How Do I Clean and Care for Travertine?
Travertine is a porous stone which is a very popular tile for both indoor and outdoor use. Ageless in appearance, non-skid, and temperature resistant, it affords a weathered look that will not deteriorate. Travertine lasts forever.
Travertine may be raw (unfilled) or filled; the raw travertine is more difficult to keep clean due to the fact that the unfilled marks in the stone gather dirt and dust. Also, as it is a porous stone, it will stain easily if liquids are spilled. It is also highly reactive to weak acids, and this can impact on its use in kitchen areas.
It is highly recommended that, unless you want a truly aged and aging rustic appearance to your travertine (and you are going to embrace the inherent “flaws”) that you have your travertine floor tile professionally cleaned, polished, and sealed for its own protection. This is particularly important in kitchen countertops and backsplashes.
In the meantime, here are some tips for cleaning travertine tiles yourself:
- Vacuum or sweep the travertine surface to remove all loose dust and grit.
- Mop the floor using a damp microfibre mop or cloth. If a good quality microfibre mop is chosen, there is no need for any chemicals; simply use warm water. This will remove the vast majority of grime if some pressure is employed.
- Spot clean areas which are stained or particularly dirty. If the travertine is unfilled, use a toothbrush or similar and some warm water to scrub inside the inherent pock marks in the stone. When the dirt has been liquidized, soak the water out of the stone using a dry towel. If the tiles have been sealed, it is most likely the grout will require extra cleaning.
- If the travertine requires intensive cleaning, scrub a small area at a time with a toothbrush and a stone cleaner solution (available at most tile shops). Work this solution into the pores of both grout and stone; continue in small areas until the entire floor has been completed. Allow the solution to sit for several minutes, and then scrub again. Make sure all of the solution is removed with a clean cloth.
- Be sure to dry mop to ensure the tiles are dry – never leave travertine tiles (especially unsealed travertine) to dry naturally.
Travertine is a wonderfully aesthetically pleasing stone to have in your home – but it does require some tender loving care. Attention to this will guarantee many years of beauty and satisfaction.