How to Remove Epoxy Grout – Haze & Residue
Epoxy grout is made up of a combination of epoxy resin and filler powders which makes it highly durable, impervious to water, resistant to stains and very easy to clean.
The product has been around for over a decade and has been commonly used in areas which are subjected to harsh conditions.
We have been in the business of construction cleaning for over 20 years and originally, we only encountered epoxy grout in environments like restaurant kitchens and workshops.
However, In recent years, we’ve seen it become a popular choice for homeowners all over Sydney who have chosen epoxy grout over traditional grout due to the obvious advantages such as durability, ease of cleaning and it’s ability to enhance the overall look of the certain types of tiles.
Unfortunately, a large number of the installations we’ve seen have been absolute disasters with multiple defects.
This can be attributed to –
- Epoxy grout being much more difficult to work when compared to cement based grout (leveling & shaping requires a lot more skill and most tilers don’t have the training to be able to use it properly)
- The installation takes days to fully cure and must be kept clean during this time which can be difficult if there are still other trades working inside the dwelling (we had a customer grind the floors the day after the epoxy was laid which caused a massive amount of dust to be adhered to the grout)
- It’s extremely important for the tiler to clean off all the excess epoxy grout during the installation while it is still wet since it becomes extremely hard to remove once it has been allowed to fully cure
How to remove Epoxy Grout Residue or Haze
Epoxy grout can be cleaned fairly easily using the following process as long as it is done within 24hrs of installation –
- Make a solution consisting of 10L warm water to 100ml of Vinegar
- Apply the solution to your tiles and scrub using a white brush pad to dislodge the epoxy residue from the tiles
- Clean up the solution and remove the suspended resins using a heavy duty grout sponge.
- This process may have to be repeated a number of times before all the haze comes off
- You can also add some silica sand to the tile to help dislodge some of the more stubborn bits of epoxy grout. Make sure you test on a small area first as some tiles can be prone to scratching (this is especially true for wall tiles)
- Make sure you rinse well with a lot of clean water once there is no more grout haze left on the tile, failure to do this properly will cause all the suspended grout to go back into the tile once the surface dries.
How to Remove Fully Cured Epoxy Grout
Trying to remove epoxy grout which has been allowed to fully cure can be an absolute nightmare and can get very expensive due to the sheer amount of labour, chemicals and expertise it requires.
There are different chemicals which can be used depending on the type and brand of epoxy grout used for the installation. A chemical which works great for one installation can be completely useless for another so a lot of research and testing will be required before actually starting the job.
At Simpo Cleaning, we’ve used the following chemicals with varying results –
- Epistrip Epoxy remover
- Miracle Sealants epoxy grout film remover
- Aggro Sealer Stripper
- Aquamix Sealer Stripper with Nanoscrub for extra agitation
There are also times where we will need to use a combination of the above chemicals (ensure you read the MSDS carefully before doing this)
- The chemicals need to be applied carefully with a brush and allowed some dwell time (5 to 20 minutes) to soften the grout before it can be removed.
- Use an abrasive cleaning pad to dislodge the grout from the tile surface once it has softened (use small circular motions)
- Follow up by using a grout sponge to wipe off all the loosened grout and residue (this is an important step and you need to be very thorough as any grout left behind will adhere to the tile again once it dries
For larger areas, you can use a rotary floor polisher with a white coloured buffing pad to assist with the removal process once the grout has softened.
Warning – Do not allow the chemicals to come in contact with any of the brass, aluminium and porcelain in the area which is being cleaned.