Getting a bit of sealant on your tiles while sealing your grout is normal. If you made the mistake of overlooking some spots of sealant on the tiles and didn’t wipe the sealer away while it was still wet, it will dry on the tile and could cause discoloration depending on the type of tile material.
The best way to remove grout sealer from tile is to do it as you apply the sealer. It can easily be wiped away with a clean rag before it dries. You will need to use vinegar or a stripping product to remove the sealer after it has dried. Both will eat away at the sealer on the tiles and remove it.
Applying a chemical stripper to your tiles may seem like a daunting task. But in the rest of this article, I’ll outline the process of using one of these products to remove grout sealer from tiles once the sealer has dried. It’s very straightforward; anyone can do it if they practice proper safety precautions.
- 1 Step 1: Create a Diluted Vinegar Solution
- 2 Step 2: Clean the Tile With Warm Water
- 3 Step 3: Apply The Mixture To the Tile
- 4 Step 4: Scrub the Sealer From the Tile Using a Brush
- 5 Step 5: Wipe Away Extra Vinegar
- 6 Step 6: Clean The Floor
- 7 Step 7: Use a Sealing Stripping Product if Vinegar Doesn’t Work
- 8 Conclusion
Step 1: Create a Diluted Vinegar Solution
The first step to removing grout sealer from tile is to create a diluted vinegar solution. This is accomplished by mixing equal parts of water and vinegar. Undiluted vinegar can cause discoloration on tiles and affect the parts of the sealant that you don’t want to remove.
Step 2: Clean the Tile With Warm Water
Before applying the diluted vinegar mixture, you should clean the tile with warm water to prepare it. You can use a sponge or an old rag and simply wipe down the tile area with excess sealant on it. You don’t need to scrub, just wipe it down and get it wet.
Step 3: Apply The Mixture To the Tile
After preparing the tile by wetting it a bit, you can apply your diluted vinegar mixture to the tile. You can do this with a spray bottle or a sponge, or simply pour the mixture onto the tile. It is best to be precise when doing this, as you want the rest of the seal to stay intact.
Step 4: Scrub the Sealer From the Tile Using a Brush
Once your vinegar mixture is on the tile, you will need a brush with very soft bristles to scrub the sealer off the tile. A toothbrush is an excellent tool that can be used for this. Toothbrushes have soft bristles and are small enough to allow you to be precise when scrubbing.
Step 5: Wipe Away Extra Vinegar
Keep a towel or a rag nearby and wipe away any excess vinegar solution that leaks onto the grout. You don’t want to allow the vinegar to sit on your grout. It will break down the seal and can damage the grout itself.
Step 6: Clean The Floor
Once you are sure all sealers have been scrubbed from the tile and you are satisfied, you can clean the tile with a dry towel.
Vinegar can be very effective at removing grout sealer from tiles as long as the sealer has not fully dried and cured. If the sealer has dried completely, you must use a stronger chemical stripping agent.
Step 7: Use a Sealing Stripping Product if Vinegar Doesn’t Work
If using a vinegar solution doesn’t work, there are different stripping products for different types of grout sealers. Choosing the correct stripping product for your type of grout sealer is important. Grout sealers are either surface-level sealers or penetrating sealers.
Penetrating sealers are more common in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas that are likely to get wet. Penetrating sealers are used on grout exposed to more water to create a deep water-proof seal to protect the grout from any moisture that may penetrate it.
Surface-level sealers are more likely to be used on areas like wall tiles in kitchens or wall tiles outside a shower in a bathroom. These areas only require a surface-level seal because they don’t get exposed to as much moisture daily as areas like showers and bathroom floors.
● Removing a Surface-Level Sealer Using a Stripping Product
Surface-level sealers are inherently easier to remove than penetrating sealers. The process is much more straightforward. But there are a few rules to follow for both types of strippers.
- Always make sure that the room you are working in has good air circulation. You don’t want to breathe in these harsh chemicals as you use them, so set up a fan and open a window if the room has one.
- Utilize personal protective equipment. You should be wearing gloves when handling these chemicals. Goggles and a mask covering your nose and mouth are good precautions to take.
- Carefully apply the stripping product to the tile area you want to clean. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to a tee about dilution and how to apply the solution. You want to be precise when applying the stripper to the tile. The stripping agents can also strip the seal from your grout, leaving it exposed to moisture damage.
- Next, scrub the tile with a gentle brush.Only scrub tiles with a brush that has soft bristles. Using any type of abrasive tool to scrub the tiles can create deep scratches in the tiles and make them look even worse than they did when they had a sealer.
- Once you see that the sealer has disappeared from the tile after scrubbing, clean the tile with water, wipe it clean with a towel, and admire your handiwork.
● Removing a Penetrating Sealer Using a Stripping Product
The process of removing a penetrating sealer is pretty similar to the ones above. However, there are a few more steps you have to take.
- Penetrating sealers will require you to scrub significantly more to allow the stripping agent to penetrate the tile and get to all the sealer that has penetrated it.
- After you scrub, you need to let the stripper sit on the tile for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer to allow it to penetrate. You will know it is working if you can see bubbles forming.
- Once you have allowed it to penetrate for the allotted time, you can wipe away any excess with a clean and dry towel. Follow this with a slightly damp rag to wipe away anything that remains.
- Finally, clean the area with a dry towel and finish the process. The sealer should be completely eradicated from the tile.
Having grout sealer on your tiles can be very aesthetically displeasing. Even if no one else notices it, you notice it. Luckily, removing the sealer from the tile is fairly simple without damaging the grout or removing the tile.
The best practice is to diligently wipe away any sealer from tiles as you seal the grout. But if you miss a spot, you can clean it with vinegar before the sealer dries. If the sealer is dried, you will need to use chemical strippers to remove the sealer.