It has always been exciting me to trace the family tree and learn genealogy. Most often, when I go to visit old headstones, I find them dilapidated and covered in layers of dust and hard water. I often have to clean headstones to learn about the roots. This requirement of mine has given me all knowledge and skills that one may need to clean gravestones. I spent over 5 years on learning this trade and now find it as a side business of mind to earn me some extra bucks every month. Not bad! Here I have got some useful advice for you on how to clean headstones.
Let me tell you that almost any type of headstones or graveyard marker can be cleaned and restored with little efforts and time. Cleaning a headstone is not a hard task indeed, exceptions a few exceptions of course; especially when the headstone is very old or delicate one. In any situation, it is not an exaggeration to say a headstone under 200 years of age can be cleaned up well.
The first step to clean a headstone is to determine what type of material it is made of such as marble, granite, limestone, bronze…etc. for every different type of headstone will have its own method to clean. There is a lot of information available online to help you identify the type the headstone that you have got to clean. Having this information in hand will help you clean and restore the headstone to its originality.
Those who do not have time, intelligence or willingness to do this job may hire professionals by paying a anything between $50 and $2000 to clean headstones. The only problem is that the headstone cleaning professionals are not common specie hence not found everywhere.
The type of supplies that you may need to clean tombstones will depend on the type of headstone. You would accept that a marble headstone is more delicate than a granite one and is quite sensitive to acid cleaners. Likewise there are some headstones which can be cleaned with wire brushes but not all. For example you can not use a brush on a bronze metal headstone.
Another thing that you must consider is that the chemicals you use for cleaning headstones should not kill the grass or vegetation. Again, do not forget to remove all the debris and trash from the site once the work is done.
Once you have cleaned a headstone it will remain so for years to come. You can still extend its durability if it is of a type that can sustain sealant coat. However, my suggestion is that you clean headstones once a year so that they always look beautiful, maintained and can last long.