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.
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.
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.
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.
With over 3,000 objects walked on and over 5 million square metres of floor area, David Haid is a proven expert in the cleaning of porcelain stoneware floor coverings. As an author in our haid-tec magazine „BODEN-ständig“, he shares his expertise from over 15 years of professional experience with you and provides valuable tips, especially for challenging cleaning projects.
If you have any questions, he will be happy to help you at any time and can be reached via the following channels.