How to Remove Sealant from Travertine Floors


Deb asked: How do I remove old sealer from travertine floors? The contractor used a natural sealer, and when I returned home, I told him I wanted a high gloss sealer. He said it was no problem and resealed with gloss. Now, in good light, it looks like a peeling skin. It is not peeling, it just has that appearance. I would like to remove all of the sealer and start over.

Travertine makes beautiful flooring that is very durable when sealed. Removing the existing sealant is not difficult, but can be a little time consuming. Here’s how to proceed.

You Will Need:

  • Acetone
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Sealant:

  1. When removing sealant, it’s best to work in small sections.
  2. Pour the acetone directly onto the travertine.
  3. Scrub the surface with a brush as the acetone penetrates and loosens the sealant.
  4. Wipe clean with as soft cloth.
  5. Repeat in small sections until the entire surface is cleaned.
  6. Once all of the sealant is removed, an optional step is to clean the stone surface with a quality stone cleaning product.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If the acetone does not remove the sealant, use methylene chloride instead. The same process will be used.
  • Allow the stone to dry completely before applying a new sealant. Three weeks is recommended after installation to allow the stone to completely dry out.
  • Remove all dust and dirt prior to sealing.
  • When selecting a sealant, choose a quality brand, such as MB Stone Care. Depending on the surface type, the sealant may streak easily. Practice in a hidden area before tackling the main areas, or have it professionally sealed.
  • For maintenance, see our guide about cleaning marble, as the two stones are similar when it comes to care.

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