Granite Monument Cleaning Tips
Caring for and cleaning a headstone monument might seem like an easy task, but there’s much more that goes into their proper upkeep. Most family members take pride in caring for their loved one’s headstone, so by following a maintenance schedule while implementing these tips, you can ensure a long life for the monument.
Gather Proper Cleaning Supplies
You wouldn’t clean a casket with a wire brush, and although granite is a tough material, you can think of it as delicate as the former. Granite still needs to be treated with care. For general cleaning of a granite headstone, your supplies should include:
- A bucket of water
- Cleansing dish soap
- Q-tips, cotton balls or toothbrushes for engravings
- Clean cloths for washing the head stone
- Fiber-free cloths for drying
Granite can hold up for hundreds of years, but when brushing off a head stone, we recommend using car wash brushes because they’re softer on the material and won’t leave behind unwanted residue or brush fibers. These brushes were made for your car yet, they are still gentle enough to care for such material.
Work From The Ground, Up
You can and should wash the monument however it makes sense to you, but we recommend detailing it from the bottom up so that the quality of the material is preserved. If you continuously wash the monument from the top to the bottom, mold, lichens, and buildup of other debris will run down the granite and increase potential staining as the debris builds up.
Scrubbing the monument by hand is the safest way to maintain your monument. To prevent streaking or surface damage, scrub the monument in a random orbital motion. Unnecessary damage can be prevented if proper precautions are taken. While it would be faster to use a pressure washer, this sort of pressure can grind and wear away at the granite.
Cleaning Inlays and Engravings
After you’ve cleaned the majority of your loved one’s granite monument, you can now use the q-tips or toothbrushes you brought with you to clean the inlays and engravings. More buildup can occur within these small spaces than you think, so be sure to bring ample amounts of supplies with you as this can be one of the dirtiest parts.
Extra Tips To Keep in Mind:
- Use natural clean or distilled water
- Make sure the stone stays wet throughout the entire cleaning process
- Do not use household cleaners
- Avoid using protective coatings or polishes (these are impermeable to water vapor and can stain or damage the stone)
- For a streak free finish, you can use household glass cleaner, always avoid industrial strength
Modern techniques used to clean and maintain new granite memorials may not be applicable for OLD stones. These techniques listed for modern granite headstones are not safe for 200+ year old markers. If you would like a more detailed understanding of how to clean granite memorial stones or help deciding which material is best for your routine, call or visit Monuments of Victoria today. We are more than happy to assist you during this time.