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Friday, October 31, 2014

Question

I am having a problem with cleaning ceramic tiles in the restrooms due to a previous housekeeper's error in judgement. Toilet bowl cleaner was used to clean the floors and has left spotting on the floor. They then tried to cover up the problem by putting down a floor finish to no avail. What can I use to get the floor back to, or near, its original finish?


Answer

The original finish was probably none, so you may wish to start by stripping whatever was put down.
I can't say for certain, obviously, but I suspect the toilet bowl cleaner was a hydrochloric (HCl) acid based one and it dissolved whatever grout film was left on the tiles when they were installed. This would account for the spotting, and the solution to your problem may lie with doing a light acid rinse of the entire floor to remove all the grout film. Dilute some muriatic (HCl) acid and work on a small, finish-free section to test this theory. If it works, you have your answer.
Normally, clay or ceramic tiles wouldn't be affected by an acid, but anything connected with the cement grout would be, thus my guess.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com