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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I am redoing my bathroom and I am tiling essentially a chair rail on my wall with 3x12 porcelain tiles. The job has gone well so far, but in the sunlight I have noticed spots of joint compound residue on the porcelain tiles (see picture). It is not grout because I haven't gotten to that step yet.

Can anyone give me some suggestions as to how to get the joint compound off the tile before grouting? Also, these aren't clumps of compound but rather smears. Thank you for your help!

Richard
 

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I would try a vinegar/water solution along with a plastic scraper, similar to what is used to clear ice off a car windshield. There are more aggressive treatments but why risk making scratches? I am certain someone will come up with other ideas so don't dispair if this does not work to your satisfaction.
 
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Joint compound is water soluble. A damp rag, or sponge, should take it up nicely. You may want to follow up with a dry rag.
Unless its setting-type joint compound, which would require mechanical removal. In which case, a brass-bristle brush on your drill might work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok so I'm an idiot. It's not joint compound. It's tile adhesive. I don't know what I was thinking. Does that change any of your responses?
 

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Are you sure it is adhesive and not thinset. Both are used for setting tiles. I strongly suggest no brass or steel wheels because of the possibility of scratching the porcelain finish.

If adhesive, there are solvents such as acetone or lacquer thinner but I'd still start with a plastic scraper. If this is not successful, I'd try a solvent which will dissolve adhesive but will be ineffective if it is thinset.

If you are still unsuccessful, a scraper with a razor edge will work but be gentle and watch out for scratching. I suppose a green scrubber might also work especially with a solvent. The tiles have a tough finish but as you can imagine if you scratch the surface there is no practical repair.

Finally, if thinset, I return to my original advice-water/vineger mix coupled with a plastic scraper. The reason I originally assumed it was thinset mortar despite you indicating it was joint compound was because thinset is more logical to find on tiles than joint compound which is used with drywall.

The key is to start with the most gentle method available and work your way up. Don't hesitate to return if you have any problems or questions. Try to stay with this site and be careful when it comes to advice from the guys with aprons at the big box stores. Most times they are correct but sometimes they are not and you won't know until it is too late. Just my opinion.
 

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I still stand behind the wire wheel. Just use some common sense and test on a scrap piece first, to ensure you're not going to harm the surface.
 
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