Q:

How do you clean a headstone?

A:

Quick Answer

Clean a headstone with a gentle cleaner and plenty of water, rinsing thoroughly. If the stone has chipping, flaking or other deterioration, cleaning can cause more damage than benefit.

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Full Answer

  1. Determine stone type

    Granite, slate, limestone, sandstone or marble are the most common types of gravestone material. Each of these types can be cleaned with clean water, non-ionic detergent, biocide solution or mild household ammonia solution. If unsure of the type, use the gentlest cleaner.

  2. Gently clean the headstone

    Wash the stone, constantly keeping the headstone wet. Use a regular water hose or a large bucket of water for the water supply. Scrub from the bottom up to avoid further staining. Use cleaning materials that are softer than the stone, such as soft plastic or soft bristle brushes. Lichen may be scraped off with a wooden or plastic scraper.

  3. Rinse the headstone

    Rinse off the headstone with clean water several times to ensure complete rinsing.

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