Grout haze occurs when residue from the grout installation dries on the surface of the grout and the tiles. It may look like a white powder, glossy patches, dull smears, or even streaks. Cleaning grout haze should be done as soon as possible so that it would be easier to remove. There are 3 types of grout: cement, ready-mixed grout and epoxy grouting. If you have cement or ready-mixed grout haze, you can use cleaners and scrubbing tools. If you have epoxy grout haze, you will need to engage a professional cleaner to ensure you do not damage the epoxy grout or the tiles.
Wait 24 hours for the grout to set
Grout haze often appears soon after the grout and tiles have been installed. If you are cleaning grout haze on tiles that have been recently installed, please wait 24 hours for the grout to set. This will allow the grout to firm up and not be damage when you are removing the grout haze. This is key if you have smooth tiles made of glazed ceramic or porcelain.
Use a cheesecloth
Start with the least aggressive method of removal so you do not damage the tiles or the grout. Get a cheesecloth that is designed for cleaning grout haze at your local hardware store. Rub the surface of the tiles with the dry cheesecloth to remove the haze.
If rubbing with dry cheesecloth does not remove the haze, Use a mild acid-based cleaner. Make sure the cleaner is labeled mild and is made for grout haze removal. Using a strong acid-based cleaner can damage the tile and weaken the grout. Dilute the mild acid-based cleaner with 50% water. Then spray the cleaning solution on the tile surface with a spray bottle. Use a damp white cloth to wipe the tile surface.
Rinse the floor with water at the end of the cleaning
No matter what type of cleaner you use on the flooring, you should always rinse the floor well with water at the end of the cleaning. You do not want any excess cleaning products to remain on the surface of the flooring. Use a wet clean mop or a damp terry towel and wipe the entire floor so any remaining cleaning solution can be removed.
Dry the floor
You should dry the floor with a clean cheesecloth or terry cloth once the cleaning is done. This will ensure the flooring looks fresh and polished once the grout haze has been removed. Dry the floor once it has been rinsed, you do not want excess water to remain on the flooring as excess water can damage the grout and the tiles.
Co-authored by Michelle Driscoll, MPH