Cleaning a Grave Marker? Attack years of neglect using the correct tools!

Interested in “cleaning up” a grave marker for a long lost relative?

Want to do it the right way, so as to not damage the stone?

Yes, there is a right way …. and a wrong way.

The purpose of this post is to make you aware of a product which is “recommended” and “cemetery expert approved” for cleaning headstones and ground markers.

I purchased this product to clean my late father’s grave stone marker.  It worked great and I plan on using this on late great ancestors headstones when I visit grave sites.  Depending on how much time I have, I will first try the “spray and leave” method – see options below.

This is not a commercial, however if we want to clean, preserve and not damage gravestones, we need to use the right tools.

This product is approved by many leading cemetery authorities as the best to use on grave markers to minimize any damage you can cause by trying to be helpful and cleaning these grave markers.

If you think it will rain in the next 12 hours, it may be best to wait to another drier day.

As always read the manufacturers instructions for use to obtain the best and safest results.  You are not only cleaning the stone, you are protecting it from further damage.

Two options for cleaning:

1. No Scrub / No Rinse Method – the term “spray and forget it” comes to mind.  You spray the D/2 solution using a spray bottle or pump sprayer to wet the stone.  Leave it alone and time and mother nature will help to gently “scrub” the mold, algae, mildew, lichens (those green fungus) away.  Since you are not scrubbing, you should not cause more damage to the stones.

2.  If option 1 does not get the results you need, option 2 is using the careful scrub method.  This is an option if there is much to remove from the stone.  Note it may take a couple of applications to get the result you expect.  The secret is to keep the surface wet as you are softly scrubbing and detailing the stone.  When you are done cleaning, rinse the stone thoroughly.

Note the best results occur over time and be within 1 – 4 weeks.  Maximum results may take up to six months.  If rain occurs within 12 hours of application, please reapply to get best results.

Couple of points – do’s and don’ts:

  • Make sure the grave stone is solid and you working on it will not topple the stone by trying to help.
  • Never use metal brushes or scrapers.  You want to use tools that are softer than the stone so to not score scratch or damage the grave stone or marker.  Common items are “plastic putty knives”, “wood pointed sticks” (kabob like wood with sharp points), soft nylon or natural bristle brushes (vs metal or brass bristles).  The point is to not use tools harder than stone so you do not scratch or chip the stone
  •  Suggestion – I purchased my first gallon of D/2 Biological Solution from Atlas Preservation.  With my first gallon, I purchased a combo kit which included some wooden pointed picks, a plastic putty knife for scraping, a soft bristle brush for cleaning larger areas.   You can locate them on Amazon.
  • Warning – this product is not cheap, however you are helping to scrape a bit of tarnish off those beautiful stones.  Remember, they are worth it!

Here is a YouTube video to help you understand the process:

Personally, I hope that someone is willing and able to clean my headstone decades and centuries after my passing.  Do something special!

Happy and successful cleaning!

It will make you smile and feel better.  Guaranteed!!



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