The Best Way to Clean Tile After Grouting

Grouting newly installed tile helps to prevent water from getting behind the tile and contributes toward the look of your room. When tile grout is applied with a grout float, it spreads over the gaps in between tiles until the gaps are filled in. During this process it's normal for grout to become smeared over the tile. Once you're finished applying grout, you must clean the excess off the tile. The best way to clean tile after grouting is to begin the job immediately after the grouting is finished before grout becomes hard and more difficult to remove.

Grout goes in between the tiles after they're adhered to the wall.
  1. Lay a plastic drop cloth down on the floor if the tiled area is on the wall. The drop cloth catches dust and debris, saving you an extra clean-up job.

  2. Swipe off freshly applied grout with a clean grout float. Wipe parallel to the grout lines to remove excess grout oozing over the edges of the tile. A grout float looks similar to a hand-held manual sander and can be purchased at the hardware store.

  3. Use a clean sponge to avoid transferring dirt to the tile and grout.
  4. Fill two buckets with warm water. Wet a sponge in the bucket of water and squeeze out the excess. Buff each tile in a circular motion, rinsing the sponge with water after cleaning each tile.

  5. Smooth the grout again with the grout float so the surface is a little bit below that of the tile. Doing this helps to create smooth grout joints.

  6. Wet the sponge with water and wring out the excess. Swipe over each tile, one at a time with one stroke. Turn the sponge over and wipe the tile with another stroke.

  7. Old, soft towels make good cleaning cloths.
  8. Allow the tile to dry for a couple hours. Remaining grout residue will form a haze over the tile. Buff the tile with clean, soft cloths to remove the haze and complete the cleaning process.


  • Be gentle when cleaning excess tile grout. Pressing too hard can affect your grouting job since the grout isn't completely set.

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.