How to Remove Dried Thinset from Tile - 8 Helpful Tips

How to Remove Dried Thinset From Tile – Detailed Manual

Every family at least once has been tested by repair. The fact is that it is not only quite a long and time-consuming process. You may face a lot of difficulties. In this article, we will cover the question of how to remove dried thinset from tile.

How to Remove Dried Thinset from Tile

In fact, there are quite a few proven methods that can effectively clean tiles from various thinset mortar. All of them can be divided into two large groups:

  • Professional household chemicals – specialized store products that easily dissolve building materials.
  • Folk methods – they are based on improvised means, most of which can be found in the kitchen. Their effectiveness is also very high, but you do not have to shell out decent money to purchase them.


What to clean the tile surface after the repair, everyone should decide for themselves. The only thing to consider when choosing is the nature of the thinset dirt, as well as the features of the tiles themselves.

Features of Different Contaminants

Let’s consider in more detail what will help to clean the mortar from different thinset building materials.

Washing Tiles from Construction Dust and Whitewashing

Construction dust is relatively harmless compared to other types of thinset contaminants, so it is easy enough to wash grout lines from it. To do this, you can prepare your choice of one of two active solutions:

  • Add citric acid to warm water, at the rate of: one bag per liter of liquid. Especially well such a solution to wash the glossy surface of the whitewash and dusty plaque. After such a procedure, the flooring will shine like new.
  • Mix in a basin five liters of clean water, half a cup of 9% table vinegar and a sachet of citric acid.
  • To wash the considered means tile, simply soak a floor cloth in one of the solutions, and thoroughly treat the soiled surface.

How to Clean Tiles from the Glue and Thinset Mortar

A much more serious situation is when you need to remove dried thinset on the grout lines, stained with construction glue. It is desirable to begin the hygienic procedure as early as possible, before the adhesive composition has had time to fully bond with the surface.Repairs

The easiest and fastest way in such cases is to clean the tile surface from the thinset glue with any solvent, such as gasoline or kerosene. If active liquids were not to hand, the sticky residues are removed with the following proven tip hack from experienced builders:

  • Mix in a small saucepan a liter of water, two tablespoons of ammonia and half a cup of table vinegar.
  • Wet the resulting liquid with a cotton swab, and put it on the soiled area.
  • After fifteen minutes – remove the compress, and gently clean the tiles with a plastic spatula.
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It is worth noting that the actions described above are also suitable to clean the glue off the tile with protective gear after the repair.

How to Remove Thinset

After priming and leveling floors, walls and inter tile joints during repairs, the tiles are often difficult to remove traces of building materials. Here are a few ways to help remove thinset mortar and primer:

  • Soda water. To prepare it, you need to mix water and baking soda in the ratio: twenty grams of powder per one hundred milliliters of liquid. To wash the thinset mortar and putty, you will first need to soak a rag in the resulting liquid, and put it on the spots for fifteen to twenty minutes. After such a procedure, the thinset mortar will be easy enough to scrub from the tiles.
  • Dissolving liquids: acetone, gasoline, kerosene. The principle of action is similar to that described in the previous paragraph: the first thing you need to do is to attach a moistened clean rag to the thinset mortar place, then wash the tile.
  • Note that fresh dirt can be easily removed by washing the stained surface with hot water. In the same way you can easily clean the tiles from the mortar after repairs.
  • If the grout is cement-based, it can easily be removed with a special cleaner. Similar products can easily rid your tile of cement.

Useful Information: The Easiest Way to Clean Thinset Mortar From Tile

In this video you will learn more useful information about how to remove dried thinset from tile.

Getting Rid of Sealant And Foam

To clean sealing compounds, wall or floor tiles are treated with special dissolving compounds, such as White Spirit. To clean soiled areas with them, you will need to:

  • Scrape off excess sealant with a knife or blade;
  • Moisten a clean rag with solvent;
  • Carefully clean the tiles from contaminants.

Getting Rid of Sealant And Foam

This method is easy to wash off the foam and other sealants with protective gear after the repair of both matte and glossy surface.

Paint And Its Stains

Quite often after the repair, you have to think about how to remove paint from tile floor. In such cases, the best option would be to treat problematic areas with solvents, such as acetone or White Spirit. Usually the hygienic procedure takes place in several steps: first you need to put a moistened rag on the divorces for a few minutes, then try to wash away the dirt.

