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Guide To The Maintenance And Cleaning Of Headstones

Image of headstones in field

While we can carry the memories of our loved ones that have passed with us everyday, one of the main reasons why people choose to have a headstone is so they can have a permanent place to go. They can reflect on the moments and good times that they spent with that person. Headstones are often a final gesture of love that concludes their journey together.

Therefore, loved ones take pride in their headstones, often laying fresh flowers nearby and making sure it is looking its best. Although, it must be pointed out that headstones should not be cleaned more than once a year. With that being said, here are some ways to clean headstones properly.


How to Clean Headstones

First and foremost, assess the headstone for any signs of flaking, crumbling or cracking. If so, it’s advised to not use any hard-thistle brushes, scraping motions or power washing (such as a jet wash) as this can increase the damage, resulting in a trickier recovery method. Generally, clean water and a soft cloth should do the job for most dirt and marks. Once you’ve washed the headstone, it’s vital to use a soft dry cloth in order to stop streaks being left on the headstone. A soft-thistle brush may be used in a gentle orbital motion from bottom to top for deeper marks. Harder to reach areas such as the meaningful engraved memorials can be cleaned using a cotton bud and clean water.


What Not To Use For Cleaning Headstones

Generic household products such as bleach should be avoided as it can cause brown staining overtime. Additionally, other household products which may be mentioned as a ‘hack’ such as vinegar, shaving cream, vinegar should never be used to clean headstones. This is due to most headstones being porous, meaning they absorb liquids and moisture, resulting in staining as they also absorb the colouring from these products. 


Maintaining The Headstone

While we’ve discussed ways in which headstones can be cleaned, the best way to maintain the headstone is to look out for natural, organic materials that can be removed promptly to avoid staining over time. Things such as grass cuttings, leaves, pollen from flowers can all affect headstones if simply left. When seen, they should be removed immediately as the headstone can absorb the colouring. Furthermore, keep a look out for materials such as metal florist wire and containers that are either on or near the headstone, as these materials can rust, which can also cause staining over time. 


Cope Memorials

While some feel comfort in maintaining their loved ones’ headstone, if you’re wanting a helping hand with any renovations, cleaning or additional inscriptions we can help here at Cope Memorials. We offer a free quote on all of these services. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us either through our contact form, or give us a call on 01773 602187. We provide our services across Derby, Nottingham, Chesterfield and Burton on Trent.

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