Cleaning Mineral Deposits on Travertine
LESLIE: Dee needs some help taking care of and cleaning some marble in her house. What’s going on?DEE: Hi. Hi, Leslie. Yeah. I have a problem with travertine.LESLIE: OK.DEE: I have an open shower and a tub surround and from the water – it’s about 18 years old – and from the water, I guess it’s there’s a mineral deposit and where the water is going down in the shower, it’s taken off the polish from the travertine and I’m wondering how do I clean this mineral besides with a little putty knife and how do I get the luster back into the travertine where the water is hitting the wall?LESLIE: Well, I think first, to get rid of the mineral deposit, it is actually a simple homemade solution that you could use which is a white-vinegar-and-water mixture and that really does a wonderful job of dissolving that mineral deposit; any sort of white cloudiness that you might see around a faucet or on a shower wall. Dilute some white vinegar and you can really make a difference with that.DEE: Soak it with the vinegar and water? I mean, it’s like …TOM: Well, you could mix it up and put it in a spray bottle and spray it on there and then just sort of wipe it down. And maybe you can just kind of keep that spray bottle around to clean up after the showers. It does a great job of melting the salts. Travertine marble is a great material; you would think that as natural as it is, it would be incredibly durable in terms of the finish but actually it’s not and it does need to have a lot of maintenance.LESLIE: (overlapping voices) And it’s very porous.TOM: It’s very porous, right. There is a website that specializes in products for marble and other porous surfaces. It’s called StoneCare.com.DEE: Oh. OK.TOM: And they have a …LESLIE: Great website. Excellent products.TOM: Yeah. They have a product there called All Surface Cleaner that works well.DEE: OK.TOM: And they also have a sealer. The bottom line is it’s a two-process – it’s a two-step process. You need to clean it first, then you need to seal it and you really need to seal this stuff pretty frequently; I would say probably once every three to four months.DEE: Is this something I can do myself or I have to have it …TOM: Yeah. You spray – yeah. No, you can do it yourself. These are sealers that you basically spray on and wipe off.DEE: OK.TOM: So they’re not hard to do.DEE: OK.TOM: But you really just need to use the right product on this.DEE: OK. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.TOM: I think you’ll also find too, when you keep it sealed, that you don’t get as much mineral deposit built up on it.DEE: Will the sealer bring back the sheen where the water is hitting against the wall?TOM: (overlapping voices) Yes, yes. Yes, definitely.DEE: Oh, great. Great. Wonderful. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.TOM: You’re very welcome, Dee. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.