General Headstone Cleaning Supplies
Bring a bucket, dishwashing liquid, water, cotton buds, rags, and fiber-free white cloths. If youâre cleaning water stains, mold, mildew, or rust, bring specific clean supplies for the job. For example, bring baking soda for water stains, hydrogen peroxide for mold and mildew, and poultice for rust.
Why Use D/2 Biological Solution
There are several other headstone cleaning solutions available on the market, but D/2 is the ONLY one we recommend, and heres why:
Most of what youll be cleaning isnt just dirt or dust. Its going to be pollution build up and organic growth that both will damage a stone over time. D/2 Biological Solution is a biodegradable, easy to use liquid that removes stains from mold, algae, mildew, lichens and air pollutants. Its effective on any stone or metal surface including monuments, sculpture, and headstones. A contact time of only 10 to 15 minutes followed by scrubbing with a natural bristle brush will loosen most biological and air pollutant staining. Here are some of the main benefits of using D/2:
Wont Leave Harmful Residues D/2 was developed by conservators who know the damage that can be done by cleaners containing acid or salts. The product has been specially formulated without these harmful agents. No other solution is more trusted by architectural and monument conservators.
Works on a Variety of Surfaces D/2 has been successfully used to remove staining from a variety of surfaces including just about any you will find in a cemetery.
Completely Safe D/2 has been successfully used to clean millions of buildings and monuments. From the White House to Arlington National Cemetery, D/2 has been trusted to work on many priceless structures and surfaces. Its the product recommended for use on all Federally issued headstones.
What Not To Do When Cleaning A Headstone
Now that you know how to clean a headstone, here are a few things you should NEVER do, regardless of how bad the stone looks:
Never Use Household Cleaning Products Theres a natural temptation to clean a headstone using the same products you would use to clean your counter tops. Most of these products contain chemicals that should never be used on headstone, as they will cause degradation over time.
Never Clean in Freezing Weather If freezing temperatures are anticipated within the next 24 hours, hold off on cleaning the headstone until you know temperatures will remain above freezing for a full day.
Never Use Metallic Scrapers or Brushes Any tool you use to clean the stone should be made of as soft a material as possibledefinitely softer than the stone.
Never Use Bleach Sodium hypochlorite contains salts that damage stone. Stone cleaned with bleach, upon careful inspection, reveals erosion and yellowing. Pool bleach will cause identical problems. Also be aware that many pool algaecides are very corrosive. Many may also be very damaging to the environment. We do not recommend the use of ANY such products.
Never Use Acid Acids on marble and limestone dissolve the stone, leaving an inappropriate glossy and crystallized looking surface. This damage cannot be undone and the use of acids is also dangerous to you and surrounding vegetation.
Never Sand Blast This is far too harsh of a cleaning method that is not only unnecessary, but will ruin the stone.
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How To Clean Mold Or Mildew From Concrete And Stone
Perhaps your area was very humid last year, or maybe its always humid where you live. Humidity creates a cozy environment for mold or mildew to grow. Last summer was very humid in Brooklyn. Green mold or mildew started growing on practically every surface, from concrete to stone, to benches and trees! I needed to learn how to clean mold or mildew from concrete and stone.
I watched a few of my neighbors use a solution of diluted bleach which is effective. Then I learned about another method from a Facebook group I am part of, DIY Home Improvement Projects Wet and Forget . As bleach can sometimes alter surfaces, I thought Id give this product a try first.
Mainly, I was looking to get the green off my property as its unsightly and makes my house and front area look poorly maintained. Who wants green all over their façade?
The directions for Wet and Forget say to dilute the product with 5 parts water to one part Wet and Forget, and to use a spray bottle and spray it on a dry surface.
The mold around my home was on a few surfaces the front stairs, stone on the home, and the wall around the front of the property.
It took an exceptionally long time to cover a surface with my spray bottle, as I had so many affected surfaces. I am wondering if it would be more efficient to dip a cloth in the solution and coat the surfaces this way instead? Next time.
With about half the surfaces covered, I waited.
And here is the same stone about 24 hours after it was treated:
Here Are The Donts For Exterior Marble Cleaning
- NEVER use wire brushes or power tools such as sanders or grinders to clean the surface
- NEVER employ harsh, aggressive scrubbing methods when cleaning and overcleaning should be avoided
- NEVER use household bleach or bleach-containing products. AVOID products that contain the chemicals sodium hypochlorite , sodium perborate, sodium percarbonate, sodium persulfate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, calcium hypochlorite or urea peroxide. These chemicals will create a reaction causing the marble headstone to degrade. Check the MSDS sheets for product ingredients.
