3 Popular Homemade Cleaning Products That Should Never Be Used On Travertine Tile

Construction & Contractors Blog

Travertine tiles are made from natural stone with a porous structure, so you need to take extra care when cleaning your floors, shower surround, or kitchen backsplash. Many people make their own homemade cleaning products to save money and reduce exposure to harsh chemicals, but most of these mixtures aren't safe for using on natural stone. Avoid these three popular homemade mixtures to prevent serious damage to your travertine tile.

Vinegar-Based Formulas

Acidic cleaning products are very bad for many natural stones, including travertine. Even a relatively mild acid can cause permanent etching of the surface of the stone, resulting in a dull look and a rough surface that traps even more dirt and debris. It doesn't matter how much you water down the vinegar or what else you add to the mixture, you need to avoid these kinds of cleaning products for travertine. Some people add lemon and orange peels to their vinegar cleaners for the scent, yet these peels raise the acidity even higher. Even many commercial tiles and stone cleaners are too acidic for this stone.

Baking Soda Scrubs

Baking soda is a strongly alkaline substance, so it sounds like it'd be the perfect natural cleanser for taking sticky spills off a kitchen floor. Unfortunately, it's still far too abrasive for a stone like travertine. Travertine is fairly tough, but the surface itself is soft when it comes to withstanding the scouring effect of abrasives. You can still use baking soda on tough oily or greasy stains if you resist the urge to scrub or move the powder around. Mix the baking soda with just enough water to make a paste, then spread it on the stain gently and let it sit for one to two days. Remove it with a plastic paint scraper or other flat tool to prevent any of the particles from grinding against the stone as you wipe it up.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Finally, don't let the gentle nature of hydrogen peroxide fool you. While the kind sold in grocery stores and pharmacies is greatly diluted to around 3%, it's still a strong enough acid with a 6.0 pH to etch the surface of travertine stone. Adding a cap's worth of the bubbling liquid to your mopping water could still be enough to cause permanent damage. If you accidentally spill hydrogen peroxide on the stone while you're cleaning something else or treating a wound, dilute it by pouring water over the spill and sop it up immediately.

For more information, contact All American Stone & Tile Care Inc. or a similar company.


27 June 2016

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