Cement haze removal – how to free floors from cement haze after grouting

An unsightly grey haze on freshly laid tiles is not uncommon and so cement haze removal becomes essential. The cement haze is caused by the remains of the grout spreading on the tiles after grouting. It is important that cleaners recognize what they are dealing with during a construction cleaning in order to properly remove the cement haze.

Once the tiler has done his actual work, a special expertise in cement haze removal is required. The material for grouting the tiles usually consists mainly of cement and quartz sand. The remains of it leave a haze on the surface. The floor covering then appears greyish and is very susceptible to dirt. So what to do to remove the cement haze?

The tiler will remove the coarse grout residues with water after grouting, but this is not enough to remove the so-called cement haze. First, you can not help but wait until the joints are cured. This usually takes 10 days, although a shorter curing time is possible with fast-setting grouts. The instructions of the grout manufacturer must be observed in any case. Because if the joints are not yet solid, the cleaning agents used and the brushes or pads used would also attack them. Because in order to “get to grips” with the cement film, you need an acidic basic cleaner or a special cement film remover.

Since the tiler is done with his actual job, and usually will not come to the building a second time to perform cement haze removal, a cleaning company is usually assigned this task. The employees should then know how to professionally clean the tiles and restore them to their original appearance. Since porcelain stoneware tiles are usually laid on larger surfaces in public and private buildings, our tips apply to this type of flooring.

Cement haze removal: the best way to proceed

  1. Wet mop the floor to allow the joints to soak up water. In this way, they are protected from the acid contained in the acid cleaner or cement stain remover.
  2. Mix the basic cleaner acid with water. We recommend the following dosage: 500 ml / 10 litres of water.
  3. Apply the cleaning liquor to the floor covering, i.e. spread it over the entire surface with the mop. Tip: The correct amount of cleaning liquor is reached when a match floats on the cleaning liquor.
  4. Allow to act for 10 minutes; important: do not allow cleaning liquor to dry. Tip: If possible, underfloor heating at least. Switch off 1 day before carrying out the work.
  5. Preferably use a single-disc machine to remove the floor covering, as this has a high contact pressure. Tip: in the case of extreme soiling with “cement bats”, a scouring pad can also be used in advance.
  6. Wipe the floor covering with clear water or run the cleaning machine over the surface with clear water in the fresh water tank and pick up the dirt.

Tip: For particularly good cleaning performance, replace the brushes of the single-disc machine with MelaminPlusPads. With a machine with brushes, you may have to go over the surface two to three times to achieve the same cleaning result. The MelaminPlusPads increase the mechanical cleaning effect and you need less detergent, which is also good for the environment.

MelaminePlusPad Assembly MelaminePlusPad Assembly
Single disc machine with MelaminPlusPad Single disc machine with MelaminPlusPad

Why is it important to wet the joints when removing cement haze?

Cement haze removal is all about removing the grout residue from the tiles without attacking the grout itself. If the joints were not wet, they would “burn”, i.e. the acid contained in the cleaner would attack the cement in the joint and dissolve it. The joint is thus weakened and is no longer stable. The weakened joint does not have good flank adhesion and is no longer mechanically resilient. It is rinsed out during daily cleaning or breaks out due to mechanical stress. These holey spots in the joint are a concern from a hygienic standpoint. Dirty water can penetrate under the tiles and the tile can become loose in the long run.

Attention hydrochloric acid! Stay away from cheap cleaners when removing cement slurry!

Only an “acid” cleaner will deal with cement haze. Many cheap “acid” cleaners contain hydrochloric acid. This is not only dangerous if you inhale it, it also attacks metals and stainless steel surfaces. The phenomenon is known as “flash rust”, when hydrochloric acid spreads through the air and settles on surfaces, resulting in rust stains.

The dramatic effects of the improper use of cleaners containing hydrochloric acid or the hydrochloric acid vapours are reported in the article from “rationell reinigen”: “Sanitary cleaning. Stainless steel can also rust”.

The acidic basic cleaner from haid-tec contains phosphoric acid and citric acid. This effectively removes the cement haze. The advantage is that these do not “steam off”. This protects the people handling the cleaning products and the acid cannot spread through the air and settle on floors and surfaces..

Besides rust stains and the unsightly cement haze, there are other stains that can occur during the construction phase.

An overview of our further blog posts on construction cleaning

  1. Here’s how to approach construction cleaning the right way. Here you can learn how to get rid of dirt on tiles. Construction dust, cement haze, rust stains & co, here’s how to tackle construction cleaning the right way.
  2. Mop or machine? For the most part, you should have both on hand. For the rough stuff, the mop does a good job. When large areas have already been freed from the coarsest dirt, the machine comes into play. Tips for construction rough cleaning and construction cleanup.
  3. Goodbye cement haze – this is how you really get rid of the grey haze! Cement haze removal – how to get rid of cement haze from floors after grouting.
  4. When moisture and metal meet, rust stains form. You can find out how to get to grips with them here>Be careful when removing rust stains.
  5. Which stone is a sensitive? That’s right, a marble floor will take offense if you treat it wrong! A granite floor, on the other hand, is almost as robust as porcelain stoneware. Attention when cleaning marble and granite natural stone!
  6. Once the walls are whitewashed and the painter is in his element, splashes of paint and varnish are inevitable. Often “decorate” unsightly adhesive residues on the floor. They also need to be professionally removed. Which cleaner is suitable for what? Spray’ and away: This is how you remove sticky marks from the floor.

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