plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Avoiding damage when using muriatic acid to clean tiled floor
When using muratic acid to clean a tiled floor, what should you use for clean-up to nuetrilize the acid, if anything at all? Second, what will the acid do to grout?
health club manager - Morristown, New Jersey
First off, the disclaimer. I have never done industrial ceramic tiling and know little about that industry.
But I have done substantial ceramic tiling at home in several houses over a period of years without resorting to acid. And I have used Muriatic Acid [affil link] for other purposes and seen its effects, and I have published numerous letters here from people and businesses whose property has been seriously damaged by muriatic acid fumes from floor cleaning.
In my ignorance I assume that industrial tilers simply don't take the time to wash the grout off the tile before it dries. The reason may be that it has to be washed about a dozen times, emptying the bucket and rinsing the rags again and again and again and again. It is terribly time consuming. It's probably easier to give it a quick wipe, let the balance dry, and dissolve it with muriatic acid.
Clearly the acid damages the grout: it's supposed to. But those acid fumes also hold very high risk of damaging all of your fitness equipment, and I don't think it should be done. Make sure whoever does it is well insured, and inspect your gym equipment with them before and after the job.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey