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Unread 07-13-2009, 08:17 PM   #1
ragtop69gs
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How to remove dried grout from slate?

A friend laid a slate floor and did not get the grout off the surface of the tile, it's been dried for 4 days now. There is heavy buildup in spots. He has asked for my help cleaning it up so I need some advice on how to attack this problem.

He has tried scrapping the heavy buildup and is pulling up layers of the slate in areas. No acid has been used at this point.

Where do we go from here?
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Unread 07-13-2009, 09:19 PM   #2
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http://www.tileandstonecare.co.uk/pr...ricAcidCleaner

I would look into the AquaMix "grout haze clean up" or "nano scrub".

These products are sold in the states at various tile distributors and I think Lowes.

You will have to neutralize the acidic wash with a baking soda and water rinse or at least I recommend you do.
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Unread 07-13-2009, 09:37 PM   #3
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We have more than just a haze in spots, there are areas where you can feel the grout and spots where the high ridges hold a buildup.

Will the AquaMix "grout haze clean up" or "nano scrub" work in this situation?
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Unread 07-13-2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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In the areas where you have spots where you can feel the grout and it is in the ridges you are going to have to take a metal abject like a margin trowel or razor knife and scrape away at the gout to get as much build up gone or scraped away.

Try your best not to damage the slate in the process (scratch) is all you can do at this point. I DON'T like to use a wire brush because you will see brush marks or scratches but you can try it. I'm talking about a small wire brush, not much bigger than a tooth brush.

After you have removed all the heavy spots, rent a buffing machine if possible with a brush system on the bottom of it and use the Grout Haze Remover. Trying to do it without the weight of the machine can be done however if you can get a machine all the better.

You don't have an easy task ahead of you but I have seen this happen before and it is fixable. Make sure you read this post again so you fully understand what I am saying.

How much slate are we talking about here anyway, how many feet?
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Unread 07-14-2009, 04:09 AM   #5
ragtop69gs
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Thanks for trying to help me , help them.

I will see if he'll rent the machine, it sounds like it's our only way out at this point. What type of pad would be best for the machine?
This is in a kitchen. ( I know, not the best choice for a kitchen) The total area is about 70 SF but only half that area is effected.

Thanks Again
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Unread 07-14-2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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Well like I said, the machine you would rent has a brush system on the bottom not pads. The slate will tear up the pads pretty quick even the heavy duty ones.

If it is only 35 sq. ft. you might be able to get away with not using the machine. Plus it is in the kitchen so you would probably take a chance dammaging some cabinets. The buffer can be a little jumpy if you really are not used to it.

I was thinking you had several hundred feet of this. 35 sq. ft. isn't anything to get that upset about. Probably won't need the machine, you just need time and patience.

Use the method I told you to use and forget about the machine for right now. When you acid wash, use a STIFF deck brush on a pole and not a machine.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 01:31 PM   #7
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Thanks Ben. I'll report back in a day or two and let ya know how it went.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 01:48 PM   #8
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Good luck! Best advise I can offer based on past experiences. You are just going to have to be patient. Not going to be easy.

If you have anything like one of those metal dental pick tools, it may help as well. There just isn't any magic solution for this circumstance. Just going to take some time.

Could be worse. You could of had some bad stain that soaked into the slate which is hard if next to impossible to remove. At least you are trying to just remove dried grout off the surface, which isn't easy yet not impossible.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 03:58 PM   #9
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grout haze cleaner is acidic.

before you use something like this on slate you need to TEST.

SOME slate is acid sensitive and some is not. do test to determine which you have. if it comes out to be NON acid sensitive then grout haze remove would be acceptable. However if your slate does react to acid, then i would recommend against using a haze remover.

you can use a scraper carefully to pop off big chunks and a stiff nylon (not wire) brush to scrub the lighter areas.
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Unread 07-14-2009, 08:52 PM   #10
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StoneDude,

What reaction am I looking for that would not be good ? How does the slate react when it's not conducive to an acid wash ?
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Unread 07-14-2009, 08:58 PM   #11
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Do you have a piece of slate that was never installed left over?

If you do then you can test the grout haze remover on it as the directions on the bottle tell you too, another words follow the directions. I think you will have to dilute with water.

After the test piece is dry, examine it to see if damage was done like pitting or anything of that sort. From my past experiences you should be fine. If it starts fizzling, you are using it too strong. Remember, you can always strengthen your solution but you can't go backwards once you apply.

Yes it is acidic and slate will react however you can control the reaction with the strength of your solution. It isn't like you have polished marble here or semi sheen travertine that you are going to ruin.

If you go to the AquaMix websit you will see it is approved for slate. Most guys here acid and freak but they don't realize there are buffers in them ect. ect. and i am relying on you to follow the directions on the bottle as well as the one i have outlined, you have to do the rest.

Stone guy makes a valid point that you should do a test and I agree. However he has offered no other alternative to get that grout and haze off that slate. I wouldn't suggest something i have never done myself or had a service guy do a few times plus the product states you can use it on slate. The longer you wait to get this grout off the worse things get.

Don't forget to neutralize the cleaning process when you are done with a baking soda and water rinse.
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Last edited by ob1kanobee; 07-14-2009 at 09:19 PM.
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Unread 07-26-2009, 01:38 PM   #12
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Worked for me!

I know this is too late to help in this situation, but this site has a great feature where related threads pop up when you are looking for something. So, this is just a comment in case anyone else reads this thread looking for information on removing extra grout.

I called tech support at Aquamix and they (and the bottle) said it has to be donee within 10 days of grouting, and if you aren't using it in your last bucket of cleaning water right after grouting, you have to use it full strength, agitate it with a nylon pad or brush when you put it on, and then let it sit for 5 minutes before removing it. I scrubbed it off before removing.

I used the Aquamix grout-haze remover after 7 days and used several differently-sized and different stiffnesses of nylon brushes (from tooth brushes to paint stripping brushes) to be able to get into different crevices and to be able to get into the corners. I used the stiffer brushes on rougher stones and a soft scratch-free scrubbie pad on the smoothest stones. None of the stones were scratched.

It wasn't easy. I did a small area at a time. I had to use both hands to apply enough pressure with the paint stripping brush on the roughest stones to be able to get into all the pits. I turned the brushes on edge to get into the crevices where the slate had clefts. In places where there was quite a lot of grout, I used the tip of a paint scraping spatula-looking thing to very carefully get under it after the stuff had soaked it for 5 minutes.

But it worked. The slate is bright now and the edges are clearly defined. The slate was India Lilac Autumn and there was no etching or anything else that might be attributed to a bad chemical reaction to the cleaner. My right hand won't close all the way yet, but I feel it was very worth it.

click here for the technical info on the stuff
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Unread 07-30-2009, 08:37 AM   #13
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A Simple Solution

I had the same problem. I replaced terra-cotta in my entry with slate tiles. I had a lot of haze from the grout and spent hours and hours trying to clean it. It dawned on me. "Sand It Off". I grabbed my random orbital sander and some 220 Grit paper. It worked like a charm. I removed all of the grout and haze from approx 25sf in literally 15 minutes. I used 4 disks. I then sealed it and it looks beautiful.

Absolutely no swirl marks and removed every bit of grout/haze off of the face of the slate. It also smoothed it out and knocked down the little bumps and imperfections.

The Con: There will be DUST! Quite a bit!
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Unread 09-03-2009, 05:49 PM   #14
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When you sanded, did you sand the entire tile or just hit the spots where the grout was? Thanks.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 08:26 PM   #15
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That post is a month old Josh you probably won't get a response....welcome anyway,maybe a post a howdy in the pro section if you're one.
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