Clorox Bleach & Travertine
Because we are considered experts when it comes to the maintenance, cleaning, sealing, and restoration of travertine we get questions weekly from individuals all over the country needing advice about their travertine stone floors. Last week we had a gentleman call us and ask if it was okay to use Clorox Bleach on travertine and my answer to him was an emphatic NO.
This is not the first time someone has asked about using Clorox Bleach to clean their tile & grout lines. Usually when someone is asking about using Clorox Bleach it is because the floor is extremely dirty and grimey. Even though this chemical is stable under normal use and storage conditions it will react with other household chemicals such as toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, vinegar, acids or ammonia containing products to produce hazardous gases such as chlorine. Clorox Bleach is used as a bleaching agent on natural fibers. It is important to note that the Clorox Company DOES NOT endorse the use of Clorox Bleach on travertine stone and for good reason.
When you purchase a gallon jug of Clorox Bleach here is what you are getting according the Material Safety Data Sheet:
1). Sodium Hypochlorite 5-10% (this is the bleaching agent);
2). Sodium Hydroxide 1% (this is used to delay the breakdown of the sodium hypochlorite);
3). Water 90-95% (yes this is correct)
The pH level of Clorox Bleach is 11.9. When cleaning travertine stone you want to use a pH neutral cleaning solution that is 7.0. Using a high pH like Clorox Bleach will remove all of the sealer, if the stone has been sealed, and will definitely remove any shine that the stone may have. You could damage the stone's natural beauty and lustre requiring major restoration work. If the stone did not come clean with a pH neutral cleaner it is time to bring in an expert and have them take a look. Getting travertine stone back to its original beauty and lustre requires a certain amount skill, experience, and knowledge. A good professional can show you how to keep it looking good for years to come.
Until next time,