Travertine Shower Care and Maintenance is Not a Mystery!

I have had a lot of questions over the past few weeks about travertine shower care. Here are some terrific easy to follow instructions that I wrote for easystonecare.com for their “how to” section. All of the products New Cleaned Shower Wallsare available at easystonecare.com.

When caring for your travertine shower it is important to remember a few simple rules.

  1. Water is the enemy of travertine, especially polished travertine. Water carries soap and other particulates into the stone and dries leaving them behind to become soap scum. The resulting moisture left behind by water can allow mold and mildew to grow on the surface and weaken the sealer.
  2. Bar soaps cost you money, and lots of it. When you use bar soap in your travertine shower you are converting a solid to a liquid during your scrubbing then allowing it to convert back again to a solid on your shower walls. Using bar soap without removal, after your shower, will hasten the need for professional services.
  3. Squeegees save you money. After each shower, you should squeegee the walls and glass. This practice will prevent nasty hard water stains from occurring over time and will save you money by reducing the need for professional services.

Tools to have on hand (Always have a squeegee on hand for daily squeegeeing):

  1. Nylon Handle Brush
  2. Small nylon grout brush
  3. EasyOxy Cleaner
  4. MB3 Soap Film Remover
  5. MB9 MildewRemover
  6. Stone Scrub
  7. Diluted Bleach – 4oz to a 32oz squirt bottle of water (not for polished surfaces)
  8. Microfiber towels
  9. Traverfill or Tenax Travertine Filler
  10. Appropriate Safety Gear

Evaluate Surfaces to begin maintenance:

  1. Check all grout areas especially in areas subject to intense exposure to water. The perimeter grout should be intact. If you have gaps or missing grout repair it as soon as possible to avoid water damage. Allow grout repaired areas to cure for a minimum of 7 days (optimum 14) prior to use.
  2. Look closely at the surface for water absorption. If you have dark tiles that once were light, especially in high water exposure areas, it is time to apply a sealer. It is best to allow drying time before sealing. Drying can be help along with heating and dehumidifying methods. (Allow sealed areas to cure for a minimum of 2 days (Optimum 5) prior to use.
  3. Evaluate the surface for mold or mildew. Mold and Mildew is not always visible so look carefully. Although some showers may need more frequent treatment, most showers will need a biyearly treatment to keep your shower mold free.

Filling Holes:

  1. Traverfill -Clean the holes out with a nylon toothbrush or rag and a solvent or cleaner. Mix Traverfill as directed by the manufacturer to a peanut butter consistency. Using a plastic putty knife or a margin float apply the Traverfill to the surface. Jam it into the hole and scrape off a few times to make sure the hole is completely full. On the last scrape leave the Traverfill slightly above the surface. Allow to dry and scrape with a blade. This should bring the filler to flush. Remove residues with a damp sponge.
  2. Tenax Travertine Filler – Clean the holes out with a nylon toothbrush or rag and a solvent or cleaner. Scoop a small amount of Tenax Travertine Filler onto a piece of card board with a putty knife. Mix the filler on the cardboard to loosen it. Squirt a small amount of hardener on an out of the way surface. Separate a small amount of filler and mix with a small amount of hardener (50:1). Take a new razor blade and apply the filler into the hole a few different directions making sure to completely fill the hole. Crape the surface to as flush as possible. Allow to harden for 20 minutes. Wipe the surface with acetone and a rag. Tenax Travertine Filler is a polyester as so is not designed for use in wet areas. For large holes in the pan, or places that stay wet we recommend epoxy and/or securing the services of a professional.

Daily Maintenance:

  1. Squeegee walls and glass after each shower.
  2. Dry corners and edges to remove water. This will help prevent mold.
  3. Leave the shower door open and if possible and window open to allow the surface to dry.

Weekly or Biweekly Maintenance:

  1. Spray the each wall with EasyOxy as necessary and buff clean with Microfiber cloth.
  2. Use EasyOxy on soap dish, shower seat, and any other horizontal surface. It may be necessary to allow a few minutes dwell time to break down soap scum if you have not yet made the transmission to liquid soap.
  3. Use EasyOxy on the glass and metal with a clean microfiber. If your glass has been treated with Wipe N Seal you should not have any mineral deposits to remove. Mineral deposits can be removed by rubbing vigorously with Stone Scrub. Stone Scrub is an abrasive cleaner and must be used with caution on polished surfaces. Stone Scrub Residue can be removed with EasyOxy.

Biyearly or Every Six Months:

  1. Use MB3 Soap Film Remover to insure that you have fully removed soap scum. If you have made the transmission to liquid soap and have been squeegeeing the walls religiously, this step will be very easy or possibly unnecessary.
  2. Use MB9 MildewRemover to kill and remove any living mold or mildew. If you have been using EasyOxy Cleaner on your weekly or biweekly cleaning, have been squeegeeing the walls religiously, and have completed the previous step, this step will be very easy or possibly unnecessary.
  3. Check all grout areas especially in areas subject to intense exposure to water. The perimeter grout should be intact. If you have gaps or missing grout repair it as soon as possible to avoid water damage. Allow grout repaired areas to cure for a minimum of 7 days (optimum 14) prior to use.
  4. Look closely at the surface for water absorption. If you have dark tiles that once were light, especially in high water exposure areas, it is time to apply a sealer. It is best to allow drying time before sealing. Drying can be help along with heating and dehumidifying methods. (Allow sealed areas to cure for a minimum of 2 days (Optimum 5) prior to use.

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