Learn How To Clean Travertine Like A Professional.

What is travertine? 

Travertine is a natural stone like Marble, Onyx, Limestone, and Slate. It forms around mineral deposits, especially in hot springs and limestone caves, and has a marble-like quality. Travertine flooring can be particularly beautiful. I’m often asked how to clean travertine tiles by my customers, so, in this post, we will cover all the best ways to keep your travertine floor tiles and shower tiles looking brand new! 

 natural travertine pools

Why travertine gets so grimy.

Travertine is prone to mold and staining from shampoo and soap scum because the surface is porous and uneven, holding the water. Often the mold and grime get missed during regular cleaning as the cleaning cloth glides over the rough surface.  

What not to use on travertine!  

Travertine stone is durable, but it is also delicate, so it is essential to use cleaning products that are PH neutral or PH7 or below.  

Never use bleach or ammonia to clean travertine as this will, if used over time, dull and damage the surface of the travertine tiles and cause it to become more porous and more susceptible to stains. 

Never use vinegar on travertine tiles as it is an acid and will cause damage to the surface of the tile and will make them susceptible to stains and prematurely age the travertine floors and tiles. 

Never use any cleaning product containing orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, or any other citric acid-based cleaners, as this too will cause premature damage to the surface of your tiles.  

So, how do we clean travertine?  

How to prevent travertine from getting grubby.

Cleaning travertine needn’t be a headache. You need to take precautions to stop the shampoo and soap scum build-up. Stone care prevention is better than cure when cleaning mold off tiles. It’s better to use some good old scrubbing power to prevent it from growing than to rectify it once it’s gotten hold. Especially as the big guns like bleach are not suitable for regular travertine cleaning. So, follow these rules to establish a good cleaning routine.  

How to care for travertine tile. 

beautiful bathroom on the waters edge
  • Scrub your travertine shower tiles once a week with a soft scrubbing brush and warm water to dislodge any mold and grime, paying particular attention to the grout lines. 
  • Ventilate the area well after each shower, preferably with an open window to allow the air to circulate. 
  • Wipe the shower stall with a towel to dislodge residual water from collecting in the grooves after each use. 
  • Clean any shampoo or soap spills immediately to prevent staining. 
  • Sealing travertine tiles will help prevent your tiles from becoming stained. It is recommended that you have someone professionally seal your travertine tiles every year.  

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How to clean travertine tiles. 

Before trying any of the methods listed below, refer to the user manual, and proceed with caution at your own risk. 

travertine tiles

  1. To remove the mold on travertine tiles.  

    Use 1- part baking soda to 4 parts borax and 8 parts water, mix in a spray bottle, spray onto your travertine tiles, then allow to work for 15 minutes. 
     Use a small brush for cleaning grout stains. 
    Rinse well.
    If the stain persists, repeat and sit for a further 30 minutes, then scrub again with your stiff brush. Make sure you rinse the tiles well to avoid leaving a residue.
     Dry well with a towel. 

  2. To remove stubborn stains on travertine. 

    You can use hydrogen peroxide to remove stubborn stains from your travertine tiles. Still, extra care must be taken when cleaning darker tiles as peroxide can bleach colors, so always do a test in an inconspicuous area before cleaning. 
    Stubborn stains can be removed using a poultice of bicarbonate of soda left on the stain for approximately 15 minutes, then rinsed off and dried thoroughly. 

  3. How to clean travertine floors naturally. 

    It is important to establish a good cleaning routine to keep your travertine floors looking pristine and avoid damage.  
    Sweep or dry dust mop the floor every day to avoid dirt being ground into the stone and grout. 
     Mop the area regularly using warm water, travertine cleaner, and a damp eCloth mop. Change the mop head every 30 square feet and replace it with a clean one. 
    Rinse with clean, warm water. 
    Dry the area thoroughly. 

    You can occasionally use a soapy water solution to clean your travertine tiles using a mind detergent. Still, it is not recommended for regular use, as it may cause a soap build-up if you don’t rinse it off properly. 

  4. How to deep clean travertine floors. 

    It is probably a good idea to call in professional help for a deep clean, as they have special equipment to remove the deepest ingrained dirt from your flooring. Read this post for more information on having your floors professionally deep cleaned.

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Can I use bleach to clean travertine floors? 

I would say not. As stated above, bleach will damage your tiles if used regularly. If you insist on using bleach to clean travertine flooring, in my opinion, bleach will ruin the stone’s surface when used over a while. Avoid it at all costs!  

Can you tell me how to clean travertine floors without streaks? 

Streaks are caused by cleaner residue drying on the floor before you’ve had a chance to wipe it dry thoroughly. I prefer to use an  E-cloth mop and work in small areas drying the clean floor tiles before moving further on. 

Are travertine floor cleaner products safe to use in a travertine shower? 

Always use a reputable travertine cleaner as recommended by your shower installer with a neutral PH, and it should be perfectly safe to use on your shower as long as you do a test in an inconspicuous area first. 

What is the best cleaner for travertine tile? 

If you are familiar with my other cleaning-related posts, you know I like a good old scrubbing brush and elbow grease to clean most areas rather than fancy cleaners. This is especially true with travertine as it holds the water and dirt in all the nooks and crannies!  

What about steam cleaning travertine floors will it damage the finish over time?   

Some people use a steam cleaner to clean their travertine floors with great success. I don’t use a steamer, but people sometimes prefer to because they use much less water than a traditional mop. Again, I would proceed with caution! 

Does vinegar clean travertine? 

No, no, and no again!! Never use anything acid on travertine as it will damage the surface of your stone. 

How do I clean kitchen tiles?

If your tiles are travertine, then follow the advice above. If they are made from any other material, follow the tips in this fabulous little post!

To read how to remove nasty stains from granite , read this post!

2 thoughts on “Learn How To Clean Travertine Like A Professional.

  1. Eva says:

    I found your method for cleaning mold off travertine tile using baking soda, borax and water. I shook the bottle vigorously, however, the powders kept separating and none of the three spray bottles I used were able to syphon up the mixture. I used 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax and 2 cups water. Please advise.

    • Clare Davison says:

      Hi Eva thank you for reaching out. I find that if i mix all the powers into a thick paste first then slowly add the water to the paste (as you would when adding thickner to gravy) it works well.

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