I installed ceramic tile on my basement floor. I installed a light
colored textured tile and a light colored sanded grout. I thought all
the grout was cleaned from the tile so I sealed it. After the sealant
dried there were patches all over the tile of dried grout. It was a
mess! I searched on the internet for a way to remove the grout and the
sealant. All I kept seeing was to use muratic acid. Then I saw a post
from someone saying to use a cup of sugar dissolved in a gallon of warm
water. As weird as it sounded, I tried it. Everything came off the
tile and my floor looks like it was just installed when actually the
floor stayed looking terrible for over a year until I used the sugar
and the water. I poured the solution on the floor and let it sit for
about an hour then, using a nylon scrub pad, I scrubbed the floor. I
just want to say Thank You! to whoever posted this alternative to the
Yup! The sugar, as usual, was a placebo. ;-) The surface of most
tile is nonporous so mortar doesn't stick very well. I've left
small globs of thiset on the surface (quite by accident) and just
flicked it off with a fingernail. A few times I also left specs of
grout and a few times didn't get all the haze off at first[*]. The
blue-green ScotchBrite pads are wonders at cleaning tile.
[*] don't do this with the epoxy grouts!
The idea behind acid is that it won't harm the glass glazed surface of tiles
but will eat away at the mortar or grout to remove it from the surface. It
will eat some of the grout between the tiles, but you shouldn't use much
acid and it must be diluted with water to ensure that it is not too strong
and does damage to other things and surfaces.
ALWAYS add acid to water NEVER the other way round. The way it was explained
to me is: when adding acid to water, the first drop of acid to hit the water
will be immediately diluted along with the rest of the pour; if you do it
the other way round, the first drop of water that hits the concentrated acid
will immediately explode in steam, along with some of the rest of the pour
and this can hit your eyes, face, skin and other items nearby doing some
ceramics, is colored with metals. Don't know how muriatic would handle
that, but my only experience with muriatic and tile was hearing somebody
else's sad story. Perhaps unglazed tile. Our tile and grout was
installed by contractor, cleaned well. He advised, and we did, washing
after few days with vinegar/water. After grout cured a while. Even if
muriatic doesn't harm the tile, using it indoors can harm a lot of other
skin. Just take off the top layer of skin, and the dirt goes with it.
Actually, water is a very good cleaner. Soap or detergent helps it
along. If I can soak oil out of concrete with kitty litter (cleaning
it), I don't need to damage the surface with pressure washer or acid.
Tried muriatic on stained concrete and the oil actually protected the
concrete. Not surprising. And the fumes are indredible.
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