The removing of the excess cement and grout is the last step of the ceramic tile installation process. Usually, installation of outdoor ceramic tiles on a concrete slab requires the use of Portland cement. Applying too much cement makes it to sweep up between tiles and spread over the tiles, and may stain them. The same thing happens with grout. If the excess cement or grout is not cleaned immediately, it will be stiff and difficult to remove.
First, you should know that any metal tool could scratch the glaze and even the tile. Therefore, do not use steel wool or any other metal thing.
1. If the mortar is not too dried you can try to remove it using “Doodlebug Pad”. These nylon pads are mainly used for cleaning and scrubbing non-skid areas such as decks. The best is to use the “Brown Scrub’n Strip Pad” variant, which is designed special, for tough jobs. DO NOT wet the surface; use these pads only on dry surfaces.
For the dried grout, use “Heavy Duty Grout Haze Remover”. It has an alkaline formula and can help you to remove grout. When using, follow the manufacturer instructions.
2. Another solution would be to use a rotary tool, which can help you to clean your ceramic tiles.
Using a wet nonabrasive “Black or Blue Doodlebug Pad” scrub carefully and gently the tiled surface. Do not rub in rotary motion, only rub in a forth and back motions. While scrubbing, pour water from time to time. It takes time and patience to remove the grout from the surface of the tile.
For the grout, that is in between the tiles use a rotary tool. When working, use special care not to damage the tiles. Cut carefully the grout to break it out, and then insert a thin nail and rake the grout out. Using a brush wipe the debris.