How Do You Clean Tiles After Renovation?

Replacing the tiles is one of the most common building projects when it comes to a home renovation. However, with new tile comes fresh grout with brings mess which is sometimes referred to as “grout haze.”

Grout Haze is basically grout residue that has dried on the tile surface after grouting. It’s frequently overlooked during installation because moisture from the cleaning procedure temporarily obscures latex and cement deposits.
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Quick Tips Before You Start

  • Make sure the grout is completely dry before cleaning
  • Ensure you use the appropriate cleaning detergent for the type of tile you have. Acidic cleaners are suitable for porcelain and ceramic tiles. However, unsealed stone tiles such as travertine, marble and limestone require an alkaline based cleaner. Acids will etch and could cause permanent damage to natural stone. (more info below)
  • If possible, try to clean your tiles within 10 days of grouting

Porcelain & Ceramic Tiles

Our method of cleaning grout haze from ceramic tiles involves starting with the most gentlest detergents and only using harsh acid based cleaning chemicals when absolutely necessary. It’s definitely more labour intensive and adds to the cleaning time, but will increase the lifespan of your tiles over time. Commercial tile cleaners containing acids such as muriatic acid are very effective in removing grout haze quickly and reduces the manual labour involved in the process – but at the same time, these acids will lead to premature staining and wear of the tiles long after the cleaning process is completed.

Things to prepare:
  • Grout haze sponge with an abrasive side
  • Bucket with luke warm water
  • Vinegar
  • Window scraper
  • Acid based commercial tile cleaner (last resort only)
Cleaning Process:
  • First try to clean the tiles with just lukewarm water and scrubbing with the abrasive side of the grout sponge, then use the non abrasive side of the sponge to soak up dirty water, making sure to rinse frequently.
  • If this does not totally solve the problem, repeat the process but replace the lukewarm water with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar (grout haze is made up of limestone deposits which are dissolve by acids)
  • If the problem still persists, it is likely the grout haze has been left over 10 days. In this case, you will need to use a window scraper to dislodge the grout haze from the surface of the tile. Make sure the tile is kept wet while you do this to prevent scratching the tile
  • If after all this, there is still grout haze, it’s likely you will need to repeat the process with an acid based tile cleaner which is available at most tile supply stores.

Cleaning Process for Natural Stone Tiles

On a natural-stone surface, never use a standard grout cleaning product to remove the haze.
Vinegar is commonly recommended for cleaning grout from tile but will damage stone tiles such as travertine and marble. It should be avoided at all costs. Always use cleaning products which are non-acid based to clean stone.

Things to prepare:
  • Grout haze sponge
  • Bucket with lukewarm water
  • Non acidic tile cleaner specifically for stone tiles (available from any tile shop), we like to use a mixture of aquamix non-acidic grout haze clean up and their nano-scrub product.
Cleaning Process:
  • First try to clean the tiles with just lukewarm water and scrubbing with the abrasive side of the grout sponge
  • Then use the non-abrasive side of the grout sponge to dry the tile, making sure to rinse frequently
  • If there is still grout haze left over, repeat the process with the non acidic tiler cleaner – make sure you follow the manufacturers instructions

Cleaning Other Areas After Construction

Even a small renovation can result in a lot of dust and building debris which spreads to other areas of the home, so now that you have cleaned the tiles, it’s time to move to the other areas of the home by checking out our article about what does a construction clean include.
Denton Nakumura
Denton Nakumura

Denton is the supervisor at CE Cleaning Company Sydney and has many years experience in the cleaning industry.