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How to Remove Grout Haze

Jennifer L. Betts
Handyman installing ceramic tiles

That film covering your new shower wall can really put a damper on your new bathroom tile excitement. Rather than letting it get you down, learn how to remove grout haze in a snap. With a little elbow grease or even a commercial cleaner for those stubborn epoxies, your tile will be haze free and gleaming.

Getting the Jump on Grout Haze

You just grouted your tile, and it looks perfect. That is, until you start to notice a strange whitish haze marring your pristine tiles as it dries. While it would seem like you could just wipe it away, stubborn grout haze can have you down on your hands and knees.

Supplies

To get ready for battle, you'll need:

  • Cheese cloth or terry cloth
  • Mild dish detergent
  • Commercial cleaner like The Tile Doctor Grout Haze Remover
  • Vinegar in a spray bottle
  • Cloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Mask
  • Flashlight
  • Nylon pad

Since there might still be little particles that you can breathe in or get on your hands, you'll want to use the gloves and a mask when removing the haze.

Give It a Scrub

It is best to start simple. Before you break out the big guns through commercial cleaners, you can try cheese cloth, terry cloth, or a nylon pad and water.

  1. With your mask and gloves in place, wet the cloth or pad.
  2. Wring it out really well. It needs to be slightly damp, not wet.
  3. Gently wipe the tiles with the cloth.
  4. Pay special attention to along the grout lines.
  5. Use a flashlight to shine a bit of extra light to make sure you got it all.

You'll want to make sure that you don't use too much water because this could harm your grout.

using a sponge to wipe of excess grout

Vindicate With Vinegar

If the cheese cloth isn't cutting it and you have porcelain or ceramic tile, you can try vinegar to add a little more power to your haze fitting cleaning method. For this method, you'll:

  1. Mix a 1 to 4 vinegar to water cocktail.
  2. Wet the nylon pad until it is damp.
  3. Wipe down the surface.
  4. Dip the pad in the vinegar mixture.
  5. Wring it out well.
  6. Wipe the haze down with the vinegar mixture.
  7. You can add to the vinegar concentration for particularly stubborn areas.
  8. If the haze remains, a commercial cleaner will be the way to go.

Try a Mild Detergent for Porous Tiles

Porous tiles should never be cleaned with an acidic cleaner. For these tiles, you'll want to try a mild dish soap and water. Grab your materials and:

  1. Mix a drop of dish soap into about 3 cups of water.
  2. Wet the nylon pad with water.
  3. Wipe the tiles down with the damp pad.
  4. Dip the pad in the detergent mixture.
  5. Wipe the tiles again. Pay special attention to haze that collects near the grout lines.
  6. Follow with water.
  7. Celebrate if it worked; if not, it's time for a commercial cleaner.

Commercial Grout Haze Removers

For stubborn grout haze, you're going to have to go with a commercial cleaner. These come in all different brands, but they are specially formulated to cut through grime and remove a cement-based grout haze, which can be more difficult to remove. For this cleaning technique, you'll:

  1. Dip your cheese or terry cloth in the cleaner.
  2. Scrub the tiles being careful of the new grout.
  3. Repeat until all the haze is gone.

Tips for Removing Grout Haze

Grout haze is an irritating problem, especially when you are trying to enjoy your new tile. To make sure that your removal is successful, remember to keep these tips in mind.

  • Start with the easiest method and move your way down.
  • Remember to keep acids like vinegar away from your porous titles. If you are unsure, opt for the mild detergent.
  • Let your grout dry for at least 24 hours before tackling haze.
  • Don't wait too long. The longer that you let the haze sit, the harder it will be to remove.
  • Shine a flashlight on the haze to make sure you got it all before calling it quits.
  • If in doubt about the method to use, ask your installer.

Tackling Grout Haze

Grout haze can be a downer on your new tile party. Rather than sit and sigh, grab a pad and get to work. When elbow grease or homemade grout cleaner isn't enough, you might need to invest in a commercial cleaner. Now that you've got the know-how, put it to use.

How to Remove Grout Haze