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Unread 07-13-2009, 08:06 AM   #1
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Removing haze from tile

What is the best way to remove the haze from tile after grouting? I have scraped all of the excess grout from the tiles, but after wiping down with a sponge a haze still remains......thanks for the comments in advance....
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Unread 07-13-2009, 08:17 AM   #2
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If only a few hours to a day has passed since grouting, it would come off by buffing with a barely damp cloth. If it's too late and the haze will not come off, try a little vinegar in water. If that doesn't work, there are heavier duty acid washes available at Lowes/HD.
Bobby from NJ
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Unread 07-13-2009, 08:37 AM   #3
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i will try vinegar....i hope it works....thanks for the input
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Unread 07-14-2009, 01:42 PM   #4
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Simple can be best

I am about to try this myself - but I just heard from a contractor friend to try acetone - i.e., finger nail polish remover - if it hasn't been too long - can be a real help!

I already know that those miracle fiber clothes, damp, and elbow grease (or thumb grease as the case may be) can also help quite a bit - the trick for me seems to be staying away from the grout line as best as possible or you just keep getting run-off from that and it's a never ending cycle.

Lesson learned - do it before it cures (he says as he gets ready to go up stairs and tackle some dried grout haze of his own!).
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Unread 07-14-2009, 01:55 PM   #5
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Make sure you dilute the vinegar at least 3 to 1 with water (vinegar 25%). You can take it up to 50/50 if you have to but I suggest the first ratio with lots of elbow grease (agitaion with a scrub brush). Mopping it around won't be nearly effective as a scrub will be.

Acetone and fingernail polish won't work as they don't fight the properties of grout haze and not a good idea.

If all that doesn't work, you may have to use a heavy duty tile and grout cleaner as it may also be some kind of residual latex you are also needing to remove.

Rule number one in life: You go with what you got, imperfections and all.
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Unread 07-16-2009, 08:29 AM   #6
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ob1 was right!

The nail polish remover didn't do a thing for me.

So here was my situation - I am putting in a new bathroom. Decided to do a tile surround (12" square, slate gray tile, gray grout). I didn't attempt to clean my haze for over 4 months (long story - live and learn! - but I'm sure someone else will be in this situation). Also the grout I used had an additive to it (the stuff you buy in the bottle instead of just plain water). The tile I used was a 'textured' faux slate (but ultimately ceramic tile).

Here's what I used (and successfully )
  • TILE Lab Grout Haze Remover (glycolic Acid)
  • Micro cloth (see them everywhere these days)
  • rubber gloves
  • 3M Metal finishing pad (7414NA 4 3/8" x 11")
  • Toothbrush
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Baking soda
  • Wear goggles or use a face shield (if like me you need your glasses on while working!)

What I did was cut the metal finishing pad (it's like a heavy duty scrubber from the back of a kitchen sponge) into 4 pieces. Then I wet the piece I was using at the time with the acid. Working in columns 1 tile wide I would first 'dampen' all the tiles in the column. Then working top to bottom I'd apply pressure to the 'scrubbie' and agitate the haze until it was removed (avoiding the grout between the tiles as much as possible). You'll actually develop a feel for it - and can start to tell 'clean' areas from dirty (less friction once the haze has been successfully removed).

Immediately after I finished a column, I'd spray it with water (to get the acid flushed) and then using a damp micro cloth, go back over every bit of the surface (with a lot of pressure), turning the the cloth frequently, and rinsing as needed.

Rinse the pad (now - this pad is made of colored material like the color of maroon/rust so I don't know that I'd use this exact material on a light colored tile without testing it somehow to ensure you don't stain your project) and repeat this process until you're finished.

When you're finished, give everything a good rinse.

Finally - to protect your grout and neutralize the acid - take the baking soda and make an almost paste consistency with water and the baking soda. (I just mixed it up in a coffee mug 2/3 of the volume of the mug). Then I went back and used the toothbrush to apply the mix to all of the grout lines (I noticed that some of the grout was deveoping an almost 'lime scale' look to it as I worked the way around the surround in the removal phase - so I could tell the acid was impacting the grout and this was definitely a necessary step for me). I let it sit for about 5 minutes and then went back and rinsed it all off again - and I'm no longer seeing the "liming" of the grout from the acid.

Now keep in mind that my tile was textured - so the method I used (though aggressive I'm sure by some standards) didn't cause any surface scratching - but I'd be interested in reading peoples thoughts on using this method on a more polished finish? I would certainly test this on a spare piece of tile from your job to ensure the pad isn't too abbrasive for your finish - but I have to say - I'm really thrilled with the result! No haze - no scratches....

Last edited by SomebodyStopMe; 07-16-2009 at 08:32 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Unread 07-16-2009, 09:16 AM   #7
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just wanted to say thanks, I'm going to be tackling this very project later in the week....
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