Grout is an essential material when applying all kinds of tile. It’s a mix of cement, sand, and water used to fill in the gaps between the tiles to strengthen their bond and protect the edges from damage.
But if the grout is left on the tile for too long, it will seal itself to the surface as well as the gaps, making the job look messy and unprofessional.
This guide will teach you the easiest way to remove dried grout and keep your tiles clean.
How To Get Dried Grout Off Tiles (Simple Method)
If you’ve put money into tiling your bathroom, you want it to look as good as possible. The steps below will teach you how to get rid of dried grout on your tiles, even black grout.
What You’ll Need
- Bucket of warm water
- Sponge or cleaning cloth
- Steel wool
- Damp cleaning cloth
- Dry cleaning cloth
1. Wet The Dried Grout
Using a sponge or cleaning cloth, wet the dried grout with warm water until saturated. The water acts as a lubricant to prevent scratches on your tile when scrubbing.
2. Scrub The Dried Grout With Steel Wool
Scrub over the damp grout until it begins to loosen and scrape away from your tiles. Begin with gentle pressure and increase as needed.
This step can require a lot of elbow grease, so be ready to keep at it for a while. Be sure to keep the grout and tile wet as you work to prevent unnecessary scratches.
3. Wipe And Dry Tiles
Once all the dried grout has been removed, wipe your tiles with a damp cleaning cloth. This will remove any left-over dust and residue from the cleaning process. Finally, dry and polish your tiles with a dry cleaning cloth.
How To Get Dried Grout Off Tiles (Alternative Methods)
If the simple method doesn’t work, you can try these alternative methods to remove that stubborn grout. The basic nature of the simple method is to wet, scrub, then dry.
The following methods all hold to that same principle; they simply change out the wetting solution or scrubbing tools.
What You’ll Need:
- Commercial tile cleaner
- Face mask
Sugar Water Method
If the grout doesn’t come off your tiles with just water, you can add sugar as a mild dissolvent. Add 1 part sugar to 10 parts water.
You can also use a mild cleaning solution on your tiles after you’re done scrubbing to better remove any sugary residue left behind.
Vinegar is an acidic material, and while this makes it a stronger dissolvent, it also means that it can be caustic to your tiles.
You should always test acidic materials on a small section of your tiles before fully applying. Do not use vinegar on stone or other porous tiles.
If the vinegar damages your tiles, they are also likely too delicate for any other acidic materials, and you’ll have to stick with water and sugar.
Dilute your warm water with vinegar in a 1:1 ratio and follow the rest of the simple method as outlined. When cleaning grout off tile with vinegar, wear gloves and keep your work area well-ventilated or wear a mask.
Tile Cleaner Method
There are commercial products available that can help remove dried grout from your tiles. Make sure to read the product label for any warnings and indications of whether it’s safe for your type of tiles.
As with the vinegar method, test any cleaning products on a small section of your tiles before use and wear gloves and a mask.
Alternative Scrubbing Tools And Professional Cleaning
A solid piece of hardwood can actually help you remove dried grout. Once the grout is damp, you can scrape and chisel away at it with the wood without worrying about damaging your tiles.
A nylon scrubbing pad or sponge is another alternative to steel wool. If you find the steel wool to be too harsh for your tiles, you can use this softer – but still abrasive – tool to scrub away the stuck-on grout.
What To Avoid When Removing Dried Grout
It seems natural to want to use a metal scraper tool, but this is the number-one worst way to remove grout from your tiles. Scrapers and razor blades can chip, crack, or permanently scratch your tiles.
How do you get dried grout off porcelain tiles? Stone tiles?
Even if you have a complicated tile mosaic or textured tile with intricate details, these methods are effective ways to get rid of dried grout.
However, you should consider the material of the tile you have before trying anything more than just water and sugar.
Porcelain tile and ceramic tile are two common types, and any of the above methods will work to remove dried grout (always test on a small area first, however).
Stone or any kind of porous tile can handle sugar and water, but you should not use vinegar on them. If using a commercial cleaning product, be sure to choose one formulated for stone tiles.
How To Get Grout Haze Off Tiles
Grout haze is a thin residue of dust that tile installation leaves behind. It often doesn’t appear until a few days after the installation is complete, when everything is completely dry.
Grout haze affects the appearance of your tiles, making them appear cloudy and dull.
You need to wait until your grout has completely dried before attempting to remove any haze, but you should not wait more than ten days.
The longer you wait after the initial drying period, the harder the grout haze is to remove.
If you used epoxy-based grout on your tiles, you should use a commercial grout haze remover specifically designed for this type of grout.
If your grout is not epoxy-based, you can use the same cleaning solutions for removing dried grout outlined in this guide.
Instead of scraping with a tool like steel wool, simply wipe down your tiles with your chosen solution and then buff dry.
Cleaning up excess grout from your tiles before it’s completely dry is obviously the most efficient way to keep your tiling projects neat and polished.
But even if some excess grout escapes your notice, don’t worry – this guide provides effective methods for removing all kinds of dried-on grout from where you don’t want it, including the grout haze that comes with even the most professional tiling jobs.
Using this guide, your tiles will be mess-free and gleaming, even after the grout has dried.