Travertine on an interior floor, a kitchen backsplash, shower or outdoor patio, has a history dating back centuries. The Colosseum in Rome is made of travertine, and Michelangelo used it to fashion the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, which proves its longevity as an architectural component. A sedimentary stone created from geothermal springs in limestone caves, the holes in travertine's surface are natural, serving as an identity marker. And it's those holes that attract mold and mildew, especially in a damp environment.

The Right Cleaner

Travertine is extremely porous, and it picks up stains easily, especially from acidic products. When it's used in a shower or on an outdoor patio, dampness is trapped in the stone's natural holes or in the grout, and mold and mildew emerge. To clean travertine without damaging its surface, use an alkaline, or pH7 cleaning product.

Step 1

Spray the pH7 commercial stone cleaner onto the moldy areas. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.

Step 2

Using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the affected areas in a circular motion. Do not deep scrub as the bristles may etch the stone.

Step 3

Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Step 4

Use the squeegee to wipe away all surface water.

Step 5

Wipe down with microfiber cloth or cotton towel. Check grout lines and the interiors of the travertine holes for evidence of mold. Repeat if any mold is left behind.

Natural Solutions

Bathroom travertine and outdoor pavers should be sealed when installed; however, mildew may pop through the pores and grout lines as the sealant wears away. A natural solution, one maintaining the neutral pH balance, is rubbing alcohol. Prepare a mixture of 1/4-cup rubbing alcohol and water; spray it on the travertine and scrub away the mold. Finish with a water rinse and a wipe with a microfiber cloth.