We redid our fireplace with natural slate tiles. The problem is when we grouted, we didn't wash off the excess grout as we applied it. Now that it has set its nearly impossible to get off. I've been scraping it with a putty knife but its taking forever. We tried a wire brush but it puts scratches in the stone. Is there a better way to get it off?
I've also noticed that it doesn't look so bad when its wet. If we seal it, will it look closer to when its wet? Can someone recommend a specific sealer to use to keep it looking wet?
Oh boy--You learned a hard lesson about not leaving a job half finished!
First mistake you should have sealed the slate before you grouted--that keeps the grout from sticking to the surface.
Now I'm done bawling you out--
Try softening the grout with a vinegar soaked rag--a few drops of dish soap and full strength vinegar--lay the rag on the slate add more solution a few drops at a time to keep the rag moist---Scrub with a white scotch brite pad..and a stiff finger nail brush.
This can damage some slates--do a test first--this method should only be used when all else has failed.