How to Clean Cloudy Ceramic Tile


Newly installed ceramic tiles often appear cloudy from the grout residue that remains after installation. No matter how well the grout and tile were installed, this haze is inevitable. When the grout is being wiped during installation, it is often smeared onto the surface of the tile. The tiles are then wiped clean, but a haze will remain. This cloudy haze on tiles can be removed by using the proper cleaning methods. Your ceramic tile surface will shine in no time.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Clean rags
  • Garbage bag
  • Commercial grout haze remover
  • Fill a bucket with plain, warm water. Dip a sponge in the water, wring it out thoroughly and scrub the tile. Rinse and wring out the sponge frequently to avoid spreading the haze. Wipe the tile dry with a clean towel. This will be effective only if the tile haze is minimal.

  • Add white distilled vinegar to the water if plain water was ineffective. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a bucket. Dampen the sponge with the solution and scrub the tiles. Use a bit of force to remove the cloudy haze from the tile. Be sure to clean the grout lines as well, since this is what is actually causing the cloudiness.

  • Wait 24 hours and repeat the cleaning process. Wash down each tile with water (or vinegar and water), taking care to rinse the sponge in between tiles.

  • Use a clean, dry rag to go over each individual tile. Shake the rag into a garbage bag in between wiping each tile to remove any debris that has stuck to the rag.

  • Use a commercial grout haze remover if the cloudiness is still on the tiles. You can purchase such cleaners at most home improvement stores or from tile manufacturers. Read the label to be sure the product is safe to use on ceramic. Follow the directions on the package for use of the product.

Tips & Warnings

  • Test an inconspicuous area of the ceramic tile with the commercial product you are using. Although it may say that it is safe on ceramic, some products are not. Be sure that it will not damage or discolor the tile, prior to applying it to the entire surface.
  • Wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear when using commercial haze removal products. Some of these products may cause skin and/or eye irritation.

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