Learn How To Clean Travertine Like A Professional.

What is travertine? 

Travertine is a natural stone just like Marble, Onyx, Limestone and Slate. It forms around mineral deposits especially in hot springs and limestone caves and has a marble-like quality about it. 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 mould and staining from shampoo and soap scum because the surface is porous and uneven and it holds the water. Often the mould and grime get missed during regular cleaning as the cleaning cloth glides over the uneven surface.  

What not to use on travertine!  

Travertine stone is durable but it is also delicate, so it is important to use cleaning products which 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 and 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 just need to take some precautions to stop the shampoo and soap scum build-up. Stone care prevention is better than cure when it comes to cleaning mould off tiles. It’s better to use some good old scrubbing power to prevent it from growing than to try to rectify it once it’s gotten hold. Especially as the big guns like bleach are not suitable for regular cleaning of travertine. 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 over the shower stall with a towel after each use to dislodge any residual water from collecting in the grooves. 
  • 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. 

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

  1. To remove the mold on travertine tiles.  

    Use 1- part baking soda to 4 parts borax and 8 parts water, mix together 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 still persists repeat and allow to 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 but extra care must be taken when cleaning darker tiles as peroxide can bleach colours, 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 to 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 foot and replace with a clean one. 
    Rinse with clean warm water. 
    Dry the area thoroughly. 

    A solution of soapy water can be used occasionally to clean your travertine tiles using a mind detergent, but it is not recommended for regular use, as it may cause a soap build-up if it is not rinsed 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. For more information on having your floors professionally deep cleaned read this post.

travertine tiles
Can I use bleach to clean travertine floors? 

I would say absolutely 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 surface of the stone when used over a period of time, 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 using 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 do use a steam cleaner to clean their travertine floors with great success. Personally, 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!

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clean travertine tiles

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