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Unread 01-13-2020, 11:51 AM   #1
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ceramic tile and grout cleaning questions

Hello and Happy New Yr.

We have about 1400 sqft of ceramic tile, which in the kitchen and other heavily traveled areas, has darkened. My wife, daughters and a few others once cleaned the grout enough to apply that "grout paint" which was an off-white. It looked like a shoe polish bottle w a little roller to go btw the 1/4" grout lines.

Question: Do any of the grout and tile cleaning rental machines help to strip off the old grout paint/clean the grout? And, are there alkaline or acidic chemicals you should apply first, then steam clean it? I want to seal afterwards.

Basically looking to determine if this is a DIY, what to expect and a basic process. I was quoted $.89.sq ft, so .89.sqft X 1400sqft = $1246.00 outlay. That also includes sealing the tile too.

Note, the tile are 19.5" x 19.5" so at least minimal grout lines

Thank you for your advice, tom
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Unread 01-13-2020, 05:14 PM   #2
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Tom, is this the same tile from this thread?

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Unread 01-13-2020, 08:51 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Acid solutions eat. So, they are mostly bad (can cause damage) for cleaning, but used sparingly in some cases where removal of material is either acceptable or desirable.

Alkaline solutions clean. Generally, routine cleaning is mostly about pH neutral cleaners with occasional heavy duty cleaning with high-alkaline cleaners.

Time for a test.

Buy a quart-sized bottle of some high-alkaline cleaner ($9). You can find this in the tile isle of a box store or at a dedicated tile shop. You’re probably going to find words on the bottle like ‘heavy duty grout/tile cleaner’.

Apply the recommended diluted solution to a single tile and single grout line. You want it saturated. Allow that to dwell for 5-7 minutes. Then use a fine plastic bristle brush to agitate the solution. You’re not scrubbing hard....you’re letting the solution do the work of loosening the dirt and your agitation is physically moving the dirt from the surface to being suspended in the solution. Make little circles. Agitate for maybe a minute. Vac off the dirty solution. Rinse with water, vac, and allow to dry. Now...take a hard look at what you’ve got. If you’re happy, you’ve completed your test and know what it’ll take to clean yourself...or if it’s worth paying someone else. But if you’ve only made a partial improvement, repeat the process to see if it’s further improved. This will tell you a lot.

I’m interested to see how the grout cleans up, seeing as how it’s been painted a few times.

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Unread 01-14-2020, 08:51 AM   #4
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Yes Kevin it is....thanks

Thanks ToolGuy...appreciate the info

I'm in the process of buffing out cultured marble and painting the inside of the garage, so now I know what to buy when I get my paint..Alkaline solution. I know acids are a complete no for natural stones and needs to be highly diluted on ceramics, but is mostly used for calcium removal...

I will post back on the results and the options I chose.

Thanks again,
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