How to Remove Grout Haze from Unpolished Porcelain Tile?


Question: The grout haze and residue was allowed to cure and dry on the porcelain tile for 11 days before any attempt for removal of this product.

I still have dull residue and dripping spots on a large portion of the tile., after three day of cleaning the tile.

Did the grout haze and residue remain on the porcelain tile to long to affect the cleaning process?
What would be considered a adequate time frame to have started removing the grout haze and residue from the tile?

All materials are installed on a concrete slab at my residence. 1030 sq. ft. tiled, three bedrooms with closets and a living room.

The tile is installed on Laticrete Fracture Ban 40 mil membrane with the floor primer recommended with the Fracture Ban material.

I have Crossville Inc., Moonstruck Series Luna and Juno 12x24x3/8 UPS, unpolsished surface tile with cross-sheen product. The tile is a rectified tile and porcelain.

The mortar used for the installation of the tile was MAPEI Ultraflex 1 Gray mortar.

The grout width is 1/8 inch.

The grout used is a Bostik TruColor Rapid Cure Grout.

The grout formed a haze and dull residue on the tile surfaces.

The grouting process was completed on February 17, 2017 by the installers.

On February 28, 2017 was first attempt to remove haze and residue with Bostik "Blaze" urethane haze removal product.

There is still dull residue and shiny dripping spot on the tile. The dripping spots would look like you carried something wet across the floor and drops appeared.

I would appreciate any advice, recommendations or opinions to this issue.


ANSWER - There is always a grout haze after grouting a tile.   For cementitious grouts, the haze should be polished off with dry clean cheese cloth soon after the tile surface dries leaving a haze.   If you wait too long the haze can be very difficult to remove.

Sometimes the haze could be a latex residue from the polymers in the grout or thin-set mortar.  There are special removers of latex haze that can be bought from the various tile and stone cleaning and sealing manufacturers.   Go to the CTaSC Resource Directory for a list or click here.

It isn't clear what the drip marks are.  If you used a very corrosive acid to try to clean the tile it could possibly etch the surface.  It is etched then the only thing you can do is get a professional Stone Restoration company to hone the surface.

If the haze is actually a cementitious haze, then if you used some diluted vinegar or diluted phosphoric acid from one of the cleaning manufacturers and you should be able to scrub it with a 3M pad to remove it.   In really difficult to remove conditions at scrubber with water and detergent with silica sand could possibly do the trick.   This can only work if this is an unglazed and unpolished porcelain tile.  You can't perform these steps on a polished tile.   Always test out the method in a out of the way spot before you apply it to the floor.

There is a condition called Optical Haze that can occur on some polished tiles that gives it a sort of cloudy appearance when the light shines on it at a certain angle.  But that isn't known to happen on an unpolished tile.

There are stone restoration companies who can deep clean and refinish stone and some tiles floors.  Make sure they are credible and qualified with a lot of experience.

7 thoughts on “How to Remove Grout Haze from Unpolished Porcelain Tile?

  1. Margarette Duvet says:

    I need help. I just installed ceramic wood floor tile on, the floor is so rough to clean with any mup. Please let me know how can I make the floor smoother

    • Donato Pompo says:

      There is always a trade-off with the texture of tile surfaces. The more texture the more slip resistance, but the more effort to maintain it. There are some new tiles produced lately that are slip resistant but easier to maintain.

      To clean the tiles don’t use a mop. Mops only move dirt around and do not clean well. Use a brush on an extended handle and scrub the tile and grout using a neural based cleaner. Use a wet/dry vacuum to pick up the dirt. Then rinse with clean water and use the vacuum to pick that up.

      If you apply a sealer for porcelain tiles to the tile surface it will tend to help in not getting dirty as fast and will make it easier to clean.

  2. Frank says:

    Greetings, I just had rectified, porcelain tile installed throughout my house, all the old carpet was removed. Tiles are the concrete look and the color is through the entire tile which is 12 by 24. The quickset is gray and the grout is water proof gray/silver. The floor overall looks great, but there are blotches on the floor and actually some hand prints, that look like someone spilled a flour water mixture or they had their hands in flour. I bought a Bissel Croswave and it did a good job, but did not remove these “stains”. Any recommendations to remove? Or, will this stuff simply fade over time with regular cleaning?

    • Donato Pompo says:

      Perhaps you have throughbody (unglazed) porcelain tile that technically should be impervious. There is no such thing as waterproof grout, but perhaps it is an epoxy grout that is impervious so it could make the grout joints water tight.

      The blotches could be a cementitious film, or it could be a latex film from the thin-set mortar, or it could be an epoxy film. So depending on what it is will dictate how to clean it up. If they are handprints then the installer should be cleaning it up…

      Cementitious haze can normally be cleaned with a diluted acidic solution like phosphoric acid or sulphamic acid sold that that purpose. Sometimes a diluted vinegar will do it. A strong acid could cause harm to the tile!

      There are latex remover sold at home centers and tile stores. Epoxy hazes can be difficult to remove. There are some epoxy cleaners but you have to be careful because they toxic and messy. Depending on the type and durability of the tile and what is causing the stain there might be other remedies…

      It is best to contact the manufacturers of the thin-set and grout and ask them what to use to remove the haze. Whatever you do, test a small out of the way area to make sure it is going to work to your satisfaction.

  3. Frank says:

    Thank you very much Donato for responding, and yes, you are right the tile is throughbody tile. I’m going to try the diluted vinegar solution first, I counted there are three hand prints , all near the baseboards. The baseboards were all removed, repainted and replaced, the handprints with the small splash like stains make me think it’s more grout application related. It’s tricky because the stains are so thin, that depending upon the light they seem to disappear.

  4. Kimmy says:

    Help. I think my tile guy didn’t clean up grout haze that has polymers in it and he sealed over top with a sealer and I see his boot prints!!!! How can I remove both

    • Donato Pompo says:

      First you need to remove the sealer and it may or may not remove the haze and foot printer. If you know which sealer was used look up what the manufacturer recommends for removing it. There are sealer strippers that you might need to use.

      If that doesn’t remove the haze then experiment with a latex grout haze remover.

      Depending on what type of tile you have you might be able to abrade it off with a 3m pad. Whatever you try make sure to test it first to verify it will work and not cause more damage.

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