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dandgluna 07-10-2006 09:22 AM

"cleaning" tiles
Some of the tiles in the bathroom I have been working on have grout and caulking on them. Is there a way to get this off?

I heard that with the grout, there is pretty much nothing you can do about. Is there anything new out there?

The caulking, well that just bugs the beggezers out of me. :furious: When I removed the old shower doors, it was obvious that who ever put that on just didn't care. :( They smeared it all over and in some areas it was about an inch thick! I tried the razor blade tool but after breaking numerous razors and getting nowhere decided to try something else. I used my dremel with a polishing bit on it and that sure did stink! It heated it up and I was able to remove some of it, but there is some of it there. Any ideas on how to get it off is greatly appreciated!

LanterDan 07-16-2006 01:34 AM

At work we have had some success with using isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) to aid in removing silicone RTV used to seal fittings in plastic “fish tanks” (well not really fish tanks … but similar with many through wall fittings) so I’d give this a try with bathroom calk if you haven’t already. I should add that the help is rather minimal and the job is still a real pain in the neck. With luck the alcohol with cause the chalk to swell and help to break its bond with the tile; don’t expect it to dissolve and give it some to time. Be careful about keeping the alcohol away from any the chalk lines you want to keep too. We’ve found at work that getting any near one the seams is likely to make it leak even when no visible damage is evident. Or you could just re-chalk these. Since the heat from the dremel seems to help, I’d try a heat gun after the alcohol too. Still don’t expect any miracles and lots of scrapping.

Well this is farther from I’m expertise, I woulnd’t give up hope on the grout either. It is certainly possible to remove grout from in between tiles, so I would think you could still carefully scrape it of the faces. Epoxy grout would basically be hopeless, but I doubt you have that. Again, lots of very slow work.

Good luck. I don’t envy either of these tasks in the slightest.

dandgluna 07-17-2006 12:25 AM

Thanks for your help. Just as I expected, lots of elbow grease!

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