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-   -   Re-whitening dingy white hex grout (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=128761)

Demonic 02-17-2020 01:28 PM

Re-whitening dingy white hex grout
2 Attachment(s)
Hey all,
I'm well aware of the pitfalls of white grout, and wouldn't have chosen it. I moved into a new home this year that's in need of several big projects. On the bottom of the list though is the downstairs bathroom. I don't like the tile scheme, and would like to eventually replace it. In the meantime though, I'm trying to just take care of the dingy look of my white grout with white hex tiles. As you can see in the one picture, the shower, which was unused, still has white grout, but the rest of the floor grout has been discolored. The pictures are how it looks after two vigorous cleanings with the Aqua Mix acidic grout and tile cleaner. I used a concentrated solution, letting it dwell, scrubbing, and then vacuuming with a shop vac. It definitely helped, but still looks dirty. I'm considering trying the Aqua Mix colorant, but given how much grout there is I can't sit there with a paint brush and go over all the lines. If I'm just trying to make the floor look whiter for a couple years until I eventually replace the tile, is there anything wrong with spreading the white colorant over the whole floor and wiping it up the excess? I don't mind if the tile and grout end up the same color.


John Bridge 02-17-2020 01:46 PM

Hello Austin, :)

I can't really see much in those pictures. Could you get a little closer? :)

Demonic 02-17-2020 03:14 PM

3 Attachment(s)
My apologies John, it took some work to keep the quality with the 50kb restriction. These should be better. In the two closeups, the clean one is in the unused shower, and the dirtier one is the worst spot, in front of the toilet. Thanks again!


cx 02-17-2020 06:28 PM

Not sure what 50Kb restriction you're referring to, Austin. Last I knew the site would accept photos up to 6Mb in electronic size.

All of the grout "colorants" I've tried, maybe half a dozen or so, are more like a latex paint than a stain of any kind. I can't imagine how you'd use such a product on your floor without doing exactly as you suggest and covering the entire surface and wiping the tiles clean.

Will that work? I dunno. I'd wanna try it in an inconspicuous spot first if you have such an area available.

My opinion; worth price charged.

jerrymlr1 02-17-2020 06:47 PM

The AquaMix works well. You basically paint the joints getting it on the tile and after it sit's up for a bit you clean it with a doodlebug pad. The grout colorant stays on the grout joints and comes off the tile relatively easy. It's worth a shot. Do a sample area and get the feel of it. I believe you will be surprised at how easy it is and how good it looks afterwards. I had to do a few thousand feet of porcelain on the outside and inside of a commercial building over 20 years ago and it came out perfect. It lasted over 10 years looking like the day it was done. I have Custom grouts to thank for that experience.

Tool Guy - Kg 02-17-2020 11:15 PM

Acids don’t clean. They eat. The product you used gave you some results by eating some of the grout away. But that’s not generally the answer.

I can’t see the condition of the grout right now to assess. But I’d suggest using a cleaner that works via breaking up the dirt. I suggest a high alkaline solution and use it just like you described. But I’m going to suggest you start with s single square foot as a test. Let it dwell for 5-7 minutes, agitate with a fine nylon bristle brush (better results than that mop/scrub thing in the picture) then wet vac that away. Rinse and vac again. And allow it to dry to assess the results. If you like it, keep going.


Demonic 02-19-2020 11:26 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. Tonto, I should have added that I wanted the stripping effect of the acid because there was also tons of grout haze left from the original installation in 2006 that I had to remove. I did agitate with a nylon brush both times. The sponge mop in the picture was just used to remove and clean off any of the solution remaining from the shop vac. I had then used a diluted ammonia cleaner both to neutralize any of the remaining acid and see if the alkaline pH would help, but it didn't do very much. I'll test out the colorant next and report back. Thanks again everyone.

jerrymlr1 02-19-2020 02:43 PM

If you are close to Home Depot they sell the grout colorant made by Custom. Grout Renew. I think it's the same as the Aquamix.

Demonic 02-20-2020 10:22 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks again guys, and thanks for the tip Jerry. I'm getting it to where I'd like.
I was about to spend $38 on the AquaMix on Amazon, but grabbed the Custom version for $13 at Home Depot. I was afraid of Home Depot's version not being up to par. On the online reviews on Home Depot for the Custom brand, one person said they used it for a large commercial floor that looked identical to my 1 inch hex tile situation in the picture they posted. They said they spread it all over, and then used rubbing alcohol to start wiping the tiles and not letting it sit for as long as the directions said. It's definitely thicker than I expected. I used a soft bristle brush to swirl it into the grout, then after about 15 min used a clean dish sponge soaked with rubbing alcohol to start wiping the tiles. Ideally I'd like if the colorant was a bit thinner, but am not sure of a suitable solvent. I might try some denatured alcohol. 15 minutes was also a bit long to leave on the tiles, and I still have to clean some more excess off the tile faces. The dumb mistake I made was using a blue sponge, and the blue fibers got picked up by the paint and alcohol. So now I have to switch to a white scrubbing sponge, but I'm much closer to what I wanted.

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