Guide For Cleaning Granite Headstones
Granite is the most popular material for headstones. It is an excellent type of stone that is abundant and comes in a variety of different crystalline colors and textures. It deteriorates slower comparatively to other stones such as marble and limestone, resulting in a longer preservation lasting a few hundred more years. If you have a memorial headstone for your loved one that has been corroded or damaged, resulting in a tarnished appearance then this guide will help you restore the stone back to the original look.
7 Steps To Clean A Granite Grave Monument
When you are planning to clean a cemetery headstone of your loved one, you must take the following tools to the cemetery:
- A clean bucket
- Dishwashing liquid (do not use any ammonia, vinegar or lemon cleaner).
- 4 liters of water.
- Cotton swabs for cleaning incrustations and engravings.
- 2 clean rags to wash the tombstone.
- 2 clean white cloths to dry and polish the headstone (for example, cloth diaper or microfiber cloth).
Steps To Clean A Granite Headstone
Only clean the granite headstone when needed.
STEP 1: Remove Excess Debris
Before starting to clean the granite grave monument, remove excess dirt on or around the affected area.
STEP 2: Wash The Granite Grave Monument With Soapy Water
Take a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bucket filled with 2 liters of water. Do not use any ammonia, vinegar or lemon cleaner because the acid components will devour the surface of the granite. Next soak a clean cloth in soapy water and drain the cloth several times to remove excess water. Finally, clean the granite grave monument thoroughly. You have to repeat this process several times, depending on how dirty the tombstone is.
STEP 3: Wash The Granite Grave Monument With Clean Water
To avoid accumulation of soap on the granite grave monument in the course of several cleaning sessions, you should wash it with clean water after removing the foam. After emptying the bucket of soapy water, pour two liters of clean water on it. Wash the headstone several times with another clean cloth or rag.
STEP 4: Dry The Granite Grave Monument
When you finish washing the granite grave monument, use a clean white cloth to dry it. Most soap will leave streaks, if the granite grave monument does not dry immediately.
STEP 5: Clean Any Incrustation And Etching
Use the cotton swabs to clean the corners. After submerging the cotton swab in soapy water, gently scrape any accumulation of dirt in the narrow spaces. You need several swabs to completely clean all the incrustations and engravings.
STEP 6: Make Sure You Have Removed All Excess Material
Due to the nature of granite headstones, it is possible that some stains remain hidden as they are not apparent to the naked eye. However, if you return a clean, dry cloth over the surface, you may be able to detect stubborn remains that may have been missed.
STEP 7: Polish The Granite Grave Monument
Use a new, dry white cloth to polish the granite grave monument, this will ensure there are no streaks which will improve the finish and shine of the tombstone. Do not use the same fabric as used in Step 3, this may leave streaks on the granite slab.
Unfortunately due to inclement weather and natural aging, not all stains, grudge, and other remaining specimens can be removed with a simple soap cleanse and water rinse. We do offer a professional headstone cleaning service at Kulinski Memorials combining various techniques and products including heavily sandblasting the initial surface depending on how deep the stain or material is into the granite.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Get Water Stains Off Granite Headstones?
One of the various questions we get asked frequently is why is my headstone a different color after the gravestone gets wet. Naturally since granite is a porous stone it lets water absorb into its surface like a sponge altering the look of the headstone temporarily.
Luckily granite is one of the least porous stones out there resulting in absorbing the least amount of water while also releasing water pretty quickly.
A few hours up to a day, expect your headstone to adjust back to the original natural color shade after a rainstorm.