Acid for Cleaning Grout

Written by charles pearson
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Acid for Cleaning Grout
Acid can remove the discolouration found on grout. (wand image by Emanuel Kluge from

The grout that holds your tiles together will inevitably collect dirt and stains that will ruin the appearance of your tiles. Mold and mildew will discolour your grout, a porous material that easily absorbs stains if not sealed. Bleach serves as the best disinfectant for grout, but you're going to need stronger acids to break down the stubborn stains, since most of the substances discolouring the grout are alkaline.

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Liquid Extractor

Apply a liquid extractor to lift the stains out of the grout and then use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up the residue. Do not clean grout too frequently because the acids will remove the smaller aggregate layer of grout, leaving behind the larger aggregate layer that attracts stains more easily.

Acetic Acid

Remove stains from grout with vinegar and ammonia. Vinegar is a highly diluted acetic acid. Combine 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/3 cup ammonia with 1/2 cup baking soda and 7 cups of water to create a solution that you can spray on your tiles, according to the Mrs. Clean website. Then, simply wipe the grout with a damp sponge or rag, lifting up any stains eroded from the grout.

Sulphamic Acid

If your grout or tile cement develops a haze, utilise a sulphamic-acid cleaner known as grout haze remover. This chemical has strong acids that will break down the haze so that you can rinse it away.

Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric acid is another common acid used to lift stains and other dirt from grout. The cleaner has emulsifying oils that help the acids in the chemical work more efficiently so that you can clean your grout without using stronger acids like muriatic acid.

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid is one of the strongest and most dangerous household cleaning chemicals. Homeowners can accidentally damage anything other than plastic when using the acid. Despite the dangers, this acid is sometimes the only product that will fully restore masonry grout. Dilute the muriatic acid to avoid causing damage. When using the mixture, wear acid-resistant gloves and eye and face protection. You should also wear acid-resistant coveralls and boots. If you spill the acid on a surface, neutralise the acid by applying baking soda or garden lime. If you get the acid on your skin, rinse the acid quickly to dilute and wash the acid off. Make sure the room's ventilated.

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