I recently tiled a bathroom myself for the first time, only to discover afterward that I was not as successful at cleaning the excess grout off as I had initially thought. As a result, there are now a few patches of set grout on the tiles. What is the best way to clean this off now? Thanks!

  • Possible Duplicate: diy.stackexchange.com/q/10926/38002
    – Chenmunka
    Jul 22, 2016 at 13:13
  • 2
    Say, there's 4 answers now (end 2017), any of them deserve getting chosen as "correct"?
    – Xen2050
    Nov 30, 2017 at 8:32
  • I do get a bit tired of answering questions where people simply cant be bothered to notice that someone spent the time to help them out. Jan 8, 2018 at 11:37

5 Answers 5


Next time clean off the grout before it dries with a damp sponge that you keep ringing out in a bucket of warm water.
Let the sponge lie flat against the tile and lightly glide it over both the tile and the spaces with the grout.
The tile is raised up from the spaces so just let the sponge pass "lightly" over the spaces taking the excess grout from the face of the tile onto the sponge without taking the grout out from between the tiles. Keep rinsing the grout out of the sponge in the bucket of water until the grout is out of the sponge. Squeeze out most of the water and keep going flat over the tile with a rinsed out damp sponge until the tile is clean and there is only grout between the tiles.

If you want this messed up job to be really nice you probably need to do it over.
This is what you do depending on how big the tiled area is.

If it's a small area on only one wall get a piece of sheetrock or cement board and cover over the messy tiles with it so you have a fresh wall. You might need to drill through the messy tile first and then nail or screw the board to the studs by putting the screw through the hole you drilled.
Don't drill too deep, only enough to get through the tile; the screw will go through the other wall and into the stud. Then tile over the fresh wall with new tile and grout it the way I explained above.

One other thing: don't grout the whole wall at once; grout and clean smaller areas before moving to the next area. It's more important to get the grout off the face of the tile before it dries than it is to grout it all in one shot.
You can always go back and add a little grout here and there if you miss a spot; it's a lot easier to add wet grout to fill spaces than it is to take dried grout off of tile without damaging the tile.

Unfortunately there is not a sure way to remove dried up grout from the face of tile and get a professional looking job; you have to do it over... Sorry maybe someone else has a better way but this is the way I would do it.


Probably a dremel or similar tool with the right kind of attachment. If you had a kit of attachments slowly work your way up from the least abrasive until one starts removing grout and hopefully doesn't scratch the tile.

enter image description here

  • The Dremel will damage the tile. Its only application would be to remove grout from the joints themselves, not from the top of the tile.
    – M.Mat
    Oct 27, 2017 at 13:52
  • overkill - very easy to damage the tile if youre not ultra careful. Nov 7, 2017 at 14:27

Use a razor blade scraper to remove set grout from tile. For stubborn areas, use a Pumie Scouring Sick. Cheap, works great, doesn’t mar surface.stick


Use a wooden spoon to chip it off carefully and not damage the tile. If there's a lot, use a sponge-scourer (the rough side of it) and lots of hot water and neat washing up liquid to soften the grout.


microfibre cloth are scratchy to help scrape the excess grout but not mark the tile if this doesnt work try in a small area a steel wool cloth lightly see if it works better

  • 1
    Depending on the tile, steel wool may damage the surface; generally it leaves a stain. Micro cloth won’t work.
    – M.Mat
    Oct 27, 2017 at 13:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.