4 Headstone Maintenance Tips

May 31, 2018
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Headstone and monument maintenance may seem like a simple wash job, but it isn’t. There are really some specific tips that people should follow when cleaning a granite monument properly. Here are four of our best tips that will help ensure a long life for your loved one’s granite monument.

1. Get the Right Supplies to Clean Your Granite Monument

Granite is the most popular material for monuments and it requires specific steps and supplies for proper maintenance. For general cleaning it is suggested that you bring supplies that include:

  • A bucket of water,
  • Dishwashing liquid that is a gentle cleanser
  • Q-Tips for the engravings
  • Clean clothes for washing the headstone
  • Fiber-free cloth for drying the monument.

Remember, even though Granite is a material that can hold up for hundreds of years, you still want to be gentle with your cleaning. When using brushes to clean off your headstone, we suggest using car wash brushes because they are softer on the material. Also, keep brushes specifically for headstone cleaning. Old brushes used for other purposes can leave behind unwanted residue.

2. Work from the Ground, Up

This may seem strange but after you have washed your monument, we suggest detailing it from the bottom up. The reason for this is to preserve the quality of the material. If you wash a monument from the top, mold and lichens will run down the Granite during the cleaning and increase the risk of the headstone developing stains.

3. Pay Attention to Your Scrubbing Motions

When cleaning a headstone, don’t use power washers. These tools, will eventually grind away at the monument and create unnecessary damage. Scrubbing by hand is the safest way to maintain a monument, and there are specific techniques to follow.

Buffing the Granite during cleaning is important, but so is the way that you scrub and buff. In order to prevent streaking or damage to the surface, a great technique is to scrub in a random orbit motion.

4. Clean the Inlays and Engravings

After you have rinsed off the stone in order to avoid streaking and staining from dirty water, it is now time to detail and clean the inlays and engravings. If your loved one has etchings or engraved lettering on their headstone, use the clean Q—Tips that you brought. With these cotton tools, you will be able to clean out all of the nooks of the etchings. Make sure that you have enough cotton on-hand because this portion of maintenance can be one of the dirtiest parts of the job.

Need Advice on Monument Maintenance? The Monument Store Can Help!

If you are new to cleaning and maintaining monuments and headstones, you may have some questions about how to approach different situations. At Gifford Monument, we understand our industry from the inside, out and will be happy to help. Whether you need advice on cleaning or are looking for a pre-planned monument, we have you covered. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our products and services.