How do I clean joints that have turned gray?

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Some grout joints between tiles are still gray even after a year, even though the grout was brown. Of course, we did a lot of wet cleaning and also tried a grout cleaner. But that only resulted in contaminating a few tiles, not really getting the grout "clean".

Does anyone have any advice on grouting the joints or how to put the tiles back in place, otherwise I will have to clean 2 or 3 again?



All home remedies whose aqueous solutions react acidically should be used with caution with cement building products (in this case: mineral grout)!

The reason for my advice is that acidic grouts destroy the (alkaline) cement stone found in all cement-based building chemicals. As a result, it inevitably also loses its strength, slowly rubs out of the joint chamber or, conversely, crumbles. There can be no "longevity" of coloring mineral grout mixes. Especially not in highly stressed components such as ceramic tile floors. It is inevitable that contaminants of all sorts will settle in the joints or on the grout. And they cannot always be dissolved by an acidic environment. Especially grease cannot be dissolved by acidic media.The problem that plagues you from an optical point of view is known from practice.

There is only one satisfactory solution, but it requires some effort: Joint renewal.

You can get the old grout out by using what is known as an oscillating saw, which is also known as an "ambulance" for cutting old plaster bandages.The new joint compound should be well-painted by the manufacturer. It may be a little more expensive than the standard cement-gray grout mix, but visually it will keep the overall impression longer. If, however, the original color has more or less changed from brown to gray, it indicates that the mixing was not done optimally at the time or that the addition of coloring pigments was kept to a minimum.

  • I think it is unlikely to be a "weathering" process. It looked to me more like construction dust is still in the pores. 

Which is dirty now? The grout or the tiles?

Generally both are cleaned after installation, you can also do it yourself with a grout remover. I would also clean the grout with a small steam cleaner.

  • In a few places the grout is still light gray, not brown like I said it would be after a few cleanings. And in the basement, I tried grout cleaner, vinegar essence and the like, but apparently the tiles suffered. 
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