How do I get dried grout off of tumbled marble tile?

Written by larry simmons
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How do I get dried grout off of tumbled marble tile?
Return installed tile to a natural looking surface by removing dried grout. (Tile wall image by Pontus Edenberg from

Tumbled marble tile laid correctly onto a surface creates a beautiful, elegant look that fits with the decor of most rooms. Correct installation includes the grout placed into the joints between the tiles. Filling the joints with grout requires the grout be placed, for a short period of time, onto the surface of the marble tiles. Before it dries the grout should be wiped away, failure to do so severely mars the look of the tile. In order to restore the attractiveness of the tile you can remove the grout. It is a laborious process, but can be completed with commonly available tools and supplies.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Putty knife
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Nylon brush
  • PH-neutral cleanser
  • Rags
  • Tile and grout sealant
  • Brush

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  1. 1

    Remove heavy grout deposits with the use of a putty knife. Place the edge of the knife onto the surface of the tile where the grout deposits begin. Scrape the knife along the surface, slowly chipping away at the grout, lifting heavy deposits from the surface, leaving only a light layer of grout behind. Take care not to cause any scratching on the marble tile from the knife blade. Better to leave trace amounts of grout for removal with a brush rather than mar the surface of the tile by scratching it with the knife.

  2. 2

    Remove light layers of grout or grout haze using a vinegar solution. Mix the solution in a bucket, combining equal parts vinegar and water. Soak a sponge in the solution and then apply liberally to the affected areas of the tile. Allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes to soak into the dried grout on the tile.

  3. 3

    Scrub at the dried grout using a stiff bristled nylon brush. Scrub firmly, using a back and forth motion to loosen the grout on the tile surface. Wipe the tiles clear with clean water and repeat the process if necessary to remove all traces of the grout.

  4. 4

    Wash the tile using a pH-neutral cleanser to remove all residue of the vinegar solution. Rinse using clean water and then pat the tile dry.

  5. 5

    Seal the tile to protect it from damage. Using a brush, apply a tile and grout sealant formulated for use on marble tiles. Allow the sealant to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions before using the tiled surface.

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