How to Clean Tile Cement Off Tiles

Trisha Bartle

Although newly placed ceramic tiles may look clean while the tiles are wet, that can change once they dry. Excess tile cement or grout creates a haze on the tiles that becomes visible over time. This can happen even if you clean the tiles repeatedly during installation.

Leftover tile cement can stick to the surface of the tile, dulling the finish.

The procedure for cleaning tile cement off tile surfaces depends on whether the cement is still wet or already has dried.

Wet Tile Cement

  1. Dip a sponge into a bucket of clean, warm water. Squeeze out excess water.

  2. Rub the sponge over the surface of the tiles. Scrub at thick tile cement deposits. Rinse out the sponge and repeat until all visible tile cement is removed from the surface of the tile.

  3. Let the surface of the tile dry for five minutes. Rub a dry cloth across the tile surface to buff away grout haze and shine the tiles.

Dry Tile Cement

  1. Dip a synthetic fiber scouring pad into a bucket of clean, warm water. The water will help to dissolve the dried tile cement.

  2. Scour the surface of the tile with the wet scouring pad. Rinse out the scouring pad periodically. Keep the pad damp to further moisten the excess tile grout and cement for removal.

  3. Dry the wet surface of the tile with a paper towel. Judge the surface of the tile; if there is still a grout haze, rub at the tile with the wet scouring pad again until satisfied.

  4. Tip

    Although you can use a putty knife to pry away large chunks of dried tile cement, the impact may damage delicate tile. Be careful if you go this route with cement removal. If you're still having trouble removing the tile cement, purchase a cement-removing liquid from an authorized dealer.


    Avoid using acid grout removers as these can damage the surface of the tile, according to Tim Carter of the Ask the Builder website.