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How to clean travertine tiles

How to clean travertine tiles

How to clean travertine tiles​

This guide explains how to clean travertine tiles on your walls & floors.

Travertine (like sedimentary limestone) can be mechanically polished or honed. Your tiles may have a completely matt appearance due to age/wear or simply because the tiles were originally processed with a matt finish.

Travertine found within the home is usually fairly ‘matt’ suffering from a range of issues, typically travertine can be dull, lifeless, grimy, pitted, scratched, or cracked.

This guide will help you to clean travertine tiles effectively & safely. Whilst much of this guide is concerns interior travertines, there is also guidance regarding travertine patios.

Please click the link at the foot of the page to view all products & articles for cleaning & sealing travertine.

very porous travertine tiles may require a premium impregnator

How to deep clean travertine tiled floors

If you are cleaning a travertine tiled floor the most effective cleaning solution is Floorseal Stone Floor Cleaner.

Floorseal Stone Floor Cleaner is a deep cleaning solution, suitable for removing built-up grime, dirt & oil marks. If your tiles are dirty & dull this product is perfect for deep cleaning your floor.

Stone Floor Cleaner can be diluted from 1:10 with water, & up to (and including) being applied undiluted. A typical dilution rate, suitable for cleaning most travertine tiled floors, is 1:4 – One part cleaning solution to 4 parts water.

Stone Floor Cleaner is fantastic for cleaning floors which have become very dirty over time. It is safe for use on acid-sensitive floors like travertine, limestone and marble. Stone Floor Cleaner can also be used on sandstones & other natural stone tiles.

The cleaning solution can be applied via mop and bucket. For professional use, it can be applied in conjunction with a slow-speed rotary machine & wet pick-up vacuum.

When applied with a dwell time of approximately 15 minutes this product will breakdown stubborn dirt & grime. The cleaning solution will also release paint splashes when the paint spots have been thoroughly soaked. Always rinse/neutralise the floor with plenty of clean water after use.

Dwell time is simply the amount of time the cleaning solution is left in contact with the floor for. Keep the solution wet by adding more product to the surface, and ensure the tiles do not dry out during the dwell time.

Rinse with clean water after use and allow the surface to fully dry before re-sealing your travertine tiles.

Cleaning grout lines

Normally, some cleaning of the grout lines with a soft to medium stiff bristle brush will be required. Even when cleaning travertine floor tiles with a rotary floor machine you would still need to clean the grout lines by hand. Remember some grout lines may be deeply stained, but most will respond to the correct cleaning agent and some elbow grease!

Cleaning exterior travertine tiles on patios

We recommend cleaning external travertine tiles with Floorseal Patio Cleaner Plus. This product will remove organic marks like algae, lichen, bird droppings, leaf stains and grime.

Dilute 1:1 with clean water and apply to the tiles, keep the surface wet with product for at least 15 minutes. You can extend the dwell time when dealing with heavily ingrained dirt and organic staining. 5 litres of product covers up to 40m2 when diluted 1:1 with clean water.

How to remove rust marks from travertine floor tiles

Removing rust can be carried out with Floorseal Rust Remover for Stone. It is a non-acidic cleaning solution which can be safely applied to acid-sensitive surfaces like travertine.

Rust Remover for Stone is to be applied undiluted to dry stone (it turns purple when reacting with rust) and should be rinsed away within a few minutes of application. Do not allow the product to dry on the surface. Always rinse (or wet vacuum away) whilst it is still liquid.

Floorseal Rust Remover for Stone will remove surface contaminations and ingrained rusting. It can be applied more than once for severe staining.

sealing travertine tiles typically yields a matt finish

Removing oil marks from travertine

If you are trying to remove oil marks Stone Floor Cleaner will remove most oil marks. We recommend applying the product in an undiluted form, allow lots of dwell time -15 minutes or more so the solution has time to break down the stain.

Please be aware oil staining marks can penetrate so deeply into the stone they are not possible to remove with a cleaning agent. In this case, poultices may be effective but are often not successful.

Repairing holes or cracks in travertine

Restoring travertine & repairing holes & cracks in travertine is a subject in its own right which is beyond the scope of this article. As a general pointer hole repair can be carried out with *hot wax kits, 2-part epoxy resins or even a normal cement-based grout. For DIYers ‘floating’ normal cement-based grout will fill the most obvious holes. Smaller ‘pin prick’ holes & pits are usually too shallow to accept any kind of filler.

*Hot wax kits and 2-part epoxy repair systems are normally used by professional restoration companies.

Stripping old surface sealers whilst cleaning

Removing surface sealers from travertine tiles is a subject in its right and beyond the scope of this article. If you are trying to remove a surface sealer (usually one that originally created a sheen) please contact us for information. The type of surface sealer previously applied dictates which stripping agent is used. It is important to identify the previous sealer before trying to remove it from the tiles.

Thankfully, travertine is usually sealed with sub-surface impregnating sealers which do not require stripping. The floor can easily be cleaned and re-sealed with a fresh application of impregnating sealer from Floorseal.

cleaning travertine tiles is generally easier once they have been sealed

Everyday cleaners for travertine tiles

Once cleaned and sealed we recommend our everyday cleaning solution Floorseal Ph Neutral Floor Cleaner.

Floorseal Ph Neutral Floor Cleaner is a gentle cleaning solution, safe to use on any sensitive surface. This product can also be used on other surfaces such as natural stone, wood & vinyl floors.

In conclusion

Floorseal Stone Floor Cleaner is a deep cleaning agent which will remove most ingrained dirt/marks and oil marks from travertine tiles. Dilute at 1:4 and rinse after use.

Floorseal Ph Neutral Floor Cleaner is a gentle everyday floor cleaner, safe for use on any sensitive surface. This cleaner can also be applied to vinyl, metals and wood. Add a 200ml to 4-5 litres of water. Can also be used by hand on awkward areas like bath taps & shower units.

Floorseal Patio Cleaner Plus is the recommended option for cleaning external travertines patios. Apply at 1:1 with at least 15 minutes dwell time.

Floorseal Rust Remover for Stone is a non-acidic rust remover suitable for use on most kinds of natural stone. It can be used on acid-sensitive surfaces such as travertine, limestone, marble, concrete, & terrazzo. But also sandstones, slate, granite & general pavers.

Please Click Here to view all products for sealing and cleaning travertine tiles, this will take you to our travertine surface type page.

The information contained within this article is not exhaustive. For further advice or assistance please contact Floorseal on (01484) 861461 or email us at our web address is