Removing old grout or mixing new grout generates a lot of dust. Grout is a cement-based material that fills in the lines between tiles and stone and creates a watertight seal to protect the subfloor. Without grout, water can enter the gaps and degrade the integrity of the mortar or tile adhesive, causing them to loosen and lift. Cleaning grout dust requires care to avoid scratching the tile or other surfaces in the vicinity because of its abrasive qualities.
Things You'll Need
- Dust mask
- Eye protection
- Shop vacuum
- Upholstery attachment
- Sponge or rag
Put on a dust mask and eye protection to prevent grout dust inhalation or tiny grout dust particles from entering your eyes.
Vacuum grout dust from floors with a shop vacuum. Begin in an area where no grout dust exists to avoid stepping on the dust and scraping it against the floor where it causes scratches. Continue to vacuum the floor until you pick up all of the grout dust.
Connect an upholstery attachment to a vacuum hose and vacuum all reachable surfaces. Begin at the highest point in the room and progress to the floor.
Wipe surfaces with a damp sponge or rag beginning at the highest point in the room and working your way toward the floor. Move the damp sponge or rag in one downward stroke and then immediately rinse grout dust out of the sponge or rag in a bucket of clean water to avoid scratching surfaces. Continue to wipe grout dust from all surfaces until no dust remains. Allow the floors, walls and other surfaces to dry.
Turn the vacuum back on and use the upholstery attachment to vacuum all surfaces a second time. Begin at the highest point again and move toward the floor. As the grout dust settles over the course of the next two to three days, vacuum again to remove settled grout dust.
Tips & Warnings
- Mix new grout outdoors to prevent excess grout dust in the house.
- Hang tarps over entryways and seal air conditioning and heating vents with plastic and tape to keep grout dust from traveling throughout the house.
- Avoid sweeping grout dust because you can scratch the tile surface and cause the dust to become airborne.
- Do not dispose of the rinse water down drains. It may cause a clog in the drain.
- "Ultimate Guide to Ceramic and Stone Tile"; Creative Homeowner Editors; 2006
- "Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual"; Family Handyman Magazine Editors; 2005
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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