The best way to clean tile after grouting

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The best way to clean tile after grouting
Grout goes in between the tiles after they're adhered to the wall. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Grouting newly installed tile helps to prevent water from getting behind the tile and contributes toward the look of your room. When tile grout is applied with a grout float, it spreads over the gaps in between tiles until the gaps are filled in. During this process it's normal for grout to become smeared over the tile. Once you're finished applying grout, you must clean the excess off the tile. The best way to clean tile after grouting is to begin the job immediately after the grouting is finished before grout becomes hard and more difficult to remove.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Plastic dust sheet
  • Grout float
  • Buckets
  • Damp sponge
  • Clean cloths

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Lay a plastic dust sheet down on the floor if the tiled area is on the wall. The dust sheet catches dust and debris, saving you an extra clean-up job.

  2. 2

    Swipe off freshly applied grout with a clean grout float. Wipe parallel to the grout lines to remove excess grout oozing over the edges of the tile. A grout float looks similar to a hand-held manual sander and can be purchased at the hardware store.

  3. 3

    Fill two buckets with warm water. Wet a sponge in the bucket of water and squeeze out the excess. Buff each tile in a circular motion, rinsing the sponge with water after cleaning each tile.

    The best way to clean tile after grouting
    Use a clean sponge to avoid transferring dirt to the tile and grout. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)
  4. 4

    Smooth the grout again with the grout float so the surface is a little bit below that of the tile. Doing this helps to create smooth grout joints.

  5. 5

    Wet the sponge with water and wring out the excess. Swipe over each tile, one at a time with one stroke. Turn the sponge over and wipe the tile with another stroke.

  6. 6

    Allow the tile to dry for a couple hours. Remaining grout residue will form a haze over the tile. Buff the tile with clean, soft cloths to remove the haze and complete the cleaning process.

    The best way to clean tile after grouting
    Old, soft towels make good cleaning cloths. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Tips and warnings

  • Grout begins curing as soon as it's applied. Quick cleaning is imperative to smoothing and removing excess grout before it hardens.
  • Rinse your sponge frequently so you don't transfer grout dust from one tile to the next.
  • Be gentle when cleaning excess tile grout. Pressing too hard can affect your grouting job since the grout isn't completely set.

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