New tile cleanup


My renovator put together my beautiful new shower, and now that he's gone, and I've had an opportunity to use the shower for a couple weeks, it seems that the grout was not fully washed off my porcelain tiles.
I have a couple questions.
1) What is the best way to remove the film of grout from the surface of tiles? It seems to have hardened and the true colour of the tiles are not coming out as they look dull due to the grout on the surface of the tiles? If I need to scrub it? what should I use?
2) I do have a large shower, (4x8), and I would like to seal it once I've cleaned it up a little. What would be best for a shower? Does it make a difference if I seal it now or say a month of shower use later? Does it make a difference if the surface grout is not cleaned up before I seal it?
Thanks for your help Bill
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On 15 Dec 2006 21:56:43 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com wrote:

weeks,
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You can use a masonry cleaner (acid wash) to clean it up. SureKleen is one product that will work well.
-Lee
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Look on the shelf at any big tile aisle, it's either sulfamic or phosphoric acid. Many companies market products just for that purpose
snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com says...

If it's only the grout film, I've had good luck scrubbing it down with a blue/green ScotchBrite pad and a lot of water. It's some work but won't affect the grout. It's not stuck to the tile (nothing does). Since you have porcelain tiles, nothing ever will! ;-)

Likely not. I'd do it before the shower is used (at least three days after it's grouted).

Yes. Clean it up first. You don't want to seal in any crap.
I really think you're over-estimating your grout haze problem. I've screwed up by not washing it down enough and had no problem cleaning the haze afterwards. It's easier on day one, bit not all that hard later.
--
Keith

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snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com wrote:

Use straight vinegar and a non-scratching scotch pad. I'll bet that will work.
You can buy "Grout haze" type removers if you look for them, if the vinegar doesn't get it all off.
Finally as a last resort you can buy sulfamic acid- and just use the minimum strength you need. A very diluted acid wash will get grout haze (actually the polymer in the grout) off.
Never get talked into using the cheaper Muratic acid.
When using any acid, have ventilation and eye protection, and rubber gloves if you have sensitive skin.
thetiler
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions, I'll start with water and work my way to some stronger items if it doesn't work.
Just to save myself some elbow grease (again big shower with a mosaic floor), does it make sense to put a scrub pad on the bottom of my cordless sander?
I'll let you know how things work out.
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snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com says...

NO! If it comes up it'll come up with little elbow grease. Any power tool is just going to get you into trouble.

Please do. You've waited long enough to correct the problem, it will be interesting to learn how bad it's gotten (this stuff hardens over time).
--

Keith



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snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com wrote:

The type of solution is your answer- more than how hard you scrub. You've gotten a lot of good advice here, now just try it. The broad strokes you can make by hand will cover more ground, much faster than that cordless sander w/pad. If it isn't working, you need to adjust the cleaner you use. Now take my advice from someone who's cleaned a gazillion square feet of tile and grout, and start with vinegar and move on to "grout haze remover", then sulfamic acid if needed. Generall grout film is difficult to remove and gets harder with time. That is why is should be completely removed on day one, before the grout dries. Accept that your job didn't get cleaned off properly and you have a problem, but be glad it's fixable. Most tile job screw ups are permanent. A couple of hours of cleaning and rinsing on your part will make your tile job as good as new.
thetiler
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