- AVOID using muriatic acid, hydrochloric acid or other strong acids as these will dissolve the marble surface.
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Can You Use Vinegar To Clean Headstones
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How to Clean a Black Granite Headstone
The Bottom Line: To Clean Or Not To Clean
There may be cases where the headstone in question needs more cleaning than the average person is capable of doing without potentially damaging the granite. In these cases, its best to get the help of a professional.
You can do some research online to find someone or ask the cemetery staff if they have any recommendations on whom to contact. Theyre also a great resource when you need to find a grave in a cemetery thats unfamiliar.
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Cleaning & Maintaining Memorials
Please note it is important to take special care when cleaning any memorial. Weve put together this guide based on best practice, however please consult us before commencing. Always observe the specific care requirements for your memorial and material type.
A memorial for a loved one should be a lasting tribute to their memory, a monument that you can visit whenever you feel the need. The type and placement of this memorial be it a headstone, a bench, a plaque or a fixed vase is typically the deceaseds last wish and so possibly the final task that you can undertake for them. Its exceedingly poignant.
Responsibility for upkeep of a memorial is the registered owners, not the church, cemetery or crematorium authoritys. However, as memorials tend to be situated in the great outdoors, keeping them clean and tidy can be a constant battle. If the choice of memorial is left to you, this obligation might inform your decisions in terms of which stone to use, where to site the stone, etc.
Many customers ask us for advice on this subject and as such, heres our guide to cleaning and maintaining a memorial.
How To Clean A Headstone
Taking care of your loved ones headstones is a nice way to honor their memory, and preserve their monuments. If youre new to headstone maintenance in Walterboro, SC, this guide will help you get started. Try to clean the headstones once or twice per year, so dirt and grime dont have a chance to build up.
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Buff Granite With Cloth
Take a dry cloth and buff the granite. Not only will this reduce stains and streaks, but it will make the headstone shine. Donât use the cloth that had soap on it, even if youâve cleaned it. There may still be soap residue on the fabric that could stick to the granite.
Creating beautiful plaques and headstones since 1936, Fort Worth Monument in Fort Worth, TX, has worked closely with the community to honor family members who have passed away. This family-owned-and-operated business will be by your side to help with the epitaph you want to create. Visit their website to see their gallery of past work, or call 625-2721 for a free estimate.
Ensure The Product Is Safe
A general rule of thumb is that you cant go wrong with lots of water preferably distilled water as it doesnt contain any mineral additives that might affect the stone. If you want to use a product, then you must ensure its appropriate for the type of stone you are cleaning. Always wet the stone completely before applying the product and rinse copiously afterwards.
Never use bleach, which can effectively dissolve the stone, impacting the colour and texture. This is especially so if the stone is marble or limestone. Acidic cleaners under which category many household products come should similarly be avoided. These can also affect the surrounding ground. Products that list salts among their ingredients should also be bypassed, as they could leave deposits.
You can buy specific headstone cleaners which promise to remove moss and other forms of stubborn soiling with ease, such as HG Headstone Cleaning Spray. Another option is a photographic solution called Kodak Photo-Flo which, if you can get hold of it, has been recommended by the US Association for Gravestone Studies.
For a biodegradable, non-corrosive alternative, D/2 Biological Solution is a safe bet. It was even used on the Washington Monument, should you require further proof of its credentials! This cleaner safely permeates the stone to kill of biological substances without the need for scrubbing. It also reduces the rate at which such mosses grow back.
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Points To Remember When Cleaning A Headstone
No high-pressure cleaners
Avoid high-pressure cleaners or pressure washers, especially when cleaning aged stone, you could really damage the headstone finish. Modern headstones can handle very low-pressure cleaning, however, keep in mind that stone gets more character as it ages. Over cleaning may cause you to lose some of the individual, natural features which time and weathering bring out in the stone.
No harsh chemicals
Never use harsh chemicals on a gravestone they will cause erosion of the stone. Cleaning gravestones with bleach will break down the stone, this may not be evident straight away but over time damage will begin to show.
Keep the stone wet during cleaning. Some stone restoration experts advise cleaning from the bottom up so the dirt doesn’t continually wash down marking the yet to be washed area. Rinse the stone several times after cleaning to ensure all cleaning products are washed from the surface.
Cleaning headstones in the cemetery
Check with the cemetery management or administration before carrying out any headstone cleaning or restoration work. Each cemetery will have individual rules regarding work carried out on the gravestones.
Check the stone is safe and secure
Be sure your stone is stable and safe to work on. Sometimes a memorial can degrade internally over time resulting in a brittle structure which can crack, break, or fall when cleaned.
