How to Remove Grout Haze from Porcelain Tile: A Practical Guide

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You've finally laid down your new tiles, and they're beautiful.

If only you could figure out how to remove grout haze from porcelain tiles.

Luckily, removing grout haze is not as difficult as you may think, and there are different ways to do it.

Thankfully, porcelain tile is resilient.

There are numerous ways to remove grout haze.

So try one or all of the steps below to start enjoying the gloss of your haze-free tiles.

What Is Grout Haze?

removing grout haze

Grout haze is a residue left after grouting tiles. If you don't clean it up right away, it leaves a foggy residue that sits on top of the tile, which can leave it looking lackluster. It may also collect dirt and footprints faster.

No matter how much you scrub, you can't get this haze off your tile. That's because it can't be removed by traditional cleaning methods. And, the longer it sits the more difficult it may be to remove.

Unfortunately, there are a few different ways to remove grout haze. The method you choose may depend on different factors like grout type, length of time since the tile was first laid and tile type.

Picking the wrong treatment for removing grout haze may damage the tile underneath. It can also discolor and damage the grout itself.

If you notice grout haze soon after your tile is installed, removing it is easy. Simply buff it out with a dry towel or clean it one final time. However, this method only works if you do it within 48 hours of the application of the grout.

Grout Removal for Porcelain Tile

removing grout

Porcelain tile is a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Why? It's very durable, and this high resiliency is thanks to its high density.

It's also hard to stain. Because of porcelain's low levels of absorbency, kitchen stains don't seep into the tiles. But despite porcelain's many benefits, grout haze can put a damper on enjoying your hardy porcelain tiles fully.

So, make sure to grab the necessary supplies and try these steps to remove grout haze from porcelain tile.

What You Will Need:

  • Scouring pad

  • Grout sponge

  • Terry cloths

  • White vinegar

  • Commercially available grout haze remover

  • Water

  • Bucket

  • Sponges

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Spray bottle

  • Mild detergent

  • Soft cloths

Now that you've gathered the necessary supplies, it's time to remove that grout haze.

Method One: Catch the Haze Before It Hardens

Use this method if you are removing haze while laying tile:

  1. After applying grout, wait 10 minutes.

  2. After the allotted time, use the grout sponge and dampen with warm water.

  3. Squeeze out excess water.

  4. Next, wipe the haze using short strokes, making sure you rinse the sponge frequently. This helps reduce spreading to other tiles.

Method Two: Natural Home Remedy

Grab your spray bottle. Mix water and white vinegar in equal portions. Use a 1:1 ratio, or 1 cup water to 1 cup white vinegar.

Next, spray the solution near the lines of your grout. Use the scouring pad to scrub the tiles and grout. The vinegar has a high acid content, which helps remove the haze.

When you have sufficiently scrubbed the haze, wipe it down with a terry cloth.

Method Three: Buffing the Haze Away

Don't want to use a liquid solution? You can also try buffing the tiles. This requires a lot of manual labor, but it may be all you need to remove your tile's grout haze.

First, grab your microfiber cloth. Using circular motions, polish the affected tiles. Doing this may help remove fine particles. Next, dampen a soft cloth and wipe down the tiles.

Mild cases of grout haze may only require the first 3 steps. But for stubborn grout haze, you may need to try the next step.

Method Four: Using Chemicals

If the haze hasn't dissipated using the previous steps, it's time to use a specialty grout haze remover.

The first thing to do is prepare the remover. Follow the instructions enclosed with your product. This is also a great time to make sure you have proper protective gear. At the minimum, you should use gloves. Also consider using protective eyewear for accidental splashes.

Once your product is prepared, apply it to your tiles. Use a sponge and apply it sparingly.

Let the solution sit for a few minutes. You want to give it time to work on the haze. Make sure you remove excess solution from your tiles.

When you're ready, use your scouring pad to scrub your tiles. Next, rinse the tiles. You can do this by using a damp sponge and wipe them clean. Additionally, remember to rinse your sponge frequently.

Final Cleaning

cleaning grout from tiles

Once you're removed the grout haze, it's time to clean your porcelain tiles. Clean them as you normally would. Use a bucket of water and add mild detergent.

Grab another sponge and wipe it over the treated tiles. By doing this, you are removing all traces of the cleaner and avoiding any potential damage to your tiles by letting the residue sit indefinitely.

Finally, rinse the tiles again using a clean sponge and water. A simple swipe should be sufficient. Finally, wipe dry with a terry cloth.

Other Tips

  • Don't use steel wool to scrub your tiles as it may scratch even the hardiest tile.

  • Some grout haze removers discolor cement and metals. Read the instructions carefully and take proper precautions.

  • You may have to repeat these steps, especially for stubborn haze.

  • If you notice light dusting near your treated tiles, vacuum it up quickly. If it hardens, you may have a haze problem again.

Final Thoughts

In an ideal world, you would never have to find out how to remove grout haze from porcelain tile, but even professional tilers miss this residue from time to time and removing it can be a hassle.

Additionally, grout haze may impede your enjoyment of your clean, glossy tile. It may also attract additional dirt. While it doesn't actually damage the tile underneath, it is not aesthetically pleasing.

Fortunately, with a little manual labor, you can scrub the grout haze away and get back to enjoying your beautiful, glossy tiles.

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