cleaning "deposit" off of tile

rhythm

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2008
116
Lake Forest, CA
#1
Hello,

We have a section of waterline tile that has some kind of mineral deposit that has leached out of the natural stone above it and wont scrub off easily with just a stiff brush and water. I was thinking I'd work on it with a muriatic acid and water mixture, but I thought I'd post here first and see what kind of feedback I get. I certainly don't want to mess up the tile. I've attached a picture for reference. If I need to post more information about the tile itself, please let me know and I'll try to track down some details about the tile.

Thanks,
Greg
 

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duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
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Sebring, Florida
#2
Hi, Greg,

That looks like efflorescence, a "leaching" of minerals most likely from the grout rather than the stone itself....although it could perhaps be the stone as well.....just not as likely.

In any event muriatic is the cure and you wont hurt the tile. Usually, a 4-1 dilution is a good starting point for the muriatic.

You probably know this already but don't leave the muriatic on the tile grout...rinse it off with pool water.
 

rhythm

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2008
116
Lake Forest, CA
#4
I'm resurrecting this old thread to make use of the picture, since I still have the same issue. It appears that this will be an ongoing thing for me in this one area of the tile under the natural stone. I've used diluted acid several times to get the stuff off, but I'm a little hesitant to use acid too many times in the same area. No matter how careful I am, I'm going to get some acid on some of the tile grout each time, and I'm afraid that after enough 'cleanings' I might erode some of the tile grout away. For an area like this which will require repeated work, is there something else that I can use to get rid of the build-up, which will be totally safe for the tile grout? Or am I going to be OK as long as I get the acid off of the tile grout pretty quickly each time?

Thanks,
Greg
 

duraleigh

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#5
Hi, Greg,

Since the deposits are coming from beneath the surface, I can think of no way to stop it completely. You could try sealant of some kind (I don't know what kind) where it is leaching through but I am very dubious that would have much affect other than temporary.

Likewise, I suppose you could try some sealant on all the grout that would come in contact with muriatic but, again, my bet is the muriatic will dissolve the sealant in a short time.......however, I don't know that for sure

To protect the grout as much as possible, I would clean off the deposits before they build too much so you can do so quickly and perhaps with less concentration. Then, as we discussed. rinse the muriatic from the grout as soon as your work is done.



What ratio of muriatic/water are you using?
 

rhythm

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2008
116
Lake Forest, CA
#6
Dave,

I start with a 4:1 ratio of water to acid, but typically I have to strengthen it to a 2:1 ratio to get the more stubborn spots (unless I want to be working on it for a really long time).

I already assumed I would not be able to stop the deposits from happening. In fact, that was my reason for asking if something other than acid would work, because I know I'll be doing this a few times a year 'forever'.

I guess I'll just make sure I keep the concentration as low as I can get away with, and I'll always try to make sure that the acid does not stay on the tile grout very long before rinsing.

Thanks again,
Greg