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Grout & Slate cleaning & sealing?

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Old 04-06-2010, 06:38 AM   #1
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Grout & Slate cleaning & sealing?

Hey Gang,

We have a foyer that's covered with slate/grout. I absolutely love this part of the house, but its in desperate need of a cleaning. I would assume it needs to be sealed also? It's original to the house - probably since 1975ish.

The grout is definately pourous....looks gray (like cement).

I'm not too worried about the slate (per say), because it looks fine. The grout looks very dirty in some areas. The pictures don't do it any justice for the way it looks. The only thing I've done over the years, is a damp mop/vacuum.

I don't even know what type of grout this is and wouldn't even know where to begin to search.... I've read about using 50/50 mixture of peroxide & water.
I've also read using shaving creme?




Any thoughts are greatly appreciatted!!
Thanks!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:44 AM   #2
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it very well might be cement not grout. it would cost alot to fill in those overly large joints with grout. as far as cleaning the grout it has been soaked in and you prolly wont have much luck. i dont have much as far as advice on cleaning the slate other than water and elbow grease.. we always used water/sponge or chemical that you cant buy W/O a lisence
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:58 AM   #3
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I somehow found that if you spray that oven cleaner stuff on the grout and scrub it with a good brush, it looks brand new. However, i probably took off every bit of sealant and its gonna look like shit really fast. Live and learn I guess.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifesaflaw123 View Post
I somehow found that if you spray that oven cleaner stuff on the grout and scrub it with a good brush, it looks brand new. However, i probably took off every bit of sealant and its gonna look like shit really fast. Live and learn I guess.
I thought you were gonna say...."It took off every bit of skin from my hands"
That stuff is nasty and will eat holes in your skin. Ask me how I know.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:12 AM   #5
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Muriatic acid. You can buy it at most home improvement stores (its obviously diluted). It is the only thing i know of that tackles grout. It will actually take the top layer off, making it look new. It does smell pretty strong, so do it on a nice day where you can open windows if possible. You still might have to scrub a little. Green scotch brite scrubbies work great. Wear rubber gloves. Just follow directions on the bottle. And don't get it on anything else like finished wood. After applying and cleaning that off, just throw some sealer on there. The sealer is also at lowes/ home depot and will be in the tile section. There is one specifically for slate. Wipes on with a sponge, let it sit for a few hours without people/ dogs walking on it. presto, floor looks new!

Edit:I actually do this stuff for a living and wouldn't mind helping if you need it. I didn't realize you lived in lancaster. I'm right in Newark.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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If you have a steam cleaner, those work great on grout.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:19 AM   #7
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Not sure on the grout, but I do know that they slate needs to be sealed. Our kitchen floor is slate tile. I seal it atleast once a year with multiple layers. The sealant wears off with normal foot traffic, and with our 75 dogs running across it. I don't recall the brand of sealant I use. Let me know if you want the name of it and I'll check it out when I get home tonight.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:49 AM   #8
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Try vinegar and a toothbrush first. If that doesn't work, move on to what others have suggested.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:51 PM   #9
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Thanks Gang!! I'll try the vinager and the Peroxide/water method first.

The acid and oven cleaner sounds soooo.....violent! The way I am, I'd probably have that shit all over the walls (because I'm a clutz - laugh).

I'll let ya know if I have any luck.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:54 PM   #10
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Tried the vinager/toothbrush.....didn't do anything.
Tried the peroxide/water/toothbrush....didn't do anything.
Tried straight peroxide/toothbrush....didn't do much a all (foamed up).
Tried Dawn detergent/water/toothbrush... this did the best so far.

I'm gonna try Windex (or similar window cleaner) & bleach/water or just straight bleach.

If all luck runs out, I'll work my way up to the more violent chemicals!

Thanks guys/gals!
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:02 PM   #11
I've done... questionable things.
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muriatic acid is extreme for a lived in , finished house , if you use that , don't get it on the carpet or the woodwork or your skin or metal or anything BUT the grout lines , and you need to neutralize it with water , so it's not the best choice as I said ,

OZ
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:09 PM   #12
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Janster, You can try TSP. Its a hard surface cleaner that I use when I coat garage floors. It pulls anything out of concrete so I'm sure it would do the same with grout. You can get it at Ace Hardware in the cleaning supplies. It comes in a little white tub. You mix a little bit in water and then have at it. Its nothing crazy like acid but I'd wear rubber dish gloves because sometimes it can give you a lil bit of a rash.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:16 AM   #13
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A little procrastination ..... still trying to find that miracle cleaner.

Bought some stuff at the local Depot, and that didn't work worth a crap.

The guy at Depot said to try Tilex - which I already have at the house. Actually, it did really well on some of the areas but wasn't able to clean the worst areas. I'll stop by Home Depot again and see if they have anything else that you guys have already mentioned.
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