An Introduction to Headstone Cleaning
Cemeteries are responsible for the condition of the cemetery grounds, but the
cleaning of your loved one's headstone is totally your responsibility.
We cannot be responsible for any damage that occurs as a result of anything covered in this article. Read this article all
the way though. A proper headstone cleaning kit is recommended if you are trying to do it yourself. To be safe contact your
local headstone services company.
Cleaning a headstoneccan be summed up
- Pay a professional to do it.
- Do it yourself.
Pay a Professional
to do Your Headstone Cleaning
There are companies that will clean your
loved one's headstone for you. Unless you're willing to do the proper research for the situation you should use one
of these companies. If you use the wrong chemical or cleaning technique you could permanently damage the stone.
A professional headstone services company will usually try to get you to agree to a regular
maintenance contract. That may or may not be necessary. Contact your local headstone services company for more info. Contact Us if you are in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
Do-it-yourself Headstone Cleaning
It takes a long time for a headstone
to get dirty. So don't expect it to come clean without putting some time and effort into it. Often a headstone made of
porous material (like granite, marble and limestone) will still have a slightly "dirty" look to it when you are
finished cleaning it. Be aware that this is because the "pores" of the material still contain dirt. This dirt often
gets bleached by the sun after cleaning and your headstone will look better. Wait for two weeks after cleaning to see what
happens. Sometimes your headstone will look great.
A simple way to start
is to use soap and water. Soap and water has limitations and probably won't return your headstone to its original condition.
You should always use a product that has been proven to work on the type of headstone material that you are cleaning using
a non-toxic process.
Probably the best way to clean a headstone yourself
is to buy a headstone cleaning kit for the type of headstone you have (granite, marble, etc) and follow the directions
Whether you hire someone or clean the headstone yourself there
are some basics you should keep in mind:
- Always check
the stone's condition before cleaning. Do not clean the stone if its condition is questionable. If there is any condition
that indicates that the stone is delicate, brittle, or otherwise vulnerable ask for the help of a professional headstone services
company before proceeding.
- Wet the headstone before cleaning and keep
the stone wet throughout the entire process.
- Don't let your chosen
detergent solution dry on the stone during the process of cleaning (or after).
- When cleaning a headstone do not use an abrasive, a high pressure wash, a solvent, a household cleaner, a wire brush,
or a sandblaster.
- Be sure to test any type of detergent solution on a
small area before washing the more visible parts of the headstone.
stains in porous stones cannot be removed.
- Do not clean marble, limestone,
or sandstone more than once every 18 months.
- Granite can be cleaned as
- Keep records of the cleaning date, detergent used, and change
Keeping in mind the above information will significantly
help you to decide how to maintain your loved one's headstone. Headstone cleaning is not rocket science but be sure to
do your research before deciding hire someone or do it yourself.