I HATE grout haze. It’s my current nemesis, although I’ve made huge progress towards eliminating it. Removing it requires lots and lots of scrubbing. With warm water and a green kitchen scrubbie. And once you think you’ve done as much scrubbing as you can handle, you have to do more scrubbing. And rinsing. Lots and lots of rinsing. On the tougher spots I used a mixture of white vinegar and water. Thanks to my boss Jim [as opposed to my hubby Jim] for suggesting that! When in doubt, white vinegar.
Grout haze is a film of water and grout that settles and dries on tile. It’s impossible to avoid, since a lot of grout gets smeared on the tiles during the grouting process:
And gets smeared even more when you run the grout sponge over everything to remove excess grout and smooth out the grout lines. Grout haze is particularly frustrating with dark tile like slate since it shows up more. I thought since I’d sealed the slate before grouting that haze wouldn’t be an issue. Wrong! Here’s some pics of the grout haze I dealt with yesterday after grouting the rest of the closet and a few tiles outside the closet:
The one lone tile was easy to clean:
But the haze covering the 6 big tiles at the closet entrance was a nightmare! Each time I scrubbed the haze with my green scrubbie and dropped it into the warm water it released a billowing cloud of grout:
Which at least made me feel like I was getting somewhere. But about every 3rd scrub I had to refresh the water. It took an hour to get the row in front of the closet clean, and another hour to get the row behind it clean:
It’s so nice having the whole closet grouted and cleaned!
I spent another hour going over ALL the tiles in the hall and removing any haze I could from them:
This afternoon I got another section grouted:
Right after grouting I washed as much haze as I could off the tiles with a kitchen sponge, being careful not to touch the wet grout. After the grout had set for an hour, I went back and scrubbed the remaining haze off with my green scrubbie and warm water.
I only have one small section to go! Woohoo!!! Then I can seal it and finally move onto the closet shelving.
Grout haze must be worse on slate because I didn’t have much of a problem with it on my ceramic tile.
I’m going to be tiling the laundry room next Spring with ceramic tile, so I’ll have something to compare it to then. But yeah, on slate it’s awful!
The tile looks beautiful — sophisticated. Who thought of grout anyway and why wasn’t it invented that it would just wipe off? Jo @ Let’s Face the Music
Thanks, Jo! I finished grouting the slate last night. It looks amazing. Now I just have to buy some grout sealer and I’m good to go! Agreed – grout shouldn’t be so hard to get off tiles!
What a back-breaking job, but the end product is so impressive.
I think you should take a well deserved break, and do something that’s just fun – like the stained glass! Love your spider web!
I will. I want to finish the front hall first. Finish grouting the floor, and then build a new closet shelf, and smaller shelves to line each side. We’re dying to put everything back into the closet that’s been all over the dining room since March. Our dining room looks like an episode of “Hoarders”. Not really, but for us it’s annoying and junky.