How to Clean and Maintain a Travertine Fireplace Surround
A travertine fireplace can add a great deal of style to a room. Unfortunately, when it comes time to clean this fireplace, ordinary cleaning techniques will fail, and possibly damage the stone. If you want to get your fireplace clean, you will need to give it special attention if it is made out of travertine. Fortunately, the supplies you need to clean this type of fireplace are common enough, and the special techniques required are not particularly complex. If your travertine is dirty, you should be able to remove soot stains as well as overall grime from it without much trouble using the following instructions.
Step 1 - Removing Dirt
You can avoid difficult cleanings by removing as much dirt as you can while it is loose and on the surface of your travertine. The best way to do this is by vacuuming, supplemented by using a damp mop. However, using a broom and a dustbin will work just fine in the place of a vacuum. For the walls of your fireplace surround, go over your travertine with a soft cloth that is barely damp.
After you finish the process of fully cleaning your fireplace surround, perform this step regularly on your travertine, particularly if it is looking dirty.
Step 2 - Cleaning the Travertine
Many cleaning supplies will damage travertine. Be sure to use a cleanser that is labeled for use with natural, alkaline based stone. Additionally, be sure that you do not use an abrasive cleanser. Apply your cleanser of choice using the manufacturer's instructions using a sponge, then leave it for the required amount of time before removing it and rinsing if necessary.
Be sure that when you scrub or remove the cleaner, you do not use any sort of abrasive pad such as a nylon scrubber or steel wool. Travertine is easy to scratch, and you should avoid using tools that can damage it.
Step 3 - Repairing Damage
Unfortunately, if your travertine still shows signs of damage or stains at this point, it is probably scratched or etched. If this is the case, it is likely you will have to replace sections of your fireplace. However, you should contact a professional at this point, as it is possible that you only need to have your travertine repolished.
Step 4 - Preventing Future Problems
Once you have gotten your travertine fireplace surround clean, you should take steps to keep it clean. First, you can avoid damage to your travertine by cleaning up any spills the instant that they occur. Spills of acidic materials, such as citrus, are particularly important to clean up quickly.
Additionally, now that your travertine is clean, this is a good opportunity for you to seal it, if you have not already. Use a spray bottle to get the entire fireplace damp, then apply a seal specifically designed for travertine. The manufacturer's instructions will vary, but you should expect to spray the seal on, wait half an hour, and wipe away any sealer that is still wet with a soft cloth, then spraying again and immediately giving the fireplace another wiping.