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Thread: Grout Haze Removal

  1. #1
    Member crustfan's Avatar
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    Grout Haze Removal

    What's the best way to remove the haze from the tile after a grout job? And is it necessary to apply a sealer to the grout?

    My approach to the haze is to first use some kind of acid, let it sit for a minute, then scrub with a nylon dish pad or deck brush, then neutralize with a baking soda solution.

    I've read about using white vinegar or muriatic acid. I'm not sure of the concentrations though and haven't worked with muriatic acid before (gloves and eye protection seem advised, even a respirator?). I would guess a 1:1 on the vinegar and read a post on here to use a 4:1 water to muriatic. They also sell a product at the hardware store.

    What are the risks to damaging the tile and/or grout?
    Jerry
    30' x 15' ~ 15,000 gallon pool & spa, Diamond Brite, Hayward Aqua Logic PS-4, Turbo Cell T-Cell 15 SWG, EcoStar SP3400VSP pump , Star Clear Plus C17502 filter, Rheem P-M206A-EP-C heater, Caretaker 99 5-port 1.5 inch valve

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    Re: Grout Haze Removal

    If it's just typical grout haze it should wipe right off with a damp rag. If it's heavier than that too much was left on when grouting. I would be hesitant to use muratic acid.

    Sealer is recommended.
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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    Re: Grout Haze Removal

    Quote Originally Posted by ouachita
    If it's just typical grout haze it should wipe right off with a damp rag. If it's heavier than that too much was left on when grouting. I would be hesitant to use muratic acid.

    Sealer is recommended.
    If you need a little more "power" to get the haze off than a rag provides, instead of a white scrub sponge, cheesecloth is what most people use - at least on bathroom and floor tile.

    Really, if you have to use acid, you have way to much grout left on the tile, much more than a haze.

    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working
    Zodiac Wahoo

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    Member crustfan's Avatar
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    Re: Grout Haze Removal

    Thanks for the advice. New plan is to use a Scotch-Brite Dobie and water. Then move to using some white vinegar.

    I just had all the grout redone. The guy used Polyblend http://www.custombuildingproducts.co...ded-grout.aspx

    If cement based grout is porous then why do they use it for pools? I've read about epoxy grout being waterproof. Is sealant recommended (eg for cosmetics, prevent staining) or necessary (eg make it waterproof)?
    Jerry
    30' x 15' ~ 15,000 gallon pool & spa, Diamond Brite, Hayward Aqua Logic PS-4, Turbo Cell T-Cell 15 SWG, EcoStar SP3400VSP pump , Star Clear Plus C17502 filter, Rheem P-M206A-EP-C heater, Caretaker 99 5-port 1.5 inch valve

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    Re: Grout Haze Removal

    Quote Originally Posted by crustfan
    Thanks for the advice. New plan is to use a Scotch-Brite Dobie and water. Then move to using some white vinegar.

    I just had all the grout redone. The guy used Polyblend http://www.custombuildingproducts.co...ded-grout.aspx

    If cement based grout is porous then why do they use it for pools? I've read about epoxy grout being waterproof. Is sealant recommended (eg for cosmetics, prevent staining) or necessary (eg make it waterproof)?
    Grout is not waterproof. Not the grout in your pool nor the grout in your shower. (Epoxy grout being a different beast). Tile is not waterproof either, and neither is the cement board behind you bathroom tile (thats why you hang a barrier or membrane), or the gunite or shotcrete in your pool. Water will migrate through all of these medium (albeit slowly in a lot of them)

    How big are the grout lines in your pool? I would think they are too small to use sanded, and an unsanded would have been better - but then you may have larger grout lines than I am imagining.

    Sealant does not make grout waterproof, it heps with staining and subsiquent cleaning. It will make it less porus, but will not make it waterproof.

    Grout and tile are a decorative surface, they are not meant to waterproof any thing. They are water resistant - water does not effect them, but they will let water pass. The underlying walls of your pool are enough to keep any water migratation to a minimum.

    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working
    Zodiac Wahoo

  6. #6
    Member crustfan's Avatar
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    Re: Grout Haze Removal

    I cleaned the grout haze off today with full strength white vinegar. Used a non-abrasive dish pad. Any stubborn spots I used a pumice stone. Washed everything off with clean water.

    I called Polyblend and they don't recommend sealer. Said it's a waste of time since it wears off and needs to be done every year. And yes, grout is water resistant but not waterproof. They also don't recommend the epoxy grout for pools, something to do with the heat and it breaking down.

    I read on the net that the sanded grout is for lines greater than 1/8". Mine are approximately that size, maybe a little bigger in some places. What's the difference between sanded/unsanded? Cosmetics or function?
    Jerry
    30' x 15' ~ 15,000 gallon pool & spa, Diamond Brite, Hayward Aqua Logic PS-4, Turbo Cell T-Cell 15 SWG, EcoStar SP3400VSP pump , Star Clear Plus C17502 filter, Rheem P-M206A-EP-C heater, Caretaker 99 5-port 1.5 inch valve

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    Re: Grout Haze Removal

    sanded has a concrete like texture- unsanded is smooth. cosmetic for the most part.

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    Re: Grout Haze Removal

    Quote Originally Posted by 98landry
    sanded has a concrete like texture- unsanded is smooth. cosmetic for the most part.

    Sanded is just unsanded with sand added.

    Unsanded will not bridge large gaps easily. Concrete shrinks when it dries (well cures actualy) - unsanded grout in a large grout joint will shrink enough that in the future, cracking of the grout can occur. 28 days is the rule of thumb for grout to fully cure. If your grout does not crack within 28 day you can be pretty sure you are safe (unless your tile starts moving afterwards, and then that is a whole 'nother host of problems). Sand helps to mitigate this shrinking.

    You *can* put sanded grout in smaller grout lines, it's just a pain in the rear to shove all those grains of sand in there.


    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working
    Zodiac Wahoo

  9. #9
    Member crustfan's Avatar
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    Re: Grout Haze Removal

    Thanks for the info. So a grout job lasts about how long? I think the guy said 10 yrs.
    Jerry
    30' x 15' ~ 15,000 gallon pool & spa, Diamond Brite, Hayward Aqua Logic PS-4, Turbo Cell T-Cell 15 SWG, EcoStar SP3400VSP pump , Star Clear Plus C17502 filter, Rheem P-M206A-EP-C heater, Caretaker 99 5-port 1.5 inch valve

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    Re: Grout Haze Removal

    Quote Originally Posted by crustfan
    Thanks for the info. So a grout job lasts about how long? I think the guy said 10 yrs.

    In a pool - I have no idea. I suppose water chemistry plays a major role in it.

    Indoors they can last a lot longer than 10 years, provided there is no major movement of the tile / substrate.


    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
    Hard plumbed Hayward Perflex EC-40 DE filter w/ 1 HP pump
    Filered 4 hours per day (on a timer)
    Pentair Aqualuminator - now working
    Zodiac Wahoo

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