Efflorescence: The grouters nightmare!

You make a beautiful mosaic, grout it, and then the next day there is white powdery streaks running down off of the grout.  What a mess!  What is this white stuff?  How do I get rid of it??  The white stuff is called efflorescence.  It happens most often when you apply grout in moist and cool conditions.  In my case, I grouted between rains when it was foggy but dry.  The fountain showed no signs of white streaks and was sent out on a truck.  A few days later I went down to do finishing touches on it and saw this:
Those lighter streaks are efflorescence coming off of the grout on the dragonfly mosaic.  If this happens to you, don't panic!  Head over to the cleaning section of your local drug store and pick up some Lime Away .  I'm not sure if other Calcium removing products work, but If they contain similar ingredients they should. Efflorescence is basically Calcium that is leached out of the cement by the grout and surrounding moisture. Pat the white areas with a Lime Away soaked paper towel while wearing gloves.  Better yet, just follow the package directions! This case was stubborn and took several passes but finally came off.

Incoming Help: wear gloves!

 All better now!

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