Travertine is a chemically deposited limestone formed over millions of years. During forming, water bubbles to the surface of the earth and evaporates, leaving behind calcite and other minerals that form into a hard, dense stone. The composition of calcite and other sensitive materials means this type of limestone requires informed handling and cleaning methods.
Limestone in general is very sensitive to strong cleaning agent’s especially acidic base cleaners. No strong alkaline or acid-based cleaners should be used in regular cleaning systems. Only diluted alkaline or P.H. neutral cleaners should be used to clean travertine.
Spirit Neutral Cleaner or a diluted solution of Spirit H.D.C (Heavy Duty Cleaner) from Spirit Marble & Tile Care is suitable for cleaning and restoring the surface of travertine after heavy soiling.
Travertine in areas that are not exposed to food, drinks or excessive soiling can be cleaned with Spirit Neutral Cleaner, a non rinse cleaner that will not leave streaks or residuals in the surface of the stone. Filled travertine tends not to have a smooth stone face. While the stone has been generally honed, the voids created by water bubbling to the surface present a cleaning challenge for the contract cleaner. Spirit employs several techniques to routinely clean this stone.
Travertine does not usually require sealing before the laying process because most travertine has a low porosity of around 2-3%. Travertine with an unusually high porosity will benefit from pre-sealing with Spirit Pre-Seal, which will stop all water borne contaminants and any water marking issues, while allowing the stone to breathe naturally. Spirit Pre-Seal can be applied by dipping the entire stone in the sealer or wiping the sealer onto the stone’s surface.
After grouting, the stone should be allowed to cure for 3-5 days, allowing it to harden sufficiently so that the cleaning process does not remove the newly applied grout. Grout should be removed within two weeks of installation to prevent it from bonding with the surface of the stone. Spirit Neutral cleaner can be used to remove the grout. If the grout has been left on to long and is difficult to remove Spirit H.D.C can be used.
Sealing travertine is always recommended to prevent staining from many household liquids. Spirit Premium seal and the new environmental seal, Spirit Water-based Premium Seal, are both penetrating seals which leave a natural look to the stone. Spirit Glossy Seal can be used on stones for internal applications to achieve a glossy finish. These final sealers will stop staining to the stone and the grout while helping greatly with the cleaning and general maintenance of the floor.
Effective methods of cleaning travertine include:
- Spot cleaning/mopping with a cleaner appropriate for use with travertine.
- Cleaning by frictions, which involves blasting water onto the soiled areas.
- Rotary scrubbing, commonly carried out by commercial cleaning companies with rotary scrubbing equipment.
- Dry cleaning with a vacuum or dustmop