Cleaning travertine tiles is easy…
But it’s important to know what you are dealing with. Once you learn about the characteristics of travertine and apply the simple “How To” secrets detailed below your travertine will look fabulous for decades.
Do: Blot up spills immediately. As noted above, travertine tile is much more sensitive than granite to acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce, sodas, toiletry products and cleaning products that can etch (dull) the finish (on both shiny “polished” and matte “honed” finishes) or stain the surface.
Do: Clean surfaces using a sponge or soft cloth. The only cleaning agents you should use on a regular basis are hot water to wipe up crumbs and small messes and then a stone cleaner once daily (or as needed for bigger messes).
Do: Use a tray for toiletry products in the bathroom. A decorative tray can look very nice and it will protect the surface from the damaging chemicals contained in many toiletry products.
Do: Dust mop your travertine floor tiles regularly. Use a clean, dry, non-treated dust mop. Be careful using a vacuum cleaner. Worn parts or grit jammed by the wheels may scratch the surface. Also, mop regularly using a specialized stone floor cleaner.
Don’t: Use generic, store-bought cleaning products of ANY kind. Cleaning travertine with products bought at your local store that contain acids, alkalis, and other chemicals can etch or damage the tile surface or degrade the sealant leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining.
It may not happen right away and trying to save money by using cheap, generic surface cleaners only ensures that you’ll spend a lot more time and money on your travertine care in the long-run performing expensive repairs or travertine restoration.
Don’t: Use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange for cleaning travertine. As noted above, a sponge with hot water and a stone cleaner are the only agents to use.
Don’t: Use a generic bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaner. The powders and even the “soft” creams contain abrasives that will scratch and dull the surface. Use only products specially formulated for cleaning travertine.
Don’t: Place toiletry products directly on your countertop surface. Hair products, toothpaste, perfumes, colognes, nail products, creams, lotions, and potions may stain or damage the surface or etch the finish leaving a dull spot or ring.