How to remove grout from tiles
Removing grout from between your tiles sounds complicated. But it's actually surprisingly simple and is a great way to freshen up your bathroom floor or kitchen tiles. In this article, we'll explain exactly how to remove old grout and share other grouting tips for getting your tiles looking good as new again.
Before you begin, make sure you have the following equipment to hand:
- A grout rake or multi-tool with an attachment for a grout removing blade. Alternatively, if you only plan on removing a small amount of grout then you could use a utility knife.
- Masking tape
- Safety goggles and gloves
- Dust sheets
- Vacuum cleaner
If you're planning to use a power tool, we'd recommend spending a few minutes covering the area near the tiles with dust sheets. As the grout is removed, small debris and tiny particles of dust can fly everywhere so get everything covered to avoid any extra cleaningwhen you're done.
We'd also suggest covering the edge of each tile with masking tape. This will help guard them against scratches and chips.
Lastly, pop on your gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from any bits of flying grout.
- Position the rough side of the grout rake or multi-tool in the grout line.
- Use a firm sawing motion to slowly loosen the grout.
- Don't try and rush the job – doing small sections at a time means you're less likely to damage the edge of the tiles in the process.
- Once you've removed as much as you can, use a small screwdriver to get deep into the groove and chip away at any remaining grout.
- Finally, hoover over the tile surface to remove any last traces of loose grout and dust.
Other common grout gripes
It's not just when grout gets old that it starts to look past its best. Mould and dried grout on tiles are other familiar problems. Here we'll show you how to sort them out, simply and safely.
How to get rid of mould in grout
The warm, wet atmosphere in bathrooms is a breeding ground for mould which can turn relatively new grout black and grimy in a few short weeks.
Luckily, with a bit of elbow grease and the right cleaning products it won't take long to get your grout sparkling again.
One popular option is to make your own mould mixture. It's cheap, uses products you'll most likely already have, and avoids chemicals. For this, we'd recommend mixing together half a cup of baking soda with four teaspoons of warm water. Using an old toothbrush, paste the mixture over the mould. Leave for 15 minutes, scrub rigorously and then wash away with water.
Alternatively, you can pick up mould and mildew remover from most supermarkets and DIY shops. Follow the recommended instructions then sit back and let the magic happen.
How to remove excess grout
When you grout tiles, it's easy to end up leaving excess grout around the edges – and only spot it after the grout has hardened and stuck fast to the tile.
First up, try wiping over the hardened grout with warm water to loosen it a little. Then gently rub the grout with some wire wool and you should start to see it dissolve.
If that doesn't shift it, here's a little trick that professional tilers have been using for years. Mix normal, everyday sugar with warm water. Wipe it over the grout, leave it for an hour then rub or scrape the grout with a cloth. All being well, it should start to come away.
Time for a trusted tradesperson?
If your grout is still looking grotty, then why not get a trusted tradesperson to take a look? All of our tilers have been personally vetted by us, and their work also comes with a 12-month guarantee, backed by British Gas.