Travertine tile countertops give a kitchen a natural, rustic look. To maintain a travertine tile countertop's beauty, though, you must protect it from stains. Here's how to protect these countertops from red wine stains -- and what to do if they are stained.
Prevent Drips with Wine Accessories and Coasters
Even if your travertine tile countertops are sealed, which they likely are, it's important to make sure no red wine spills on them. As WikiHow explains, sealants won't protect travertine from stains caused by acidic substances like wine (and grape juice), even though they reduce the likelihood of other kinds of stains.
Along with being careful, you can reduce the chances of red wine getting on your countertops by taking the following precautionary steps:
- putting a wine stopper in any open bottles to prevent spills
- using a pouring spout to reduce dribbles when pouring
- using a wine collar on the necks of bottles to catch any dribbles that the pouring spout doesn't prevent
- putting coasters under every wine glass to catch dribbles when drinking
Keep a Cotton Cloth on Hand
If any red wine is spilled, it should be immediately be blotted up. The longer it stays on the counter, the more it will stain the travertine tiles. Additionally, you should blot it, rather than wipe it, so you don't rub the stain in further.
To ensure that you can quickly blot up any spilled wine without searching in your linen closet for a suitable rag, keep a cotton cloth on hand in your kitchen. You can store it with your wine accessories if you'd like. If it's kept right next to the corkscrew, wine stopper, pouring spout and wine collar, you'll know exactly where to reach to get it, and you'll be able to tell guests where to get the cloth if you aren't within an arm's reach of it.
Try Cleaning with Soap and Water
If a stain does set in, you can try removing it with soap and water, or even just water. These aren't always effective at getting stains out, but they work on some lighter, surface-level stains. The soap and water won't damage the travertine tiles, so you might as well try using them. (If you use a lot of soap, it may leave a film on the tile. This is just on the tile, though, and it easily washes away with extra water.)
Apply a Commercial Poultice
If soap and water won't remove a red wine stain, you'll need to try a commercial poultice. A poultice is a mixture that will draw staining substances out of porous stones, like travertine. They're readily available at most local hardware stores. When selecting a poultice, make sure it has a neutral pH and is made for travertine. Acidic poultices made for other materials could damage your countertop.
In general, you'll need to prepare the poultice by mixing it with water, and then you'll need to cover the stained area with the poultice. You'll then have to cover the poultice and let it dry, which can take a day or two, before you remove it. Hopefully, it will have lifted the stain. Because specific directions vary, you should follow the particular directions that come with the poultice you purchase.
Contact a Travertine Tile Cleaning Company
If the stain still isn't removed after using a poultice. You'll need to contact a travertine tile cleaning company to get the stain out. The stain may be deeply embedded, or there may be a sealant that's preventing the stain from being lifted. A company that specializes in travertine tile cleaning will be able to diagnose the exact issue and get the stain out of your countertop.