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X-posting: Cleaning Products and Mildew on Travertine & Grout

Posted by maks_2000 (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 2, 12 at 11:22

(I added this to a message in cleaning, but X-posting in Bathroom.)

I thought I'd seen messages in the past outlining best practices for cleaning products to use with Travertine, but I am having trouble finding them or am not searching correctly (or in too big a rush.)

My primary problem is I probably have not sealed often enough -- will change my habits once I can correct this problem!! -- then DH decided NOT to suck the cool, air- conditioned air out this summer so he began turning off the vent as he walked out of bath. We have a very nice in-line vent installed in the attic space above our vaulted ceiling Master Bath with a timer on the vent!! (Not sure where he got the idea he was saving electricity?! We live in GA so its pretty humid & he grew up in Louisiana . . .)

So now I'm attempting to get back before sealing again. I have a issues with a few "pores" that have mildew where a razor sat, so also want to clean that out. There is mildew on some grout which seems more stubborn (or is stained).

My primary cleaner that works well is TileLab "Everyday Cleaner". It does a great job with the orange gunk & soap scum (even for water spots on the glass door & walls). I use a soft vegetable brush on difficult places & soft toothbrush on "sanded" grout. I have read that Hydrogen Peroxide or Tea Tree Oil will kill spores & clorine bleach will bleach the color. I know I shouldn't use clorine on my Travertine, but am interested if I used the Clorox Bleach pen on the grout & washed soon & completely if I'd be safe or if Peroxide or tea tree oil will hurt the travertine. Some threads suggest an Oxy-Clean solution, as well there are Non-clorine bleach pens that might be helpful. I want to be expedient & correct my problem before it gets worse.

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: X-posting: Cleaning Products and Mildew on Travertine & Grout

I have a porcelain shower with travertine decorative strips around the edge of the shower bench and around the niche. It is "ornate-bumpy" travertine.

I cleaned/scrubbed mine just last week (waited way too long) with oxyclean. Everything cleaned up pretty well (with a lot of elbow grease) except the travertine. I even used a grout brush-tried gently and then with more force to get into the nooks and crannies. I don't think there was any difference. The travertine still looks terrible.

Our grout cleaned up pretty nicely with the oxyclean but the caulk around the shower fixture also has not cleaned up.

Let me know when you find something that works!

RE: X-posting: Cleaning Products and Mildew on Travertine & Grout

If Oxyclean or peroxide won't remove the stains, then it's permanently stained. Anything "stronger" will be acid based and dissolve the travertine.

And this is why I do not recommend natural stone for a shower. Realistically, the number of people who keep up with the sealing is pretty darn small. And, even sealed, travertine has holes in it that will allow skin cells and soap scum to accumulate and be difficult to clean.

RE: X-posting: Cleaning Products and Mildew on Travertine & Grout

Thanks for your messages.

When I read Home Forum, "Cleaning Tips" a thread on mildew in caulk no travetine was involved. It seems that peroxide or tea tree oil will kill mildew spores, but clorine bleach is needed to remove the stain. I was concerned these materials might damage the travertine, however seeing that buddysmom has used Oxyclean & other places on the web has also, I'll try that.

It appears that Clorine bleach is Alkaline with a PH of 12 to 14 (Vinegar = 1) that I/we might be ok to remove the stain with a dilution of clorine bleach & water. My stain is primarily on the grout (with some in those small pores -- my contractor actually scraped the grout across the travertine to attempt to fill many of those & allow it to still look natural -- of course that grout possibly washed away 1st :-(). It sounds like alkaline on travertine is ok, but I'll dilute & not leave on too long.

Thanks live_wire_oak. I will probably make a different decision next time on travertine in the shower, but I had such good intentions & it is so very attractive . . .

I'll let you know how it goes.

RE: X-posting: Cleaning Products and Mildew on Travertine & Grout

Try peroxide from the beauty supply store. You can get concentrations up to 50%, which beats the home 3% solutions by a mile. But, be very careful with it and wear gloves and eye protection. If that doesn't work, then nothing will.

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