Test the cleaning on a small, out of sight area first to ensure it won’t mark or stain.
How Do You Remove Lichen From Granite Tombstones
Stains on marble gravestones caused by fungus, moss, lichenor mildew, can be removed by following these 4 simplesteps:
. Beside this, how do you remove lichen from a granite headstone?
The best and safest means of cleaning aheadstone is soft water. So, avoid using cleaningsolutions as far as possible. If there appears lichen growthon the headstone in the form of grey and orange patches,then moisten the affected area and scrub it with a mixture of onepart of ammonia and four parts of water.
Furthermore, how do you remove lichen from stone? How to Remove Lichens From a Stone Patio
Also asked, how do you clean a granite gravestone at a cemetery?
Next, mix a solution of 50 percent regular householdbleach and 50 percent water, and scrub the stone, using only anylon or fiber brush . Let set for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinsewith plain water.
What is the best way to clean headstones?
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How To Clear Moss Off A Gravestone
Gravestones are carved stones use as a memorial remembrance of a loved one. They are placed next to or above the gravesite and are made from a variety of stones such as sandstone, limestone or marble. Gravestones often weather and become prey to moss or lichen because they are subjected to the elements and not cleaned and cared for often. You should clear moss from gravestones once every 18 months to keep them free from stains and help maintain the integrity of the stone.
Clip any high grass or foliage with gardening shears that is interfering with your full view of the gravestone. Remove any trash or clippings to a garbage bag.
Use a soft, natural brush or natural sea sponge to gently brush off any bird droppings or excess soiling. If you are cleaning a flat stone, surround the gravestone with towels to keep dirty water from leaking back onto the stone when you rinse it.
Douse the entire stone with distilled water, making sure to fully saturate it. Allow the moisture to seep into the stone for a few minutes. Distilled water has no chemical or minerals in it and will not react with the properties of the stone.
Fill a bucket with clean distilled water. Dip a natural sea sponge into the water and squeeze it out over the stone as many times as needed to make it well saturated.
Perform a final rinse on the stone, heavily saturating it four to six times to remove any remaining residue from the spray cleaner.
How To Clean A Marble Headstone Or Cemetery Marker
Knowing how to clean a marble headstone, the one placed to commemorate a special loved one, helps you to continue the care and respect your loved one deserves.
Because marble is a crystalline, metamorphosed limestone, composed primarily of calcite and dolomite, it is more susceptible to erosion and decomposition due to exposure.
This ranges from moisture and salt to hydrocarbons and sulfur dioxide pollution all working against the calcite structure of the marble any exterior marble can be affected.
Soiling Agents Affecting Marble Headstones
There are several different types of materials that contribute to staining a marble headstone. Each type of stain will respond differently to cleaning. These soiling agents are not exclusive to cemetery headstones and can affect all exterior marble installations. Here are some of the main offenders:
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Ask Yourself If It Really Needs Cleaning
Whenever you clean a headstone, no matter how gently, you will remove a small amount of the stone. If you clean a stone in an old graveyard might it look out of place? Sometimes cleaning a stone can cause more harm than good, so if in doubt I always advise you to leave it, as there is always a risk of damage to the stone. If a stone is in the shade beneath a tree for example, removing the lichen will only result in its reappearance again in a few months time, and to maintain a clean stone you would have to clean the stone more than once a year, which in itself will damage the stone.
Never attempt to clean a gravestone which is flaking, chipped or has loose stone on it.
How To Clean And Maintain A Granite Memorial Stone
We always want the best for our loved ones, even when they have passed away. Thats why many families make it a point to regularly clean the memorial stones of their beloved departed relatives.
We recommend the cleaning and maintenance of a memorial stone should only be carried out by professionals who have the required level of expertise, knowledge and practical skills. However, if you wish to clean your loved ones memorial stone, please ensure that you dont use any materials that can damage the stone.
There is a perception that since granite and marble are such strong materials their surfaces can withstand chemical cleaning agents and wire brushes. Where in fact, the surfaces are best cleaned with simply water and a soft cloth. What some people may not be aware of, is that smooth polished monument surfaces can be easily scratched by strong bristles on a brush or permanently stained by chemical cleaners. Never use shaving cream or other household chemicals to clean the stone. Although they may highlight the inscriptions quickly during the cleaning process, they are harmful to the memorial stone in the long run. Some cleaners can even eat through a smooth polished granite finish. Power washers are also not recommended unless they are used by professional monument cleaners.
Cleaning Granite Memorial Stones
Here are a few tips and suggestions to protect and maintain a memorial stone:
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