Remove grout shadow from quarry tiles.

11 Jan 2012
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United Kingdom
Hi, I've grouted a fireplace hearth made of textured quarry tiles and paid a lot of attention to not make a mess.
I used vitcas fire grout.
I also kept on wiping the tiles with a wet cloth without touching the grout so to avoid any shadow that on normal tiles usually polishes off with a dry cloth.
However, now that it's perfectly dry (7 days) and I mopped the area, there are still shadows as you can see in the pictures.
Any advice on how to clean them?


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BTW, the tiles look very dirty in the picture, but not so bad in real life.
You can try different materials:

Vinegar, Vinegar steam
Oil, WD40
White spirit
Cream cleaner
Non-metal scouring pads
Polishing compound
Stick on duct tape and lift and see if anything lifts off

These things may or may not cause stains of their own. You will just have to try and see.
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For the benefit of others, I tried different methods and these are the results:
- solvent leaves a white haze on the tiles
- vinegar doesn't do anything
- fairy liquid worked with a green scoring pad takes off most of the white shade of grout but not all of it, even after a few attempts
- cif kitchen cleaner spray same results of fairy liquid
- bicycle chain degreaser and scoring pad gives good results in shorter time

So I went for fairy liquid first and degreaser after.
To finish it all off I used WD40 which made a great difference once absorbed by the tiles.
All of these methods were tested on one of the inside tiles.


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Cream cleaner, the squirt type and not the spray type, might have some effect. It's a very mild abrasive. A stronger version of that is the polishing compound. A stronger version of that is high grit sandpaper. The abrasives line is:

Toothpaste < Cream cleaner < polishing compound < Sandpaper
I didn't wanna use sandpaper because they're textured tiles.
The flat smooth quarry tiles are difficult to find, probably they're out of fashion.

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