How to Remove Color Enhancer From Tile

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Tile color enhancers or topical sealants ideally bring out the natural colors of tile. The variety of brands is endless and some offer disappointing results. Uneven coloration and streaking make a floor look dirty and worn. Bad results are removable using a heavy-duty floor stripper and a lot of scrubbing. Following removal of the color enhancer, the tile can be prepared to accept a different type of topical sealant or color enhancing product. Give the floor a second chance to have the beautiful finish you intended.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty floor stripper
  • Scrub brush
  • Towels
  • Bucket
  • Sulfamic acid crystals
  • Spray bottle
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Mop

Removing the Color Enhancer

  • Pour a small amount of full-strength, heavy-duty floor stripper onto the tile floor. Divide the floor into small sections and complete one small section at a time. This type of product is available at all home improvement centers. Follow the label instructions for exact amount needed.

  • Scrub the stripper product vigorously over the tile and grout. Let the liquid sit for 15 minutes and then wipe up the product with a towel.

  • Rinse with clear water and let the area dry. Move to the next area and repeat the stripping and rinsing process over the entire tiled floor. Allow 2 to 3 hours for the floor to completely dry.

Prepare the Surface for a Different Product

  • Mix ¾ of a cup of sulfamic acid crystals with a gallon of water. Stir well to dissolve the crystals completely.

  • Spray clear water on small areas using a spray bottle. Apply the sulfamic acid crystal solution and scrub with a stiff-bristle brush. Scrub each section for roughly 5 minutes.

  • Use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the sulfamic acid solution. Rinse each area with a damp towel. Use this process for the entire tile floor.

  • Mix ¼ of a cup of baking soda with a gallon of warm water and damp mop the entire floor with this mixture. This will deactivate any remaining acid and prepare the floor for application of a different color enhancer or topical sealant.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not allow the stripping agent to dry on the floor.
  • Keep the area well ventilated. Use gloves and safety glasses when working with these chemicals. Experts advise checking whether the color enhancer used was a solvent or water based product. Solvent based enhancers need to be removed with solvent based strippers and water based enhancers need removed with water based strippers.
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