Travertine Cleaning

Cleaning Travertine Stone

Cleaning travertine tile can be done and is used in many different ways. One popular choice for flooring and bathroom walls is travertine. Although it is durable and attractive, the softness of travertine (relative to other natural stones), and it’s rough, porous surface texture make it one of the more difficult stones to keep clean. Cleaning travertine tiles in a shower can an especially hard task.

About Travertine Cleaning

Travertine is a sedimentary rock formed of calcium carbonate, and as a base is the chemical opposite of an acid material. Therefore, cleaning with acidic products such as vinegar is not recommended.

Proper Travertine Cleaning & Polishing

Acids will cause etching of your travertine. What happens is the acid in the vinegar eats away at the calcium carbonate in the stone, producing small scratches that make a dull spot on the travertine where dirt and grime are attracted and absorbed. This etching reaction is nearly instantaneous, no matter how much water you dilute the vinegar with. A penetrating sealant can limit the acid from penetrating deeply into the stone so that etching remains superficial and can be buffed out, but this is not a viable solution.

The best way to clean travertine is with a quality cleaner that is neutral in pH. You can use a mild liquid dishwashing soap, like Dawn, but make sure it is plain, with no fancy additives or “freshening” aromas.

Travertine Floor Cleaning

The same goes for travertine floor cleaning. Be vigilant about any mud and dirt tracked into the house; have a strict Take Your Shoes Off at the Front Door policy.

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Clean up any dirty shoeprints as fast as possible. Prevention goes a long way with travertine. Natural stone floors, though beautiful, have qualities that make them hard to finish, polish and clean, particularly travertine, with its air pockets, roughness, and pores. Travertine flooring should always be sealed with a penetrating sealer. Finish coat sealers that work on other types of stone flooring are not suitable for this type of stone. Travertine varies by grade, density, and porosity; it is available honed or in a natural state of finish. Cleaning, polishing and sealing methods need to be carefully matched to the stone.

Travertine Floor Maintenance Tips

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning your travertine, there a few preventative care steps you can take. For your shower tiles, get a squeegee and give the walls a good wipe down after each shower.

In fact, this is a good tip for all types of shower tiles; it sure beats scrubbing soap scum out of grout lines, and it will prevent any mold and mildew buildup. Alternately, give everyone in the family two towels, one for drying themselves off after a shower and one for drying off the travertine in the shower walls.

Tips Courtesy: www.onlinetips.org
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