How to remove a stain from travertine tile

Travertine tile is made from a type of limestone. Its neutral shades of tan, white and cream add classic appeal to your home. Because travertine is a natural stone and porous in nature, it absorbs stains into the stone rather than having them only affect the surface. Removing stains from travertine quickly before they have a chance to be absorbed is the best way in which to deal with them. If a stain is absorbed into your tile, you can still remove it completely by drawing the stain out.

Soak up liquid from the stain with paper towels. Remove as much from the surface as possible before working on the stain.

Mix a few drops of mild dish-washing detergent with warm water in a bucket. Wet a sponge with the soapy solution before squeezing it out. Wipe the surface of your travertine tile to remove the stain from the surface.

Pour 1 cup diatomaceous earth in a bowl. Mix in enough of one of the following liquids to make a thick, peanut-butter-like paste: water for greasy stains, hydrogen peroxide for organic stains, ammonia for biological stains and commercial rust remover for rust stains. Stir the two ingredients together with a spoon.

Cover the site of the stain with the paste using a rubber spatula. Apply the paste so it's at least 1/2-inch thick and goes beyond the edges of the stain. Lay a piece of cling film over the paste.

Allow the paste to sit on your travertine tile until it dries. Peel off the cling film and remove the dried paste with your spatula.

Dampen a clean cloth and wipe the travertine tiles. Dry with another clean cloth.


Cleaning travertine tile with too much moisture can damage the tile. Always squeeze out your cleaning cloth or sponge. A poultice can take up to 48 hours to dry and remove your stain. Keep the area closed off so children and pets can't get to the poultice.


Avoid rubbing and scrubbing with the use of abrasive tools or cleansers as these will all damage your tile.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Bucket
  • Mild dishwashing soap
  • Sponge
  • Clean cloths
  • Bowl
  • 1 cup diatomaceous earth
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ammonia
  • Commercial rust remover
  • Spoon
  • Rubber spatula
  • Cling film
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.