Now here's a question that I'm sure doesn't come up too often; is there
a product for cleaning gravestones?
I visited the local graveyard today to check on a couple of family graves.
The stonework of the headstones was in one case very dull and it was
hard to read the wording.
Does anyone know of a product that would clean the stone? I'm not
expecting to bring it back as if new, just take off some of time's
(incised painted,raised lead, gold leaf, etc) and its finish (polished,
plain, chased, etc). Depnds on what is making it dull (eg acid rain
corrosion, lichen, moss, deterioration of paint pigments, oxidation, etc).
Using the wrong chemicals can do a lot more harm than good -
particularly wih stone that may have hidden hairline cracks that can
lead to deep discolouration.
(daughter of stone mason..FWIW.. many a happy hour I have spent hand
It's a bit late now to ring my Dad, but, if you want, I'll give him and
ring tomorrow and ask him and post tomorrow.. He spent most of his life
as a "master mason" thumping bits of granite, marble and such, so he
Let me know if you want me to bother.
Well, I bothered.
Dad says two ways:
Stuff called "Chlorus". A monumental mason company will sell
you some. It is a pink liquid and must be used very diluted
on marble - or you will get a pink headstone. You brush it
on, leave it in the sun for a while and then wash it off..
Stuff called "a fine gritstone block". Again from a
monumental mason firm. It used to be used for cleaning front
door steps, in the days when they existed. You rub the
headstone gently with it. It wont harm the lead and you can
buff the letters up with it as well, if you like. "Should
only take a few minutes".
Many thanks for taking the time to contact your Dad and post the reply.
I've made a note of the products you speak of, and I'll speak to a
monumental mason next week.
Thanks again to you and your father.
A couple of weeks ago, my newspaper came with a small catalogue, (you
know the sort of thing; folding walking sticks, bunion pads,
battery-powered ear wax removers, etc.)and this listed a "Monument
Cleaner" liquid for use on gravestones, etc..
Biologists are monitoring pollution etc by tracking the growth of lichens
and mosses on gravestones.
It isn't corrosion, it's natural history, and it adds character.
Add flowers, keep it tidy, leave the stone alone.
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