Asked on May 21, 2013

How to clean film from newly installed white subway tile in shower.

Lynn C.
by Lynn C.
I just had my shower redone after experiencing a leak. I used white subway tile. I noticed many of them have a film that doesn't wash off and others feel rough. I am assuming it is from the grout. What is the best way of cleaning these? Thanks.
  7 answers
  • Humphries Homes Humphries Homes on May 22, 2013
    I would try a Mr Clean magic eraser first, they are just abrasive enough to clean weird stuff like grout haze on tile. Also I would try a rough textured sponge/kitchen sponge they usually have them in the tile section at Hardware stores for that reason. There are several products for tile that are HAZE removers but I would try the cleaning route first before buying something to remove it. I would be surprised if the eraser or tile sponge did not work. Almost forgot use hot water and plenty of pressure. Good Luck
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 22, 2013
    I often buff out dry "grout haze" with a dry towel....this is done at 5-6 hours after being grouted.
  • The film and roughness is the result of the installer not properly wiping down the surface after applying the grout. I recommend going to your nearest big box home store or hardware store and making two very inexpensive purchases...a textured tile sponge and some cheese cloth. Wet the sponge in a bucket of hot water and thoroughly sponge off all of the tile surface. This will remove the rough spots you referred to as well as much of the haze. Let the surface completely dry. You will still see a light dusty haze or film. Using the cheese cloth will remove this. Just use the cheese cloth similarly to how you used the sponge and all the haze will come off. If it is a very large area, you may need to use additional cheese cloth as it becomes filled with dust. Should be easy!
  • Lynn C. Lynn C. on May 22, 2013
    Thanks for your imput. I ended up using a scrub sponge, sponge on one side and a rough texture surface on the opposite side. Some areas took some elbow grease, but it worked pretty well.
  • Lindy Hall Lindy Hall on Mar 04, 2015
    Yes. The Mr. Clean Erase sponge works pretty darn good. If it doesn't quite get some of it, then use a pumice stone... very, very gently. It's a tedious job, which I found easier to do in increments every time I take a shower. Do the small wall, then next time to half of the larger wall, etc.
  • Betty Johnson Betty Johnson on Sep 23, 2015
    They sell sponges for tiles at hardware stores. They are more textured and will help get the grout and film off your tiles. It shouldn't be too hard to remove with the right materials. Then your tiles will look and feel amazing. ;
  • Carol Merrill Carol Merrill on Mar 27, 2016
    RED scotch brite pads!! Porcelain tiles are pretty durable.