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Old 11-19-2011, 12:47 PM   #1
creature
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Nasty Nasty Hard Water Scum on my nice dark grout

People tell me its hard water scaling and the related scum that sticks to it.
We didn't think about this when going with dark grout. Now we have a problem. We live in Austin which is known for hard water.

1) How do we clean?????
We have tried white vinegar, CLR, basic household cleaning spray.
We have read some promising stuff about 'Barkeepers Friend' for glass scum, wondering about what yall think about that for the grout. Or any better proven ideas.

2) How do we keep it from coming back????
Miracle Sealants 511 impregnator, or Dupont's ultra sealer? Or something else?

Thanks in advance. I hope we aren't too late in addressing this.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:19 PM   #2
Davestone
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If those acids did nothing i think it's time for something like this...http://www.aldonchem.com/pr-efflorescence-treatment.htm
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:27 PM   #3
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what is that a pic of ?

a bench? step? seat in shower ?
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:23 PM   #4
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Hi Sentell, Welcome!

It appears the walls and bench are natural stone. Are all the perimeter corners grouted vs. caulked?

Please confirm this as it will greatly affect what the proper products to use are.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #5
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Detail on issue

Thanks guys. The pic is of a bench... but the scummy stuff is everywhere that water flows. It is thickest there at the bench for obvious reasons - it is a funnel for the water as opposed to the walls that just get splashed. The grout that gets the most water has the most buildup. The tiles also have the stains on them, but not as notice-able.

I grouted everything except for the wall to the floor line, and where the tiles hit the windows. Those parts I Caulked. The caulked parts aren't really showing anything, only all the grouted lines (everything pictured was all grout).

The Aldon product is interesting. But note that we have yet to try the barkeepers friend product yet. Wanted to post here before we went that route. But we'll probably try both- anything that might work is worth the risk.

The Grout is: Polyblend sanded grout - Earth

The tile is porcelain apparently.... here is a link to someone selling it: interceramic timerrland tiles
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:43 AM   #6
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IF it is mineral deposits the acid cleaning would have removed most of it.I think there is more going on.I have used the effloresence treatment and it works pretty well for the kind of problem you have but not the chunky type.They have a different treatment for that that may work better in your case.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:16 PM   #7
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how is the bench waterproofed ?
looks to me like water is getting absorbed into the grout and drying out and that's what your seeing.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:01 PM   #8
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bench

Again, it is not just the bench. It is everywhere - both grout and tile. It is just more on the bench grout because its a funnel for more water due to the slope, and is also where we soap off our footsies. But to answer the question: It is a 'Better Bench' system which I waterproofed completely (on the top and sides) with Hydroban. Nothing is getting thru. I then grouted and put sealant (2x) on the grout.

I am pretty sure it is Hard water deposits (with some attached soap scum) based on what others say and my research. The big question here is how to remove said nastiness from grout.

Once I get it removed, my plan will be to very thoroughly apply several coats of the best sealant available to try to keep it out.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:25 PM   #9
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thanks for stopping in Christopher with the tip for them
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:50 PM   #10
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dave..

thx davestone for the tip. guess i'll give EFFLORESCENCE a shot. and i'll also plan on trying barkeepers friend. and just see what happens. I'll report back on both.

if anyone else has other ideas i'll try them too. thx.

i'm surprised nobody has seen this before. i figured it must be common. right now its crazy all our tedious planning and tons of work is being minimized by some mysterious white crusty stuff. kind of a bummer.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:28 AM   #11
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Hi Sentell

It will come off. It's just a matter of finding and using the correct method and chemical combination.

Barkeepers friend contains oxalic acid which is great for rust remover.

Many times a stiff bristle brush will help remove what's on the surface. The longer the grout has time to dry out, the more successful the results the attempts to remove the efflorescence will be.

You may want to do a TEST area with vinegar followed with a stiff bristle brush and baking soda. This should assist with the breakdown of the efflorescence. If this proves to be ineffective, it could be because the grout has a soap film that would need to be removed first with a high alkaline cleaner such as STT's HDCLN.
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