  • If you need to wash water-based emulsion from vinyl tile or tile, it is enough to wash it thoroughly with warm water.
  • Basic home cleaning methods without the use of chemicals
  • Here are a few proven ways to clean tile after renovations in the kitchen or bathroom most gently.
  • Washing the floor of fresh construction dust with a soapy solution
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If the floor is not left after the repair of any difficult mortar, you cannot really think about special cleaning methods, and just go over the tiles a few times with an ordinary soapy solution. For its preparation is allowed to use not only soap, but also any detergent. Such a treatment will be quite enough to put in order any tile, including porcelain tiles.

  • Citric acid or vinegar. If after washing the floor with the above mentioned means there is a need to get rid of stains, citric or acetic acid will help. To prepare a cleaning solution, you will need to mix in equal proportions of clean water and your choice of freshly squeezed lemon juice or nine percent table vinegar.
  • Drinking soda can qualitatively wash more persistent dirt, for example, from primer. To carry out the hygienic procedure, you will first need to make a special cleaning mixture: mix baking soda and clean water in a small bowl until the consistency of a paste. The resulting thick mass should be applied in a thick layer to the soiled areas, and wait until it dries completely. Then use warm water to remove the remaining paste and dirt.
  • Undoubtedly, no cleaning after repairs can do without solvent liquids. After all, they are universal cleaning agents. They can easily cope with construction glue, paint, sealant and other building materials. If the dirt is not scrubbed off the first time, it is enough to simply put a cloth soaked in solvent on the soiled area for a few minutes. After that, it will be much easier to clean the tiles.

In addition, solvent liquids are suitable for cleaning any, even delicate coatings, whether quartz vinyl or tile.

Cleaning with Chemicals and Muriatic Acid

In some cases, it is not possible to wash the tiles after the repair, even the most effective folk remedies. Do not despair in such situations – will save the situation specialized household muriatic acid. However, there is no universal cleaner.

For example, to remove mortar, you can use 5% chloride solution.

Professional products are used to remove construction adhesive mortar. You can buy such cleaners and muriatic acid in any construction store. The only thing to consider when using muriatic acid is the instructions for use.

How to Clean the Joints Between the Tiles with Baking Soda and Vinegar

To clean the seams between the tiles after the repair, prepare a thick paste by mixing baking soda with water (take three parts of soda for one part of water).remove dried thinset from tile

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This product is suitable for joints of any color.

  • Apply the prepared paste with your finger to the seam line.
  • Despite the fact that baking soda is absolutely harmless, you should work with rubber gloves to avoid scratching and inflammation of the skin on your hands.
  • Then prepare a solution of white vinegar and water (1: 1), pour it into a spray bottle and spray on the seams (over the baking soda paste). Immediately formed bubbles will indicate the beginning of a chemical cleaning reaction. Keep in mind, however, that vinegar can cause damage to some natural materials (such as limestone or marble), it is strongly not recommended to use vinegar to treat such surfaces.
  • As a rule, the cleaning process lasts a few minutes. When the solution stops bubbling, cleaning is complete.
  • Wipe the seams with a brush with nylon bristles or an old toothbrush. Be especially meticulous about the corners and joints with the wall or flooring.
  • Rinse the tiles thoroughly with clean water to remove baking soda and vinegar residue.


To wash the tiles after the repair from mortar, in addition to special compounds produced by the chemical industry, you can help means that are available in almost every home:

  • Citric acid. A solution is prepared (50 grams of acid per liter of hot water), thoroughly mixed and cooled to lukewarm. Then a rag soaked in the resulting solution, abundantly wet the thinset glue stain. After softening, the glue will be easy to remove with a dry sponge.
  • Soda: Baking soda powder is diluted with cold water to a mushy consistency. The mixture is applied to the stain with a sponge. After a while, the surface is washed with clean water and dried.
  • One capful of bleach is diluted with two liters of water. The resulting solution is applied to the stain with a hard sponge or rough cloth.
  • Table vinegar. Protective gloves must be worn when using vinegar. The stain is moistened with vinegar and after a few minutes, the sponge is used to remove the softened top layer. The procedure can be repeated as needed.

The above options at home than you can wash the tiles after repair, works well at the stage of drying of the adhesive composition. However, they do not cope with fully hardened remove thinset glue and mortar – here you need stronger chemicals.

Renovation is quite a challenge for the whole family. But after it, it is very pleasant to go into a beautiful and comfortable home improvement. And to wash the tiles after the repair from mortar work will help the tips listed in the article.

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