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How to Remove Grout and Cement Spots off Ceramic Tiles

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How to Remove Grout and Cement Spots off Ceramic Tiles


Have you got extra grout marks or tile adhesive spots on your recently renovated bathroom? If so try these tips for removing them. If it is a just a few spots and your floor tiles have a good hard surface that won't scratch easily, cleaning tiles like this should be easy.


Assemble cleaning tools. For the first steps, you only need a steel scourer pad and something to scrape with, such as a screwdriver. For harder stains, you will need to resort to a professional response using acid. See "Things You'll Need".

Try rubbing the tiles with a stainless steel scourer pad.
Scrape off. If you still have a few larger lumps try scraping with a blunt screwdriver to get the worst off and then the scourer.

Try advanced measures if the above steps don't do the job. If you have a lot of hard grout or tile adhesive on them, cleaning tiles like this calls for extreme measures. Tilers use diluted Hydrochloric acid as a last resort; it is also known as Muriatic acid. This acid eats at the cement base of the product you are trying to shift. It is important to read the warnings in detail before proceeding - cleaning tiles with acid must to be done in a responsible way:

Use a very small spot at a time and observe how it goes. This is important, as doing a small section at a time, you will be working safely and in control. Use a small bristle brush and dab a spot on at a time. When the bubbling stops wash it off with water, and try the spot with your scourer again and with a bit of luck it will come off easily.

Repeat the process as needed.

Wash clean and wash again, get rid of all traces of the acid.


The stainless steel scourer and brush don't rust, so you can use them wet without fear of leaving rust marks behind.
Muriatic acid can be purchased from builder's supply shops. Even stores with swimming pool supplies sometimes carry small containers of it.


Wear the normal safety gear that you would use when handling harsh chemicals. Rubber gloves and eye protection are a must.

Dilute the acid outside in the fresh air.

Check the dilution rate on the bottle or get advice from someone who knows, because you could have any strength of acid. It is sold usually at around 30% dilution and 70% dilution. Dilute a very small amount of the 30% stuff 3 to 1 for a small trial section. If used neat, it can melt the bristles of a brush within a few minutes.

Always pour the acid into the water; if done the other way around, the larger volume of acid reacts violently to the first few drops of water and splashes of it could go everywhere.
Open the doors, windows, extractor fan if you have got one, to give you ventilation. The fumes are dangerous. There is (or should be) a chemical reaction going on between the cement and the acid; you will see the surface of the grout spots bubbling of fizzing.

Wear protection, for eyes, breathing and rubber gloves and old clothes and boots.

Things You'll Need

Stainless steel scourer pad (kitchen type)
Screwdriver or other scraping tool
Hydrochloric acid (Muriatic acid)
Bristle brush (small, cheap variety)
Gloves (rubber)
Mask (to prevent breathing in fumes)
Eye protection
Washing items - bucker, rag and warm water