Many people choose cemeteries as their final resting place. As time passes by, the headstones, which were meant to be the lasting memorials that preserve the past, lose their marking, get worn, discolored, or even broken. But, by cleaning them once a year, it is possible to prevent decay and grime and ensure that your loved one’s headstone remains untarnished and fresh.
In this article, we will be discussing a few tips for gravestone cleaning.
Tools you will need
Here are some basic supplies you must have before heading out to the cemetery:
- Distilled water
- Garden sprayer that has not been used for any chemical
- Firm toothbrush
- Nylon brush or natural bristle brush of different sizes and stiffness
- Craft sticks
Before you start cleaning
Check the condition of the headstone before attempting to clean it. If any of the following is present, do not proceed:
- Any stability issues
- Fractures on the stone
- Wooden headstone
- Anything suggesting that the headstone is slightly vulnerable or fragile
- Lettering or stone flaking or its parts falling away
- Hollow sound after gentle tapping
If the stone appears to be in decent condition and doesn’t show any of the above-mentioned signs, you can begin cleaning. Please note that the aim of cleaning is only to remove algae, lichens, etc. If you try anything more, you might end up doing more harm than good.
Cleaning the headstone
- Use different sizes and kinds of brushes with natural bristles along with water.
- Saturate the gravestone using water. Use a spray bottle to use less water and get a clean rinse.
- Start at the bottom and clean upward as it prevents streaking or additional staining.
- Use softest brushes first and then gradually shift to stiffer brush. Do not use a metal or wire brush.
- Scrape the moss or lichens on the stone using plastic or wooden scrapers.
- Clean the stone by using the brush in random circular motions.
- To help with cleaning, you can use a non-ionic soap. Make sure that you do proper research. If you are unsure, stick with water.
- Rinse the area properly.
- Do not use pressure washers, power tools, household cleaners, abrasive pads, sand blazers, bleach, or acidic cleaning agents for cleaning.
Remember that if you don’t use the proper cleaning materials and technique, you might end up doing permanent damage to the gravestone.
Thanks for reading,