Cleaning tombstones

Anyone have a good recommendation for how to clean a gravestone? I
think it's made of marble, but I couldn't be sure. It's white stone,
which has become discoloured with what I guess is lichen - greenish-
black roundish growth. The lettering is metal fixed to the marble I
don't quite know how, but clearly I don't want to do anything that
damages that. We've tried various kitchen cleaning products along the
lines of Jif or whatever name it goes by these days, along with a
scrubbing brush. They've made some improvement, but the discolouration
is still there.
Cheers!
Martin
Reply to
Martin Pentreath
Hi Mary,
So it looks white, shiny and cared for again. It currently looks pretty scuzzy and neglected, and judging from its neighbours the lettering will soon become unreadable.
However, having just looked at some genealogy sites it seems that the general advice is not to clean them at all.
Reply to
Martin Pentreath
I used a strongish solution of ammonia to clean one a few weeks ago, and rubbed hard with a nail brush. Several applications were necessary and what did help was lots of torrential rain between times :-)
This wasn't marble; just sandstone type of stuff, ca. 150 years old, and the stone had been laid flat in the now-redundant churchyard.
Reply to
Frank Erskine
The trouble is that if it does become unreadable there isn't a lot of point in it being there at all :-)
I particularly wanted to read one 'belonging' to my GGGG grandparents.
Reply to
Frank Erskine
I tend to agree! However, the genealogists have complicated methods to render them temporarily readable again, which remind me of a book I used to have as a child about invisible ink. But about the only pleasure you can have in graveyards involves wandering around reading some of the more bizarre inscriptions and laughing at what some people regard as poetry appropriate to commemorate their loved one for eternity! This small pleasure is not available if it requires the use of talcum powder and shaving foam.
Cheers!
Martin
Reply to
Martin Pentreath
For marble, limestone and sandstone, use water and soft bristle brushes, natural or nylon. Lots of hard work.
Reply to
EricP
If I have a gravestone, i'll probably ask for it to be vitreous enamel - the stuff takes any shit you can throw at it (literally) :-}
Reply to
Colin Wilson
You could try a phosphoric acid based product like Lime Lite. Do try it on an inconspicuous area first. Most marble floor renovators are phos based.
Reply to
The Medway Handyman
I would tend not to use one on marble or limestone - for fear of dissolving the entire stone.
Martin,
is the stone shiny or matt? Matt stone probably implies porous, and you won't be able to clean the stuff off - you'd be best bleaching it.
Andy
Reply to
Andy Champ

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