Remove grout from ceramic tile


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 acid.
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Actually, the best item you used was the nylon scrub pad. I find these are great for safely cleaning grout film off new tiles as well as soap scum and other films that coat tiles.

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In article <45229175$0$81766

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!
--
Keith

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michelle wrote:

about how to repair three rooms of newly installed tile she and her husband had just ruined with muriatic acid. Muriatic eats concrete and metal; it is not a "cleaner".
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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 serious damage.

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EXT wrote:

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 stuff.
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In article <4522b600$0$81800
<snip>

<snip>
"There he lies, cold and placid, because he added water to the acid."
--
Keith

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Norminn writes:

HCl is a wonderfully sharp tool for masonry work. Like all powerful tools, it has to be applied correctly and skillfully.
By your logic, water is not a "cleaner".
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

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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