How to Clean Tiles With Acid

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Acid should only be used as a last resort when cleaning tile. When all other attempts to remove stains have failed, a mixture of water and hydrochloric acid can be used to eat away at the stain and restore the tile's original appearance. Hydrochloric acid is generally referred to as muriatic acid when used in this context and is available at home improvement stores and swimming pool supply stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves Charcoal filter mask Protective clothing Fan 5-gallon bucket Measuring cup Paintbrush Baking soda Stiff brush
  • Ventilate the room. When working indoors, open all windows and use a fan to help circulate the air and blow fumes away from your work area.

  • Fill a 5-gallon bucket with 1 gallon of water. Put the water into the bucket before the acid to avoid a dangerous chemical reaction.

  • Slowly pour 1 cup of muriatic acid into the bucket of water. Use a plastic or glass container to measure the acid; never use a metal container. Using a metal container can cause a chemical reaction that results in the acid fizzing and giving off dangerous fumes.

  • Brush the acid mixture onto the stained tiles using a large paintbrush. If any of the acid mixture spills onto another surface, immediately pour baking soda onto the spill to neutralize the acid.

  • Allow the muriatic acid and water mixture to sit on the tiles for two to three minutes.

  • Rinse the acid off the tiles with plenty of water. Use a stiff brush to scrub the tiles and ensure that all of the muriatic acid residue has been removed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pouring water into muriatic acid may cause a reaction that could result in acid spraying up out of the bucket. Keep children away from the area when cleaning tiles with muriatic acid.

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References

  • Tiling: Step-by-Step; Better Homes & Gardens; 2004
  • Installing and Finishing Flooring; William P. Spence; 2003
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