How to Soften Grout For Removal

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How to Soften Grout For Removal

Removing grout can be a challenge and you can end up harming yourself. This is why it is best that you soften the grout for removal before you do anything else. Bending on your knees to soften grout can hurt your back as well, that is why I will also list and link to the best tool you can use to remove and soften old grout in joints in minutes whether it is in your bathroom shower or on your bathroom floor without damaging the tiles.

using knife to soften grout and remove it 

I have done this in plenty of bathrooms because I was a tile installer in the past and often customers wanted me to re-grout or change up the look of the floor. Let us get to softening that grout!

Can You Soften Grout?

The short answer to this is yes! You can soften grout for removal. If you choose to use homemade methods and basic tools, it can take some time to remove it. So this article will list every way you can soften the grout for removal.

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What Is The Easiest Way To Remove Old Grout?

I have a bad back and that is why I came up with the best way to clean my baseboards without bending because each time I bend too long I will be in pain. Buying an oscillating tool with a grout blade attached for less than 150$ together is the easiest way to soften or remove the grout without putting in too much work. But if that is too expensive for you 5 methods below are there to choose from.

Products You Will Use Links:

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Types Of Grouts

Before you start to soften the grout for removal, you will need to know what type go grout you are working with. Some grouts have sand in them while others don’t and this is based on how big the grout joint is between the tiles.

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Sanded Grout – Sanded grout is used mainly for big tiles that have a huge gap between the joints. If you put grout that has no sand in the grout joint, it will break apart in a few months because it has no nothing in it but powder to hold it together. That is why sanded grout is used for huge grout joints. This type of grout is harder to remove and requires more strength or tools to soften.

Un-Sanded Grout – Un-sanded Grout is the opposite of sanded grout. It is used in grout joints that are really small and require the grout to be pushed in it. This type of grout can easily be removed or softened with a grouting knife.


5 Proven Ways to Soften Grout For Removal

Below are 5 methods you can choose from if you do not want to use the method above. These methods will require you to put in some more work but will eventually get the job done.

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1. Using Water On Grout

Using water to lubricate grout is the best way you can soften it for removal. This method works best on grout that was freshly installed or grout that is dried on the surface of the tile that is hard to come off. Do not do this method if you are trying to remove grout from the grout joints.

Steps To Take:

1. Fill a large container with clean warm water.

2. Use a large sponge and wet the area where the grout is and let it sit.

3. Use a razor blade and scrape the dried-up grout off at a 45% angle to get the grout off without scraping the tile.

4. Once you van scraped or soften all the dry grout, vacuum it up to prevent it from getting into other grout joints.

5. Now you can wipe the floor or wall clean.

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2. Using A Heat Gun

Using an industrial heat gun is an easy way to soften grout that is old or dried up. If you do not have a heat gun, a blow dryer will do the trick as well. The heat gun will soften the grout for 1 to 2 minutes, so you have to use your grout removal tool as soon as you heat the grout joint.

Steps To Take:

1. Put your heat gun on the hottest setting or your blow dryer oh the highest setting. Do not run any other heavy energy consumption appliance like a microwave because it will chip the breaker.

2. Point the heater or blow dryer 6 inches away from the tile grout joint and go in a horizontal or vertical motion for 2 minutes over a 12-inch long joint.

3. Once the 2 minutes are up, immediately use your grouting knife or ovulating tool to scrape the grout out while it’s soft.

4. Vacuum as you remove the grout so that the loose grout doesn’t get into other grout joints.

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5. Repeat this process for every grout joint until you soften and remove everything.

3. Using A Steam Cleaner On The Grout Joint

steaming grout joint to soften grout

A Steam cleaner can get very hot, so it can soften grout enough for you to use a knife or grout removal tool to remove it. The steam cleaner is similar to how the heat gun worked. All you need to do is attach the steam jet nozzle and make sure your steam cleaner is well hot.

Steps To Take:

1. Attach the steam jet nozzle to the steam cleaner and turn it on and give it enough time for it to get hot. Do not start to use the steam cleaner if it is not on the green to go. 

2. Point the steam jet nozzle 1 inch away from the grout joint and turn it on.

3. Go in a horizontal or vertical direction base on how the grout joint is for no more than 12-24 inches at a time.  Do this for 2 minutes over each joint.

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4. Use your grouting knife or tool and spare the grout out.

4. Sulfamic Acid

When using sulfamic acid you should practice extreme caution by using gloves and protective glass. If this acid catches your skin it should be washed off immediately. This acid should not be used on plastic tiles or on none ceramic tiles. Don’t even let it catch your walls.

To use this acid on your tiles, spray it on the desired area and leave it for a few minutes. Once the grout is softened, use the grouting knife and scrape the loose grout out. There are also important instructions on the sulfamic bottle which you should read as well.

5. Sugar And Water Method

Yes! This method might surprise you but sugar and water can soften grout enough for you to scrape it out the grout joint or off your ceramic tiles. This is a natural way and will not damage your tiles in no way or form, but it will leave a sticky residue behind which will require you to do some cleaning with some dish soap.

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Steps To Take:

1. Mix 1 cup of white plain sure with 1 gallon of plain water in a large container.

2. Wet the grout joints or dried up grout and leave it on for 20 – 30 minutes.

3. Once the grout is softened, use your grout tool a scrape the grout out.

You need to wash the tiles off properly with water and dish soap before you do anything to the tiles to avoid an ant or bug infestation of your bathroom. Warm water is recommended.

How to Remove Paint From Grout

removing paint from grout joint

If the paint is on your grout, you can try a few methods to remove it. Paint can be easily removed from some surfaces if the paint is latex water base. Just a few wipes with a wet microfiber cloth can wipe the paint off. Acrylic paint on the other hand will need some chemicals to be used to remove the paint.

using paint thinner to clean paint off tile

To remove acrylic paint, you can wet a small section of a microfiber cloth with nail polish remover and scrub the paint out. If it is a huge amount of paint in the grout, for example, you spill some. A paint thinner will be required to wipe and clean the paint off effectively.

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How to Remove Dried Grout From Tile

It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or not, sometimes we get grout on the surface of the tile especially if the tile is white. To remove the dried-up grout, there is only one way to do this.

Take a microfiber cloth and wet it with warm water. Enough warm water so that when you wipe the floor water is left on it.

using blade to scrape grout off floor

Wet the spots that have grout the grout dried on it and let it sit for 10 minutes. Now use a razor blade and scrape the grout off. The grout will come off easily without requiring too much pressure.

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