What exactly is grout haze?
Grout haze is the film left behind on the surface of the tiles after installing and grouting, it is a milky white color. Upon seeing the haze many people are inclined to grab a sponge and wipe down the tiles thinking this will get rid of excess grout left behind only to see the milky white film return. Grout haze requires extra cleaning to remove the leftover residue.
Cleaning grout haze is not the most fun job in the world but it is the last step to installing your beautiful new tile before you can sit back and enjoy it. (Before the tile needs its first deep cleaning that is.)
So why does grout haze happen, is it a result of using too much grout in the laying process?
Grout hazing actually is a common thing that happens any time grout is laid. Grout is made up of various different minerals and cement mixed with water and when the water dries up there is the dried cement and minerals in the grout lines. The haze that remains on tiles is the minerals that are left behind after wiping the excess grout from the face of the tiles. The cement gets wiped away but minerals remain on the tile creating the haze.
You will want to wait until the grout is cured to clean the haze left on the tiles.
You can begin your haze cleaning as early as 24 hours after grout is dry up to 10 days after. It is not a good idea to wait longer than 10 days as it will make the job much harder. To clean grout haze all you need is some simple white distilled vinegar, warm water, a bucket, scrubby sponge, and a mop. Start by mixing a solution of one part vinegar to four parts warm water in your bucket. Next mop away the haze on the floor. Some areas may need a second or third mopping and some areas may require more elbow grease with the scrubby side of a sponge.
The white distilled vinegar should cut through the grout haze with no problem. If for some reason the grout haze does not come clean or you waited just a little too long, you can use a solution of ½ cup of vinegar, ½ cup of ammonia, 1 cup baking soda and 2 quarts of water or pick up a commercial haze cleaner at the store.