Removing grout haze

Grout haze is a thin layer of joint mortar that can remain after grouting wall or floor tiles. It forms a haze over the tiles and veils the beautiful glossy appearance.

The first advice: don’t wait too long

The longer you wait to clean a new tile floor or wall, the harder it is to remove grout haze .

Materials

• Water, vinegar or a special grout haze remover

Tools

• Scourer, brush or window scraper

• Work gloves and safety glasses

Different ways to remove grout haze

You can use different methods depending on the type of tiles, the grout and the stubbornness of the contamination.

hand in glove brushes tile floor

The first thing to try is to clean the tiles with a scouring pad and lukewarm water. If this does not work completely, use a mixture of 50% water and 50% vinegar. The acid dissolves the lime residues that make up a grout haze. Special grout haze removers, which you can buy in the tile shop or hardware store, work on the same principle. These products contain a strong concentration of acid and you must dilute them with water. How much you dilute them depends on the tenacity of the problem. It is usually recommended to use 1 part per 10 to 20 parts of water. Apply grout haze remover with a brush. And it is wise to protect yourself with gloves and safety glasses.

If you have left the grout haze too long, it may be necessary to scratch the tiles with a window scraper. Carefully scratch away the residue bit by bit so as not to damage the tiles.

black and white checkered marble floor

Important: Do not use vinegar or a grout haze remover that contains acid on natural stone. Marble, travertine, granite, blue stone and other natural floor materials that contain lime or are acid-sensitive become ugly and dull. You need a special alkaline cleaner for these materials.

How do you prevent grout haze?

Prevention is still better than cure. You can do this to minimize the inconvenience of grout haze:

• Immediately after the grout has dried, wipe the tiles with a wet sponge. To know when the right moment has arrived, brush your finger over the joints. If nothing sticks to your finger, the grout has dried sufficiently.

• Do not wipe too hard to prevent the grout from pulling out of the joints.

• Impregnating the tiles before joining can in some cases help against grout haze. Polished ceramic tiles in particular have pores in which the grout can adhere.

Tip: If you have underfloor heating, switch it off before you remove the grout haze.

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