How To Remove Grout Haze. What professionals say

Grout haze is a white residue that covers your tiles after you have installed them. It can make your tiling look messy instead of beautiful and appealing like you expected. You, therefore, need to clean it up properly to get perfect-looking tiles.

You can remove grout haze from tiles by using the hard side of the tiling sponge to scrub the surface area, before wiping them with a damp terry towel. However, if that does not work, use either vinegar or a commercial grout haze remover to get rid of it.

In the rest of this article, you will learn how to remove the grout haze using different methods in more detail. Also, you will find out how long you should wait before getting rid of the foggy covering to avoid messing up the grout work. Finally, you will discover what products to use to suit the various tile types. 

Acquire All the Required Materials and Tools

You can buy the items you do not have from tile stores, home improvement stores, hardware stores, or online. However, just because you have all these tools and materials at hand, it may not be necessary for you to use all of them. How you use these materials will depend on the severity of the haze, the type of grout used and the tiles installed.

Here’s a list of tools and materials that you’ll need to do the job:

● Materials needed to remove Grout Haze

  • Water
  • Mild detergent/Non-acidic cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Commercial grout haze remover
  • Elbow grease
  • Rubber glove
  • Mask
  • Tiling sponge
  • Cheesecloth
  • Terry towel

● Tools needed to remove Grout Haze

  • White nylon scrub pad
  • Rubber grout float
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Clean bucket
  • Spray bottle
  • Handheld sprayer

Allow the Grout To Set

It would be best if you let the grout dry for about 24 hours or more before embarking on removing the grout haze to avoid damaging the grouting work. If you start cleaning the hazing off the tiles prior to the grout curing, you risk getting it dragged off. To determine the exact period that you need to wait, check the instructions on the grout packaging or call the manufacturer.  

Still, avoid taking more than ten days before you decide to remove the haze because it can become more challenging to get rid of. 

That said, when it comes to stone tiles, you need to clean them immediately after the grout dries. Waiting to do it a day after makes removing the discoloration difficult.

Method 1: Use a Tiling Sponge and Terry Towel

Here is how to remove the grout haze:

  • Step 1. Ready water and a sponge: Put water in a clean bucket and carry it along with the tiling sponge and terry towel to the hazed area. 
  • Step 2. Scrub the tiles: Use the hard part of the tiling sponge to scrub the cloudy film off the tiles.
  • Step 3. Mop the tiles: Mop the haze off the tiles with a damp terry towel.
  • Step 4. Clean the tiles: Wring out most of the water from the towel to prevent too much moisture from marring the grouting work as you clean the tiles. 

With the above done, you will now have bright and beautiful tiles.

However, if using mere water fails, you should move on to the next step.

Method 2: Try Using a Mixture of a Mild Detergent With Water

You can use this method on all tile surfaces because the mixture won’t damage them. 

  • Step 1. Scrub the tiles: Wear your rubber gloves and use the blend of soap and water to scrub the tiles with a white nylon pad. It’s best to use a white scrubber because you risk staining the grout if you use a colored one, especially the green one.
  • Step 2. Dry the tiles: Use a mop to dry the soapy tiles, and in the process, remove the haze. 
  • Step 3. Remove the detergent: To remove the detergent from the tiles, use pure water to clean the floor or walls. For the walls, you can use a handheld sprayer to wash them easily.

Method 3: Clean With Vinegar When Using Detergent Fails

Use vinegar on ceramic and porcelain tiles because they can withstand the acid, unlike stone tiles. 

  • Step 1. Make the mixture: Mix one part vinegar with four parts water in a bucket or spray bottle, though you can add more vinegar if the solution is weak.  
  • Step 2. Scrub the tiles: Soak a nylon pad with the mixture and use it to scrub off the hazing while wearing gloves to protect your hands. 
  • Step 3. Remove the vinegar: Mop the surface with clean water to remove the vinegar, leaving your tiles looking shiny and attractive. 

If this approach fails to eliminate the haze completely, you should move on to the next course of action.

Method 4: Clear Up the Grout Haze With a Commercial Remover

When using a commercial grout haze remover, you must choose one specifically designed for the tiles installed in your home. You may find the guidelines on the container, but if they are not available, call the manufacturer to find out the right cleaner for your tiling.

With this cleaning liquid, you will need to wear gloves and a mask. This will help prevent the fumes produced by the chemicals from entering your body and affecting the organs.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Step 1. Create the mixture: Mix the remover with water in a big spray bottle while following the company’s instructions. 
  • Step 2. Spray the mixture: Spray the mixture over the affected surface area and let it sit for a while to lift the hazing. 
  • Step 3. Remove the mixture: Mop the remover off the tiles using clean water until the floor looks clear. 

How To Minimize the Appearance of Grout Haze on Your Tiles?

To ensure you have near-perfect tiles after installation and avoid using tiring methods to remove the haze, here are some of the things you should do:

  • Use a rubber float to remove as much grout from the tiles as possible after you have finished fitting them. The float can clear the grout without dragging out the one fitted in the edges to hold the tiles in place.
  • Always wipe the tiles with a damp towel immediately after noticing that the grout has dried. You can determine this by running a dry finger over the grout. If it comes off clean without the substance sticking to it, then it’s dry.
  • Apply grout release to your tiles before grouting. This helps to seal the tile surface and protects it from grout haze. Besides, if the tiles get hazing, this solution makes it easier for you to clean it off. 

Final Thoughts

You can remove grout haze easily with a wet cheesecloth or terry towel if it’s a minor covering. However, for tougher hazing, you should opt for more aggressive methods, such as using vinegar or haze remover.

The latter approach never fails. However, it’s always better to use it as a last resort because the remover contains chemicals that can be harmful to you or your tiles.

Similar Posts

Need help?

Do you need help with a tiling problem? Maybe Evan, our tiling expert, can help. He’s a seasoned tiler and has helped save many small and bigger projects.

Click here to see how you can contact him.