How do I clean my travertine shower?

How do I clean my travertine shower?

Are you asking yourself, "How do I clean my travertine shower?" The number one most important thing to know when cleaning your natural stone showers is, DO NOT use an acidic cleaner. That means no vinegar, no CLR, and basically no shower cleaning products sold to you at Target, Walmart, Grocery Stores etc... So what can you use? You can use any neutral PH balanced cleaner. What is that you ask? Well,  first, you need a little chemistry lesson. All cleaning solutions are given a number on the PH scale. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14 and is a measure of a solution's acidity or alkalinity. A pH of 7 is neutral; a pH less than 7 is acidic; and a pH greater than 7 is alkaline, or basic.

Now that we know what a pH scale is and that you must use a NEUTRAL pH cleaner (7) I will give you some examples of cleaners that you CAN use for cleaning your natural stone shower. If you are looking to go the more natural route then dish soap may be an option for you. Dish soap comes very close to 7 on the scale.  You can also use a little baking soda and water mixture to scrub down the walls. The baking soda has a bit of a gritty texture making it a bit easier to clean off rust buildup and mold. If you want something a bit more powerful your local home improvement store will have a neutral pH cleaner in their tile section. Here is a link to a neutral cleaner at Home Depot. Neutral Stone Cleaner It is important to keep in mind that travertine and marble showers are really hard to clean and maintain because they are so susceptible to etching. You really need to use a professional stone cleaning service, like ours, to get your natural stone walls cleaned up.

For more information see my other blog regarding etching Etch Marks & What You Can Do About Them and also my other blog post White Stuff on Shower Walls

Flagstone Faux Pas… Flagstone Coating

Flagstone Coatings

Flagstone? I thought that was just outdoor material people used by the pool or on walkways? Nope. Flagstone can be found just about anywhere and can be found in many homes around the valley.

Flagstone, like many other stones, is a very porous material. For that reason, a topical coating is generally applied to interior installations making it easier to clean and harder to stain. We are occasionally called out to inspect flagstone floors that have had rugs with rubber backings stuck to the floor or, in this case, tape that peeled the finish from the flagstone…

Flagstone Coating

Flagstone Coating Peeled OFF

In the above picture, a painter used masking tape to mask off the floors not realizing it would pull the coating off of the floor once he pulled up his tape. This is now a nightmare for both the homeowner and the painter. The only way to fix this mistake is to completely strip the flagstone coating from the floor, clean it and re-coat it. This gets to be expensive if you have a large amount of flagstone. The problem with stripping is that you can’t just strip one area. If it connects, it all has to be done. If the mistake only happened in a master bathroom then only the master bathroom would have to be stripped etc… see Flagstone Cleaning Services page for additional information.

In the end, removing a flagstone coating is best left to the professionals. It’s a messy job and extremely labor intensive. To really do it right, you must have the proper tools and know how. Also note that after applying the flagstone coating you must leave your furniture off the floor for 24 hours to allow the coating to dry. If you do not, your furniture could fuse itself to the floor.  🙂

Hopefully this post comes to mind the next time you are considering masking tape near your flagstone coating.