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Old 04-13-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
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how to remove mortar glue residue on slate tiles


Hello all,
My husband and I just renovated our kitchen and this past week we laid slate tiles (what an adventure!). We wanted the textures and colors of true slate but we didn't realize how difficult it would be to grout. Because of the "layers" in the slate, it took quite a bit of detailed cleaning after finishing the grout. We thought we had cleaned it well but now there is a residue from the mortar. It is smooth (all sand was removed) but is a shade darker than the rest of the tile. I don't want to seal it with this residue as I'm afraid that will make it permanent and it detracts from the overall beauty of the natural slate. Does anyone know how to get the residue off without harming the tiles or grout lines? Thank you!

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Old 05-12-2009, 03:11 PM   #2
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how to remove mortar glue residue on slate tiles


I have a similar issue and found this product...haven't tried it yet but plan too.
http://en.fr.hg.eu/wizard-shop/index...id_proof_slate

My brother is a builder and said muratic acid diluted some should also do the trick...but wear goggles and rubber gloves and keep it away from pets and dispose of it properly. Good luck!

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Old 05-12-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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how to remove mortar glue residue on slate tiles


R. Rose,

Thanks for the advice! We actually tried the acid and didn't have much luck. We ended up cleaning it 2 or 3 more times and calling it "good enough". After, all, slate has so many color variations that it didn't look obvious to anyone but my husband and I.

The acid lead to another problem though and I'm truly at a loss for what to do about this...

We have Uba Tuba (black) granite slab countertops and after my husband worked with the acid cleaner on the slate flooring, he set the bottle on a towel placed on the counterop. Evidently, a small drip trickled down the side of the bottle, the towel absorbed and spread it, and we ended up with a 3" "stain" in diameter. The pores in the granite absorbed the acid and left an unsightly white stain. The folks I bought the countertop from recommended a poultice that did not work and then said I was "out of luck" because the granite had been bleached through each of the pores. Sanding wouldn't work because it's too deep. I need suggestions because we're in serious trouble if we ruined a 2 month old piece of expensive granite!!! I will post this in the proper forum but if you know of anything that would help, I am all ears!
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:47 PM   #4
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how to remove mortar glue residue on slate tiles


I'm thinking a stain that they use on cement may work...you would probably have to work with several colors carefully adding it in and a sealer on top. My brother works with the stain...I'll see what he suggests. What colors are in your granite? I'm sure you are just sick about the stain...but to every problem there is a solution.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:42 PM   #5
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how to remove mortar glue residue on slate tiles


Uba Tuba is black with hints of green and gold in it. That is a very good suggestion to "dye" it back... I'll be interested to hear what your brother has to say!
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
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how to remove mortar glue residue on slate tiles


My brother says it would not be a good idea to use the stains for cement as they are acid based stains. He suggests using paint pigments carefully matched to the colors and allowed to soak into the pores of the granite as they would likely come out the closest in color. Maybe artist oil paint thinned a bit with linseed oil. If you can get a scrap piece of the granite and duplicate the stain...then I would experiment on that first. I would guess you would have to do the black first and let it dry out...and then carefully blend the colors in using a small or tiny brush...do your best to duplicate the grain of the granite and then find a sealer that will work with the granite and blend with the lustre of the rest of the countertop. It would be a faux finish...but would make it much less noticeable.

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