Over a period headstones and memorials can get dirty, one of the most common causes being hard water, which leaves a lime scale deposit. This is especially visible on polish granite. But by cleaning the headstone or memorials on a regular basis will not only prolong the life of the stone but also ensure the stone is in good condition. A dirty headstone may look dull or faded, and by following a specific process you can renew the shine.
The first stage before you start cleaning is to determine what the headstone is made of, the most common being granite, limestone, marble or bronze. Each material will require a different cleaning process and cleaning liquid or agent.
Limestone, Sandstone and Marble Headstones
These headstones are made of soft stone; therefore you will need to be gentle when cleaning. Use water with non-ionic soaps or detergents applied with a natural bristled brush. Do not use a wire brush, acid cleaners or household cleaners as this may cause permanent damage.
Follow the guidelines as above when cleaning granite headstones. Due to granite’s durability, it is all right to use a more aggressive scrubbing. On polished granite calcium build-up from hard water can cause a dull faded appearance. To remove this use a heavy duty non metallic scouring pad, check before using it is suitable for granite.
As most Bronze headstones usually consist of a bronze
plaque which is mounted to a base usually made of granite or concrete and lay flat at lawn level. Therefore you may need to apply one of the above techniques to clean the stone surround plus also cleaning the bronze.
As bronze is furnished with a factory applied lacquer coating to seal and preserve the original appearance, maintenance is important as over a period of time this finish will eventually deteriorate. Proper care will preserve the finish and prevent the need for restoration.