How to clean mould off travertine

Updated November 21, 2016

Travertine is a natural stone, frequently used for worktops, flooring and shower tile. Because it's a type of limestone, travertine is very porous and susceptible to stains in everyday use. Travertine should always be sealed when used in the home, but even so, it can still attract mould in its crevices when installed in humid climates or damp areas like bathrooms. If you find mould on a travertine surface, it must be cleaned carefully, and you must address the conditions that allow mould to develop.

Steer away from applying commercial mildew removers, citric oils, glass cleaner or vinegar to clean mould or mildew from travertine. All of these products will stain and damage travertine tile -- especially vinegar, which is highly acidic.

Buy a natural stone cleaner formulated for mildew stain removal from your local home improvement centre. Apply it according to the directions on the bottle, paying special attention to grout lines where mould collects.

Rinse travertine surfaces thoroughly after application with lukewarm water. Dry with a clean, soft towel.

Address the humid, dark, warm conditions in your home that allow mould and mildew to grow. Ventilate damp areas by opening windows, installing an exhaust fan or using a dehumidifier. Open curtains or use strong lamps to light up dark crevices and corners.

Alleviate condensation problems, especially in bathrooms, by opening shower curtains and tub enclosures to allow moisture to evaporate.

Wipe down travertine surfaces regularly with a soft sponge and warm water, and always dry the surface with a clean soft cloth. Mould and mildew cannot grow in well-lit, ventilated, dry and clean environments.


Use a squeegee on travertine shower tile after each use to remove moisture quickly.


Don't use commercial "stone soap" on your travertine surfaces unless it is specifically recommended for this type of tile. Stone soaps can leave film residue and cause streaking.

Things You'll Need

  • Natural stone mildew stain remover
  • Sponge
  • Soft cloth
  • Lukewarm water
  • Squeegee (optional)
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