.
Prior to overall application, always test the
cleaner (minimum 4' x 4' area) to ensure suitability and desired
results. Test each type of masonry and each type of stain.
Allow test area to dry for 3 – 7 days before inspection
and approval by the project architect or building owner. Clean
test areas according to the application below and always make
the test panel available throughout the cleaning project.
- Always pour cold water into an empty bucket first before
carefully adding detergent.
- Never use hot water.
- Handle in polyethylene or rubber buckets only.
- Acidic materials and fumes will attack metal.
Exterior Test Application
The following cleaning procedure is recommended unless
otherwise indicated during testing:
- Thoroughly saturate a large portion of the masonry surface
with clean water.
- Using a densely-packed, soft-fibered masonry washing
brush or low-pressure spray (50 psi maximum), apply diluted
solution freely. Do not apply Burnished Custom Masonry Cleaner
with pressure spray above 50 psi. Such an application will
drive the chemicals deep into the surfaces making it more
difficult to rinse completely and may cause efflorescence.
- Depending on the absorption rate of masonry and drying
conditions, allow cleaning solution to remain on the wall
for approximately five (5) minutes. Do not allow cleaner
to dry into the masonry because it may leave a residue and
- Reapply cleaning solution and scrape off heavy buildup
of excess mortar using a wooden scraper. Take care to avoid
damaging the masonry surface. Do not use metal scrapers,
which may contribute to metallic staining.
Note: Avoid more than one reapplication over the same area.
Repeated applications may cause a white detergent film to
be deposited on the masonry surface. If mortar deposits
are not softened after initial application, allow the solution
to remain on the wall for a longer period of time making
sure that the cleaner does not dry into the masonry.
- Rinse thoroughly with fresh water, removing all cleaning
compound, free sand, loose materials and debris. Thorough
rinsing is extremely important to ensure that all residues
are removed from the porous masonry.
Note: To avoid streaking, keep adjacent
and lower wall surfaces wet and rinsed free of
Follow the cleaning procedure outlined for exterior
surfaces. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water using a sponge
or soft-fiber brush. If conditions do not allow sufficient
water for complete rinsing, use a neutralizing rinse and the
- Rinse first with fresh, clean water.
- Apply neutralizing rinse of two ounces household ammonia
to one gallon of clean water.
- Saturate thoroughly and allow neutralizing solution to
dwell on the surface 3 to 5 minutes.
- Apply a final rinse of fresh, clean water.
- Keep walls clean by using brushes or rags and the burlap
squares supplied on the Split-face pallets.
- Do not allow excess mortar lumps or smears to harden
on the finished surfaces.
- Remove green mortar with burlap or a dry cloth.
- Wipe masonry blocks clean with burlap (provided with
each cube) as the blocks are laid each day.
- Protect stored materials and the wall prior to completion
to prevent excessive water entry and external soiling.
- Test an unexposed portion of adjacent metal fixtures
with the cleaning solution. If corrosion or staining occurs,
protect the exposed portions. (Harsh cleaning methods after
walls have been erected may mar the surface of the blocks.)
- Protect adjacent masonry and floor area by saturating
with water and flushing away any cleaning solution before
- Two plastic or hard rubber buckets
- Rubber gloves
- Soft fiber masonry brushes (or whitewash brushes)
- Wooden, plastic or other soft, non-staining scraping
- Supply of “clean” wipers, such as lint-free
cloths or paper towels
- Clean water
- Burnished Custom Masonry Cleaner (dilute one part to
3 parts of clean water). Do not apply with pressure spray above 50 psi. It will cause efflorescence.
- DO NOT USE ACID.
Cleaning Procedure 1
- Brush clean water liberally on the surface area to be
cleaned. Brush approximately one square yard at a time.
- It is important that the masonry wall be kept wet at
all times. Do not use dirty water.
- Apply cleaning solution brushing in a circular motion
to remove any unwanted mortar smears.
- Remove excess lumps of mortar with the soft (wood or
plastic) scraping device and re-apply cleaning solution.
- Allow cleaning solution to remain on the surface for
two or three minutes then wash off with liberal amounts
of fresh, clean water.
- Wipe the walls down completely dry with clean, dry wipers.
Cleaning Procedure 2
If liberal amounts of water cannot be used, an alternative
procedure may be employed.
- Soak a clean wiper in the cleaning solution. Wring it
out so it is wet enough to dampen the surface, but dry enough
so that the solution will not run down the wall.
- Allow the solution to remain on the surface for two or
three minutes. Remove excess lumps of mortar with the soft
scraping device and repeat Step #1.
- Wipe the wall completely dry with clean, dry wipers.
Note: To remove mortar smears that have
been allowed to harden on the wall and cannot be removed by
following the procedures listed above, a solution of Burnished
Custom Masonry Cleaner by PROSOCO may be used with a dilution
ratio of 1 part cleaner to 3 parts clean water, strictly following
use muriatic acid solutions on Split-face.
Clean the completed walls with a detergent masonry
cleaner strictly following the manufacturer’s instructions
including thorough rinsing. Do not use acid or abrasives on
the block surfaces. For stubborn mortar stains or smears,
a 3:1 solution of Burnished Custom Masonry Cleaner by PROSOCO
may be used as long as the walls are thoroughly wetted with
clean water before applying the cleaning solution and thoroughly
rinsed with clean water immediately after washing. Failure
to strictly follow manufacturer’s instructions can result
in permanent damage to the finished faces. DO NOT
Split-face units, properly installed and cleaned, need
virtually no maintenance other than routine cleaning with
standard commercial grade cleaning agents such as PINESOL®
or FANTASTIK®. For tough stains, contact manufacturer
for specific cleaning recommendations. DO NOT POWERWASH.