What to Use to Clean Tile After Installation

After applying grout to a freshly tiled surface, there's still one large task at hand -- cleanup. Once you're happy with the dressed grout joints and have wiped most of the wet grout off the surface of the tile, wait 30 minutes or so until the tiles look hazy. Then buff them with a soft cloth.

Cleaning the Tile

If you just finished applying the grout and all you've done so far, cleanup wise, is scoop up excess grout with the float, wipe the tile with a special hydrophilic sponge, found in the tile section of the home improvement store.

Wait 20 minutes, or until the grout starts to harden, before wiping the tiles in diagonal sweeps. Use the sponge to smooth and level the grout lines as well. Rinse the sponge frequently in a bucket of clean water, but not in the sink, because grout contains cement that should not get into the plumbing. If you've already sponged the tile and it's beginning to take on a haze, you're ready for the dry cleanup.

Removing Haze

Wait 30 minutes after sponging the grout, or until the tile looks a bit hazy, to buff the tiles clean. Fold a cotton or microfiber towel, and then rub it over the tile surface until the haze disappears. If the tiles have a slight texture to them, you may need to use a nylon scrub pad to remove haze from the low spots.

Lingering Haze

If the tile still looks a bit hazy several days after you've buffed it with a towel or scrubbed it with a scrub pad, you can use a grout haze remover to clean up the tile. The formula varies from product to product, so read the package label thoroughly for specifics pertaining to your tile type.

Step 1 Apply Haze Remover

Apply the grout haze remover over the affected tile surface. If the packaging recommends it, dilute the product with water first. Apply the solution with a sponge or rag while wearing rubber gloves, or spray it on.

Step 2 Scrub the Tile

Wait 10 minutes, or the amount of time recommended on the haze-remover package, and then scrub the tile with a scrub brush or nylon scrub pad.

Step 3 Rinse the Tile

Rinse the tile off by wiping it with a damp sponge or mop. Allow the tile to dry completely.