Travertine is a natural stone, that is made from limestone. It is usually installed in homes in areas such as pool decking, backyard patio, the driveway, or even inside the house. Travertine pavers are better than concrete and other forms of man-made flooring because they are robust and durable not to mention their aesthetic beauty. They are available in different colors especially earthy colors like beige, tan, ivory, and walnut. Travertine pavers are also way cheaper compared to other stones and eco-friendly. Their main component is calcium carbonate and has microscopic pores so they are sensitive to spills and harsh chemicals. However, with these several tips in mind, it’s not that difficult to maintain beautiful travertine flooring.
Does Travertine get Dirty and Stained?
The tiles get dirty over time especially depending on how you maintain them. They are susceptible to harboring mold, mildew, and grim in between the crevices and the grout lines. Your beautiful floor can get stained from spills like coffee, orange juice, or ketchup. Soap scum and shampoo are other substances that can result in mold and grime in the bathroom. If you are not intentional you might miss the dirt as you do your regular cleaning with a cloth.
How to Clean Travertine Pavers
1 Dust mopping
Begin with removing dust and dirt using a broom. This makes cleaning easier and you will identify what kind of dirt you are dealing with and what cleaning method is best. Sweeping and vacuuming regularly is one of the ways of maintaining clean pavers especially if they are not considerably stained.
2 Clean with a detergent
General liquid cleaners are preferred. Mix the detergent with warm water. Use a mop or sponge or a soft non-metallic brush. First test patch a small area to determine whether your cleaning mixture will be safe and effective. You should not forget the grout lines and pores because that’s where a lot of dirt may be hidden. Make sure to change the water as it gets dirty.
3. Rinse, Dry and Polish
Fill your container with clean cold water and using the damp mop rinse thoroughly. Eventually, dry with a dry cloth or towel to reduce the likelihood of dampness. Polish with a soft brush to enhance your work.
4. Maintain your Flooring
Regularly and properly sweeping, mopping, and dusting. Quickly wiping spills and stains immediately they occur. Cleaning the grout lines and polishing them. Be careful with furniture especially when moving to avoid chipping or cracking of the pavers. The use of rugs, doormats, and carpets should help reduce the cleaning and staining, especially in busy areas and pathways.
To reduce the chance of damage and staining it is better to seal your pavers with a store-bought sealant made specifically for that purpose. Alternatively calling in an expert who is knowledgeable about travertine tiles would help.
What is the Best Cleaner for Travertine?
A neutral biodegradable cleaner (PH-7) is recommended when cleaning travertine pavers. Warm water is better than cold water since it is able to clean oil-based stains. Grout lines can be kept clean by mixing equal parts of water and baking soda to form a paste. Let the mixture sit for five minutes, then with a brush go in for five minutes and clean. If your travertine is stained it is advisable to use talcum powder rather than acidic solutions which are harmful. If you are not sure of the effectiveness of neutral detergents then the rule of the thumb is not to use cleaning agents not meant for travertine.
Travertine tiles get stained with substances like coffee, ketchup which have oil-based stains, paint stains, and water-based stains. If the stain does not go away with regular cleaner specialized poultices should be bought or DIY-ed. A poultice is a mixture of different products that are made to remove stains. The most common one is made by mixing one part of water with baking soda to form a paste then apply to the stained area. Let the mixture sit in the affected area for 15-30 minutes then wipe away
Can You Acid Wash Travertine Pavers?
Travertine’s main component is calcium carbonate which is a metal carbonate and therefore reacts with acidic substances. The reaction causes oxidation which leads to wearing out of the stone. Acidic products also cause surface etching on the face of the tile. The stone tends to dissolve when cleaned with acidic products. Cleaning agents such as vinegar, ammonia bleach, and lemon juices which are all acidic will react with your floor. This will cause premature damage and aging due to the high porosity that ensues.
In some different scenarios acid can be used to wash the pavers for example when you want to achieve a rustic finish look or to remove installation residue. Muriatic acid is recommended for such uses but in diluted proportions.
Can You Power Wash Travertine Tiles?
Power washing should be approached with utmost care and caution and preferably done by a professional. It would be mostly required for large areas of tiles and grout. Power washing which mostly uses a lot of pressure damages the sealant thus requiring you to reseal them. A professional cleaner would be better to also determine whether your flooring needs to be resealed to protect it from liquids and stains. Power washing kills mold and bacteria on contact then the sealant minimizes the growth of that bacteria.
What Cleaners are Not Safe for Travertine?
- Acidic products like Ammonia, Vinegar, Lemon/orange juice and other citric extracts. Acids can damage that will be impossible to reverse.
- Abrasive or harsh scrubbing tools like steel wool or tough scouring pad or metallic brushes. These should be avoided because they will mar the tiles.
- Strong alkaline products specifically not made for natural stone.
- Generic store bought cleaning products. These products contain acids, alkali’s and other chemicals that can etch or degrade the tile or the sealant.
- Vacuum Cleaning. A Vacuum cleaner if frequently used could potentially damage the flooring due to scratching.