Travertine is a beautiful natural stone that makes it an ideal natural stone for many types of stone tile installations. Travertine tiles are typically installed close to the adjacent tiles with small approximately 1/16th inch grout joints. Installing travertine this way will allow the beauty of the travertine to be displayed without wide grout joints interfering with the natural beauty of the travertine. Using unsanded grout and thin grout joints also allows the travertine to be polished and refinished if the polished finish of the travertine tiles starts to become dull and lifeless.
Often the travertine tiles will still look good but the grout starts to get dirty and distracts from the beauty of the travertine. Cleaning travertine tile grout can be difficult in that you do not want to damage the finish of the travertine while cleaning the grout between the travertine tiles. Travertine tiles are typically polished or honed to some level of reflection and you do not want to damage the finish of the natural travertine stone while cleaning the grout.
Travertine like most other types of stone tiles can be damaged with acidic tile and grout cleaning products. You should never use any type of acidic cleaner on travertine or you will etch the travertines finish. Many strong alkaline cleaners that were not designed for cleaning tile, grout and stone can also dull the finish of travertine. To get the most effective cleaning results on a travertine tile installation an alkaline cleaner specifically designed for cleaning tile, grout and stone should be used.
An alkaline cleaner designed for cleaning tile, grout and stone will react with the dark dirt, grease and grime in the grout lines and allow the dirt and stains to be extracted from the grout. You should mix the alkaline cleaning product with extremely hot water and apply it to the travertine and grout. Allow the hot alkaline cleaner about 20 minutes dwell time to react with all the dirt, grease and grime in the grout joints. Then you can use a mop and bucket to rinse away the dirt from the grout lines.
With extremely dirty grout you may be forced to agitate the grout lines with a soft scrub pad to loosen up the dirt and grime in the grout lines. It is important to only use soft scrub pads for cleaning grout between travertine tiles so that you do not scratch the finish of the travertine. You can also use a shop vac or another similar suction device to help you extract the dirty water from the travertine tiles. In this way you can be sure that the dirt, grease and grime is lifted away from the travertine and not just redeposited in the grout lines when mopping the travetine tile floor.
Care must be taken when using any type of shop vac extraction device on traverine. The hard plastic nozzle of a shop vac can create scratch marks when sucked down and dragged across a travertine floor. Also the plastic shop vac body should not be dragged across a travetine tile floor because this can also cause scratch marks on the travertine.
Steam cleaning the grout in a travertine tile installations is also another option when cleaning the grout between travertine tiles. The steam will penetrate deep into the porous grout and allow dirt and grime to be extracted from the grout. Travertine will not be damaged by hot steam so using a steam cleaner in this way is a safe way to clean grout between travertine tiles. Steam cleaning travertine grout this way can be a long and slow process and you may want to hire a professional stone cleaning and restoration company to clean your travertine and grout for you. Professional steam cleaning machines will be able to steam clean your travertine and grout to get your grout cleaner than you could of ever gotten with DIY tile grout and stone cleaning techniques.