Hi all,

New here and just after some advice. Im not sure whether this should be in dyes or here, but i'll explain my problem.

I have black tiles and grout in my bathroom. I wish to recolour and darken the original grout to a more solid black.

Products on the market that call themselves Grout dyes, are not that. They are simply grout paints that sit on top of the grout surface and will eventually peel, and hey have a slight sheen which grout should not have.

My ideas have led my here. I need thin dye or ink that will essentially stain the grout black, while being wipeable from the tile surface during the application process.

Grout is absorbant to some degree so thin dye or ink seems like the perfect candidate.

Further qualities Im looking for are waterproof and fade resistance.

Research leads me to believe that alcohol based inks and indeed dyes are the 'more' waterproof and the colour is not sedimentary so will soak 'into' the grout structure. As opposed to water based inks/dyes where the colour sits more on top of the surface.


Any help would be appreciated so I can test some products to see how this goes.

Kind regards and hope all are safe during lockdown :-)


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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod
This should work pretty well.  It is a dye based inks so I think that will be fine.  It can look slightly glossy on slick suraces, but takes on the texture of its substrate, so it should just sink into the grout.  It definitely doesn't peel.  

I think this is a fine use for it.  The ink is light resistant, but not light proof.  If you got a lot of sun in the bathroom, which would be unusual, but not unheard of, it could cause issues over the course of years.  It is not fade proof.  In artificial light it should last a long time.   
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Hi there. An update on my grout colouring. I have tested this now and it's working really well as theorised. So if anybody happens to have similar needs then its a thumbs up from me so far, as a true grout re-colouring or re-shading solution.

Mine is a labour of love though. I have small mosaic tiles and so have LOTS of black grout to re-colour/re-shade. I may have to use a larger brush to speed things up.

Other points to note:

  • The clean-up solution works great to remove ink from the surface of the tiles at anytime after application.
  • The ink dries very quickly so best to work quickly for an even coverage.


@Jacquardmod If I could ask a couple of further questions.

Obviously the ink is proving waterproof/resistant in the grout. I need to establish what cleaning products might effect it. Do you have any lists of what kind of products can remove alcohol inks in general?

Ive already tested against detergent which had no effect. I even tried white spirits to see if it could act as a clean up solution, but it had little effect. Presumed as it was a form of alcohol it would work. Not sure on acids or alkali cleaners yet such as bleaches.

Is the clean up solution based on Isopropyl Alcohol?

I have also come across the Claro extender solution. I am wondering if adding a small amount of this to my ink will help prevent the ink drying too quickly?

Currently the ink drys on the tile surface within seconds. For clean-up purposes it would be nice to be able to extend this dry time, BUT without effecting the ink opacity too much. Could this work in your opinion?


Many thanks again for helping me with the development of what seems to be a great solution in the making :-)


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Jacquardmod Jacquardmod

The clean up is ethanol-based.  The dyes and binder are both more soluble in ethanol than isopropyl, so even though isopropyl willl work, I rarely get something 100% clean with isopropyl because it doesn't dissolve the ink as well.  It does work ok on perfectly smooth ceramic tile though.  Spirits won't work.  Some other solvents like acetone work slightly but not very well.  More polar solvents will work better, oilier solvents like Spirits won't.

Detergents and other water based cleaner should be ok.  Things with ammonia in them like windex might not.  High pH is bad and can re-wet the inks.  

Propylene glycol can slow the drying time down considerably.  It is totally compatible with the inks, but can increase the dry time so much, be careful. Just add small amounts until you get a feel for it.   The extender will lengthen the dry time as well, but only a little bit.  
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