Removing old plaster etc from red bricks

What's the best way to remove old plaster, mortar and cement render off old, fairly crumbly red bricks? I have recently taken down an old (non load bearing) wall as part of my basement refurb project. I now have a pile of nice old bricks which I plan to use in walls and paths in the garden - the next project! Trouble is I want to remove all the mess off them and not break them in the process.
Anyone any ideas?
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snipped-for-privacy@holmes24.co.uk (Flat Eric) wrote in message

Tricky, as you say, because any method you you use risks damaging the underlying bricks.
Possible ideas: Pressure washer? Pressure washer with sandblaster attachment? Wire brush on an electric drill? Air needle gun from, say, www.hss.co.uk ?
David
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Soak them in a bin of water - the plaster comes off much easier.
If you use the bricks for garden paths they won't last the winter frost - talking from experience!
Steve
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David wrote:

Soak them in brick/patio acid (sorit of salts etc) and pressure wash afterwards.
The acid turns the cement crumbly
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Brick Acid and a stiff bristled brush - and of course gloves & eye protection.
Stuff I used was called Seloclean - made by Selocrete.
Andy

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Thanks for all the ideas fellas.
Steve, what exactly happened to the bricks over winter? Did they disintegrate completely or juct crack. I can cope with the latter - rustic charm and all that, but if they just crumble away that could be more of a problem
cheers
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you end up with hollows all over the path (on those least resistant bricks). And the cycle continues. Does look rustic but does provide an uneven surface.
One thing I did not do was seal the bricks. Perhaps you could seal the bricks once a year with waterproofer?
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In theory, if you heat it, it will turn back into quicklime and probably fall off. Don't know if a blowlamp could do it. Bolster and hammer might be easier though...
--
Andrew Gabriel

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