How to remove dried-on grout haze from tiles

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How to remove dried-on grout haze from tiles
Remove grout film from the surface of ceramic tiles. (diawka/iStock/Getty Images)

Cleaning tiles immediately after you've finished grouting them improves the definition of the grount joints between tiles and prevents a film residue forming on the surface of the tile. This grout haze on the tile is an expected occurrence, but it can be difficult to remove if you allow it to dry for too long. The haze can be removed with acid-based chemicals or with water. Use water before you go for the chemical cleaner option.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Grout sponges
  • Safety glasses
  • 22.5 litre (5 gallon) buckets
  • Latex rubber gloves

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Instructions

    Prepare the tiles

  1. 1

    Fill both buckets about three-quarters full of water. Place one grout sponge in each bucket and allow them to soak for three to five minutes.

  2. 2

    Use one bucket for cleaning and the other for the final rinse. This will prevent grout residue, which will build up in the cleaning bucket, from being reapplied to the tile.

  3. 3

    Use a dust sheet to cover surfaces that you do not wish to get wet, soiled or stained with grout.

    Remove grout haze

  1. 1

    Wring out the cleaning water sponge and leave about one-third of the water in the sponge. Gently wipe down the affected tile area at an angle to the grout joints. Regularly moisten the sponge by wringing it out in the cleaning bucket, until the entire surface is thoroughly wet.

  2. 2

    Allow the surface to dry for two to three minutes, and then repeat the first step, using the cleaning bucket.

  3. 3

    Repeat the process, if necessary, until only a slight grout haze remains. A soft bristle brush may be used on the tile surface to remove significant grout build-up.

  4. 4

    Allow the tile and grout to dry for 15 to 30 minutes.

  5. 5

    Wring out the final-rinse sponge and leave about one-third of the water in the sponge. Gently wipe down the affected tile area at an angle to the grout joints. Regularly moisten the sponge by wringing it out in the final rinse bucket until the entire surface is thoroughly wet.

  6. 6

    Allow the surface to dry for two to three minutes, and then wipe over the tiles again.

  7. 7

    Continue repeating this process until you've removed all grout haze.

  8. 8

    Allow the tile and grout to dry for 15 to 30 minutes. Wipe down the entire surface with a clean, dry cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Use clean and room temperature water to remove grout haze.
  • Don't get the grout joints too wet. This could lead to dry-cracking, weakening of the joints, and the removal of material from the seam by the grout sponge.
  • Depending on the humidity and temperature in the area, it may be necessary to allow more time for the grout and tile to dry. When the grout joints begin to lighten in colour and the tile surface is dry, then the surface is ready for further cleaning.
  • When wringing out the sponges, submerge them in the water several times before using them on the tile to remove as much grout from the sponge as possible.
  • Wear safety glasses at all times when cleaning grout haze.

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