Q:

How do you remove dry grout from a tile surface?

A:

Remove dried grout from ceramic tile using a hardwood implement, water and a plastic scrubbing pad. Once grout cures, it becomes much more difficult to remove, but most grouts are removable with light abrasion, using water to provide lubrication. The lubrication helps to protect the finish of the tile.

A thin piece of oak or other hardwood with a square-cut end is the preferred tool for the process. The process begins with wetting the grout with clean water. The surfaces should remain wet during the entire process. After allowing the tile to soak a few minutes, use the oak tool to press against the dried-on grout.

After removing the bulk of the material, there is often a haze left on the face of the tile. Scrub this haze away using a plastic scouring pad and water. Once the scrubbing loosens the grout from the surface, use absorbent towels to clean and dry the surface. The process often requires alternating the scrubbing and drying process several times to remove all the material.

When removing dried grout from tile, it is essential that owners avoid the temptation to use metal tools or steel wool. While such objects quickly remove the grout, they leave scratches in the surface of the tile, and the only way to repair these scratches is to replace the tile.


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