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Thread: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

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    rogerbrks's Avatar
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    Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    What is the best way to clean the tile on the retaining wall without getting chemicals in the pool?
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    Help anyone?
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    You want tile soap/cleaner and a stiff brush or scrub pad. Look for something designed for pool use, there are many brands out there.
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    What are you trying to remove? Scum? Calcium?
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    I guess it's scum. It's white and makes the tiles look dull.
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    Got a pic?
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    It may be efllorescence. This is the white stuff you see on brick retaining walls and is caused by the salts leeching out of the mortar. Does it disappear during a rain and then slowly come back as everything dries out? If so, that's likely what it is. The salts re-absorb during the rain, then as the water evaporates it leaves them back on the surface. I keep meaning to do the same cleaning on a brick bench I have close to my pool.
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    If it proves to be very difficult to remove, then it is most likely calcium/mineral buildup from
    your waterfalls.

    Theoretically acid removes calcium. However, practically a lot of work is still involved a d it can be dangerous.

    What worked BEST for my pool when we bought the house was to pay $800 for 4 hours of work to a guy with a special sandblasting rig to meticulously blast every grout/morter line and surface blast some of the tile facing. Worked great but I may have overpaid. No chemicals just a lot of sand he had to vacuum out of the pool when he finishe.

    Good luck.
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    Some small amount of white cloudiness on tile work is very common and does not normally require anything dramatic. Tile soap will normally take care of it. If it doesn't, there are other things that can be looked into, but I wouldn't worry about that unless you have a problem with the tile soap.
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    Thanks Jasonlion. I used Commercial ZEP Tile & Terrazzo cleaner today. I went over it with a towel soaked in a gallon of the ZEP and 2 gallons of hot water. Rinsed it and went over it again with a broom and rinsed it again. The grout looks extremely clean but the the tile themselves are still dull. I'm not sure how it will effect the chemistry of the water. Som of it was rinsed into the pool.
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    I think that over time, the sun dulls the glazing on the tile, like the finish on a car.
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    If the tile cleaner doesn't work, the next thing to try is a dilute muriatic acid mixture. Try ten cups of water and then add one cup of muriatic acid. That will take off any calcium scale, which can look like a mild cloudiness when it is very lightly scaled.
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    Will I need to wear a pair of those Space gloves in order to use the mixture?
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    Re: Bring shine back to tile on retaining wall

    At ten to one, the acid won't be especially dangerous to handle. Wearing standard kitchen gloves is fine, but even if you do get some on your hands it won't do very much, it usually stings just a little. Clothing is more at risk, even dilute acid can damage clothing.
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