Goo-Gone or other goop removers will clean the tiles. It's available in both
squeeze bottles and spray bottles. BUT: Although it sounds wrong to me, did
the handyman claim the stuff would somehow go away and lose its
If you think of it, ask your friend whether the handyman seems like the kind
of person whose entire car interior is slathered with Armor All, to the
point where it's next to impossible to get a grip on anything. :-)
Probably some of that unglazed Mexican stuff that looks like drain tile,
then, and he was trying to soak the surface with something that would
repel water. I'd ask at the store where the tile was purchased, as to
what the sealing routine is supposed to be. If they are clueless, I'd
start with non-clumping kitty litter to absorb the excess, and sweep it
in hard to see if it helps. Maybe do a test tile in a corner first.
I did a google search on 'clay tile sealing "mineral oil" '. Very
interesting. Mineral oil is apparently commonly used on clay (unglazed)
tile and various types of stone. I got lots of hits, but didn't read in
depth. If the handyman uses mineral oil, then he probably has a good
idea of how to resolve the stickiness. I would guess that putting on a
heavy coat of it, letting it soak in, then wiping vigorously with a
heavy rag might just do the trick. On the google search, there were
references to cleaners to be used on it. Not such a hare-brained trick
after all. One suggestion to try kittie litter is a bit scary - it
might get embedded in the tile and turn it gray. I would not try that
without advice of an expert. I'd try rubbing clean sand onto it before
I'd try kittie litter. Let us know :o) If it is Mexican tile (gray or
red without glaze) it is not as hard as most ceramic tile, so it needs
care not to chip or crack it.
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