Tips for Cleaning a Memorial

Tips for Cleaning a Memorial

January 22, 2020

Many people find that visiting their loved ones’ graves brings them a sense of peace and connection to the departed person. Part of that peace comes from a well-maintained grave, as opposed to walking up, seeing an unkempt or possibly even broken marker and feeling that no one cares.

As a monument maker in Phillipsburg, NJ, we often have clients asking us about the best way to keep a memorial clean and maintained. Depending on the type of headstone, your cleaning method will be different.

Bronze markers

Bronze markers should be cleaned twice a year to keep the protective coating intact. Using water and non-ionic soap (like Ivory), and a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub dirt and debris away from the headstone. Change the water frequently. When you’re finished, completely dry the headstone, and apply a thin layer of paste wax. (You may want to inquire at your local hardware store as to which kind they would recommend.) Once the wax is dry, buff it with a clean, dry cloth. You should repeat this process whenever you start to see signs of wear or a buildup of dirt.

Granite headstones

Granite headstones can be cleaned with a dish detergent, water and a rag—squirt a bit of detergent into a bucket of water and mix thoroughly. Dip your rag into the soapy water and gently scrub the headstone, taking care to rinse the rag when needed. When the stone is clean, rinse it with clean water to ensure no soapy residue remains, then use a clean, dry cloth to dry and buff the headstone until it’s shiny.

Marble headstones

Marble is a very porous, soft stone that can be easily stained or damaged, which means it’s not a popular choice these days. However, if your loved one opted for a marble stone, you can still clean it—just do so carefully. Never attempt to clean a cracked or broken marble headstone.

You’ll need water and non-ionic soap, soft clean cloths and a soft-bristled brush. After you’ve cleaned away any leaves and debris, saturate the stone with water. Mix the soap and water, and dip the soft-bristled brush into the mixture. Gently scrub away any dirt that has accumulated, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Dry with a clean, dry cloth and apply marble polish, if desired.

No matter what kind of headstone you’re cleaning, if you notice that it’s cracked, stained, broken or otherwise showing signs of severe wear, you may wish to seek advice for that specific problem before addressing the general cleaning issues.

Monument maker in Phillipsburg, NJ

Since 1939, Phillipsburg Memorial Company has been offering the finest memorial markers around. We are a monument maker in Phillipsburg, NJ, dedicated to creating durable, beautiful and meaningful monuments for your loved ones. Our goal is to offer you a selection at every price point, so you can honor your loved ones no matter what your budget may be. Call us today to learn more about the types of monuments we offer.

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