Removing Efflorescence from Walls

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LESLIE: Alright. We’ve got Jerry in Massachusetts on the line who needs some help removing efflorescence from walls in the basement. What can we do for you?

JERRY: I’ve got some efflorescence on the cement walls in the basement. For years, I – when I built the house, I didn’t put gutters up; I had overhangs. And then it started developing. Somebody told me, “Hey, it’s because you don’t have any gutters.” So I put them up right away and it didn’t get any worse but I’d like to clean that white efflorescence off. And I didn’t want to use muriatic acid.

TOM: No, you don’t need that at all. Removing efflorescence is really simple. First of all, the stains that you have, the efflorescence, is just lime. It’s mineral deposits that are left over when water comes through the wall and evaporates. So what you can simply do is brush that off as much as you can. You can use a stiff wall brush for that. And then just use water and white vinegar together for removing efflorescence from walls. Hot water and white vinegar. Vinegar will melt the salts.

JERRY: Do I have to rinse it down after?

TOM: No, only if you don’t want your house to smell like a salad. Aside from that …

JERRY: Well, I’m not worried about that. But white vinegar should do it.

TOM: Yeah, white vinegar does it. It’ll melt the salts. It’s a really good solution.

JERRY: I thought that but I just wanted to check with you guys first.

TOM: You buy it by the gallon, you mix it with some hot water and just, you know, brush it down.

JERRY: I’ll try that. Should work. Thank you very much.

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