How to Remove Mortar from Manufactured Stone Veneer

Manufactured stone veneers have become a very popular project for do it yourself homeowners. The stone adds elegance and rustic charm to everything from your fireplace to the outside of your home. Since it basically amounts to sticking rocks in mortar, building a manufactured stone veneer seems like it would be very easy but it can go wrong quickly. A veneer can be ruined by things as simple as:

  • Accidentally wiping mortar that’s still wet
  • Getting excess mortar onto the stones surface
  • Overly humid conditions
  • Incorrect stone placement

Once the stones are in place, it can be a chore to remove mortar from them without damaging the stones. However, if you do make a mistake and need to remove your mortar, it can be done in seven easy steps:

  1. Manufactured Stone Veneer | Custom Stone | MortarGather the equipment that you will need for the job: water, dish detergent, two stiff brushes that are not wire and rags.
  2. If the mortar is still fresh then you must wait for it to dry completely. In most situations a full day and night will be needed to thoroughly dry fresh mortar.
  3. Mix up a warm water and dish detergent solution. The only trick to this step is that you cannot have bubbles in the mixture so keep mixing until all the bubbles disappear. Set it aside for now.
  4. Using one of your stiff brushes, start wiping it across the mortar that you need to remove from your manufactured stone. It may help to put the brush at an angle so you are wiping at the contact point between the mortar and the manufactured stone. Try to get as much of the mortar off as possible during this step.
  5. Use one of the rags to remove all the dust that has been accumulated on the stones surface.
  6. Take your second brush and dip this one into your water and dish detergent mixture. Use the same technique as before to remove the rest of the mortar and give the other parts of the exposed stone a good scrub while you are there.
  7. Now give the stone another once over with regular water and look for any residual mortar. It has probably all been removed at this point but if you can still see some just repeat step five again.