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Unread 09-10-2007, 08:32 AM   #1
sbenton
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White Grout Haze

We grouted our 12x12 tiles in a kitchen last night; the tiles are a charcoal gray and the grout is "natural gray". After wiping down the tiles several times last night and this morning there still remains a "whitish" color on the tiles. When wet the tiles look great, but once they dry they leave this whitish film or haze?

The tiles are ceramic Malozzi; they are not perfectly smoth, but have a stone pattern I guess.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Unread 09-10-2007, 08:48 AM   #2
Hamilton
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Hi there.

You shouldnt have any problem removing the leftover haze if you mix
white vinegar 50/50 with water and give it another wash. If its stubborn
a use a scrub pad instead of a grout sponge. Repeat the process with
clean water and it should look perfect when you are finished. Best of luck.
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Unread 09-10-2007, 08:59 AM   #3
sbenton
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Great, thanks - will give it a try.
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Unread 09-11-2007, 08:50 AM   #4
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There is an earlier thread in the Pro's hangout about micro fiber rags for grout clean-up. I used a sponge for only the very first quick wipe and the rags for everything else. So much better than a sponge and would probably work best for your quick fix vinegar wipe.

Rick
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Unread 09-11-2007, 09:22 AM   #5
Mike2
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Hi Benton. How about a first name?

Jack's 50:50 water/vinegar trick is what I would try myself. Please come back and let us know how it worked.

Finally, here's one more vote on using micro-fiber rags for final grout cleanup.

Below is a test board I grouted last weekend. Here I'm using 6-inch tiles with varied spacing, 1/2", 3/8", and 1/4" on this section. To the left is Rialto porcelain tile from Lowes known for presenting clean-up problems. Rest of the board is highly clefted slate. This shot taken two hours after grouting and final cleanup using micro-fiber rags from Costco.



It's amazing how those little micro "fingers" reached into all those nooks and crannies to lift out the grout. And it's completely haze free.

Last edited by Mike2; 09-11-2007 at 10:34 AM. Reason: fixed link to picture
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Unread 09-11-2007, 11:26 AM   #6
sbenton
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Thanks, I think I will try the micro fiber rags. I did try the 50/50 vinegar & water with no real noticeable difference. I also tried an aqua haze remover from Lowe's last night using a scotch brite pad with some success. I think part of my problem is with the clean up though...maybe the micro fiber rags will work?

I do think it is getting better, may take a lot of elbow grease - I know what Cinderella must have felt like now!

I'll keep trying.

Steve
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Unread 09-11-2007, 12:11 PM   #7
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Steve, instead of just a cloudy/hazy film, do you actually have grout solids on the tile?

Vinegar and the various commercial haze removers are not real effective at removing solids. Stronger acid washes using sulfamic or phosphoric acid are usually necessary but it's best to wait 10 days or so after grouting before taking that approach. The risk is in the acid actually "burning" the fresh grout.
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Unread 09-11-2007, 12:15 PM   #8
sbenton
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I don't think so, although maybe you could describe the difference.
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Unread 09-11-2007, 12:28 PM   #9
Mike2
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I'm not sure I can describe the difference beyond saying one is just a hazy film or cloudy smear if you will, while grout solids would be a very thin layer of actual grout, one grain of sand or more in thickness.
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Unread 09-11-2007, 12:38 PM   #10
sbenton
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It's hard to describe...the tiles are actually porcelain from Home Depot; they apparently are already sealed, but the face of the tile does have some nooks and cranies. I think is is just grout haze, but maybe not.
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Unread 09-11-2007, 12:58 PM   #11
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As a test, pick one tile in an inconspicious place, apply some white vinegar (straight this time, not diluted with water) or commercial haze remover and let that dwell on the surface for 10 minutes or so. Then, using a small brush like a tooth brush scrub the area down some, rinse, let dry, and post results.

Of course, a picture of what you are dealing which would help us a lot too.

If that doesn't do it, then you'll have to go with the stronger sulfamic or phosphoric acid application. Carefully follow the manufacturer's direction incl. wait time after grouting before use.
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Unread 09-11-2007, 01:41 PM   #12
sbenton
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Will do. I actually sprayed the Aqua haze remover straight last night with some success; only let sit a few minutes though. I will get some photos to post. Thanks for all your help.
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Unread 09-11-2007, 01:51 PM   #13
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One more thing: After working with all these acid based solutions, which includes vinegar and haze removers, add some ammonia to the final rise water. A dilution ratio of 1/3 cup to a gallon of water is fine. The ammonia will neutralize any remaining acid thats been absorbed into the grout.
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Unread 09-11-2007, 02:25 PM   #14
sbenton
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Here is a photo (worse case example)...what do you think...this is one that I did not try to clean yet.
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Unread 09-11-2007, 02:37 PM   #15
Mike2
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I'll shrink that picture down and add it to my post here.

You've got your work cut out for you will all that. My guess is you'll have to go with one of the stronger acids I mentioned above. But first try my suggestion in post #11.
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Last edited by Mike2; 09-12-2007 at 08:22 AM.
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