Cleaning Travertine

by April Reinhardt
(last updated July 20, 2015)

A natural stone closely related to limestone, travertine is a porous material commonly used for flooring, countertops, showers, tubs, and exterior paving, such as flagstone. While travertine is durable, it is highly susceptible to scratching, stains, heat, and acidity. Therefore, care should be taken when cleaning it. Follow these guidelines when cleaning travertine:

  • After installation, your travertine should be sealed. The technicians who install your travertine will use specially formulated sealants to strengthen its surface and guard against scratches and heat related damage.
  • To prohibit surface etching, never use acid-based cleaners on travertine. Scouring pads, vinegar, and abrasive cleaners will also damage the surface of travertine. Instead, use the manufacturer's recommended cleaning agent.
  • Use drink coasters on travertine and apply felt to the bottom of what-nots before placing them on travertine.
  • Clean your travertine with a soft, damp rag or towel.
  • Dust and gently vacuum away dirt and debris. Dirt and grime will damage the stone's surface.
  • Since travertine is an alkaline stone, acid-based products will damage it. Wipe up spills immediately, especially those containing acid, like tomato and orange juice. Stains will occur immediately upon contact, but you can stop further damage by cleaning up spills immediately.

Take care to use hot pads or trivets when placing hot items onto travertine, as heat will damage the surface of the stone. While you can use warm water and a mild detergent to clean travertine, never use oils containing citrus, such as lemon Pledge or orange oil, on travertine. The acidity of the lemon or orange will etch the stone. Instead, simply use plain water and a soft cloth to clean the stone. If your travertine develops severe stains or etching, consult with a professional stone restorer to restore your travertine to its original condition.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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