Cleaning dried tile grout

Topic: 
Bathrooms
Topic: 
Kitchens
Question: 

Okay, we've learned to read the directions more carefully. But we need to know how to remove all the excess grout that we didn't wipe off after an hour. We've been chipping at it with a razor blade. Is there a better way?

Answer: 

I am sorry to hear about your grout cleanup problem, and wish that I had a simple answer, but here are some ways of getting to the answers you are looking for:

(1) Identify the 'grout' and tile material you used. Some grout is a cement material which is mixed with water. Other grouts are mixed with a 'latex milk'. Some grouts are more like an epoxy.

(2) Is it possible that some of the material which needs to be cleaned is not grout, but rather the 'thin-set' or adhesive used to install the tile? If so, you will need to identify this material too.

(3) Once you have identified the material which needs to be removed, and the tile on which it is currently located, you should get in contact with the supplier and/or the manufacturer(s) of the material. These folks are usually the best sources of information regarding problems like yours.

By the way, most manufacturers have '800' numbers and/or web pages - to find an '800' number call '1-800-555-1212'.

(4) Some of the possible cleanup methods may include an acid wash - usually hydrochloric acid. Be very careful with this, and any other chemical washes. You will have to protect yourself and some of the other surfaces around the tile e.g. tubs, faucets, floors etc. You should also find out what needs to be done to neutralize the chemicals you use.

(5) Some of the cleanup material may discolor the tile and or grout, and you may have to apply the material to the entire tiled area in order to come up with a uniform color.

Good Luck, George