How to Remove Grout Haze from Tile with Vinegar

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how to remove grout haze from tile

There’s nothing like installing tile to notice a haze covering it a couple of days afterward.

Of course, that haze can’t be soap scum because, by this point, you’ve barely had a chance to break in the bathroom. Instead, the haze is the result of left-behind grout after tile installation.

Luckily, this is a problem you can fix. Here’s how to remove grout haze from tile with vinegar.

Can You Remove Grout Haze from Tile Vinegar?

Yes, you can remove grout haze fromtile with vinegar but only on porcelain and ceramic tiles. The acidity in vinegar is too high to be used on natural stone like slate or marble. To remove the haze it will need to be dry but fresh (less than ten days old.) And finally, if your grout is epoxy-based, vinegar likely won’t work, and you’ll need a more potent product.

Step by Step Instructions on Removing Grout Haze from Tile

step by step instructions removing grout haze

If you tiled recently and have a grout haze that appeared a couple days later, you can get it off with vinegar. For this to work, the grout needs to be completely dry but less than ten days old. Anything over ten days old will be too hardened and will require a stronger cleaner.

Also, this is only appropriate for ceramic and porcelain tile. Do not try this on natural stone.

Here’s how to remove grout haze with vinegar:

  • Mix 2 cups of white distilled vinegar to 8 cups of water
  • Dip a soft cloth in the mixture and begin wiping away the haze
  • Rinse the tile by wiping it in a cloth dipped in water only
  • Dry with a fresh towel

If this does not remove the grout haze, you’ll need a more powerful chemical cleaner. 

What Other Products Can I Use to Remove Grout Haze?

If vinegar doesn’t work, you can try using dish soap and cheesecloth to remove the leftover grout. However, if the grout haze persists, you’ll need to move on to a more potent product.

Here are a couple of products to consider:

Aqua Mix Cement Grout Haze Remover – This product is safe for virtually all types of tile. However, you’ll still want to spot test as it may lighten natural stone.

Tilelab Grout Haze Remover – This product is suitable for ceramic, porcelain, terra cotta, slate, and acid-resistant natural stones.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to remove grout haze from tile

Will vinegar damage ceramic tile?

Vinegar is entirely safe for ceramic tile. You can use vinegar to remove grout haze and clean ceramic flooring.

Can vinegar ruin unsealed grout?

Yes, if you haven’t sealed your grout and use vinegar to clean it often, it can ruin it. Vinegar is acidic, so it can penetrate and break down grout if there’s no barrier, like a sealant.

Will a Magic Eraser remove grout haze?

Since Magic Erasers are abrasive, they can remove grout haze. However, they can also damage your tile. So, if you want to try a Magic Eraser, test it in an inconspicuous spot first. If it doesn’t cause damage, use very light pressure to remove the grout haze from the tile. Be careful not to scrub the tile itself.

Conclusion

While you can remove grout haze from tile with vinegar, it’s not a guarantee. The success will depend on the type of grout and how old it is. Also, remember that this is only appropriate for ceramic or porcelain tiles.

If grout haze doesn’t come off your tiles even after tying vinegar, try a grout haze remover or contact the grout company to see what products they recommend.

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AUTHOR

Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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