How do I remove sewer stains in my tile grout?


how to remove sewer stain from tile grout? Commode overflowed during the night.


ANSWER - It depends on whether the water from the commode was contaminated or not.  Category 1 water is sanitary water.  Category 2 water is contaminated water to some degree. Category 3 water is grossly contaminated water.

Depending on the type of water and the extent of exposure it might be cleanable or not. If it is cleanable, then you it can be cleaned by using a neutral detergent or one of the tile cleaning solutions with a scrub brush on an extended handle.  Let the cleaning solution absorb into the grout for 5 minutes or so, then scrub, then pick up with a wet/dry vacuum, then rinse with clean water using scrub brush, and then pick up with wet/dry vacuum.  Then you can buff the floor dry with a lint free cloth. Let the tile floor and grout dry thoroughly, and then apply a penetrating sealer over the grout and tile.  Immediate wipe it dry with a lint free cloth to make sure none of the wet sealer remains on the tile surface.

For links to companies who produce and sell tile cleaners and sealers click on the following link:  Cleaners and Sealers.

2 thoughts on “How do I remove sewer stains in my tile grout?

  1. Uli Jacob says:

    Hello, I had a category 3 spill in my bathroom and it was sitting on the floor tile and grout for about 8-9H. The grout in the area now looks like its damaged and has signs of white stains on it that dont come out after cleaning several times with water. Does the grout need to be replaced or how can it be cleaned up? Or do both tile and grout need to be replaced?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      If you had a category 3 water flood meaning the water was grossly contaminated, then the grout could be hygienically contaminated. You might be able to sanitize the grout with a detergent liquid mixed in water. It is not uncommon to get some white efflorescence minerals in the grout after a flood. It should come clean during the cleaning process.

      You should have an Industrial Hygienist test the grout before to see if it is unsanitary. Then if it is unsanitary then clean the grout with the following method and see if it is still unsanitary.

      Put the disinfecting liquid detergent in a bucket of water per the directions. Get a scrub brush on an extended handle and apply the liquid to wet out the entire floor and let it set for about 10 minutes making sure it stays wet. Then scrub the floor with the scrub brush on the extended handle making sure you scrub the grout joints. Get a wet vacuum and pick up the dirty water. Then rinse the floor with clean water. Then vacuum up the clean water. Now test to make sure the grout and tile are sanitary.

      Worst case would be that you have to replace the grout or that the unsanitary water migrated into the adhesive and substrate below it.

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