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How to clean headstones

how-to-clean-headstones The method used when deciding how to clean headstones really depends on the materials that have been used in the construction of the headstone itself. These materials vary considerably from stone to metals to plastics to wood to glass. Each material has its own unique requirements when it comes to cleaning and of course the level of cleaning that is required. It is essential that the correct method of cleaning is used for the appropriate material in order to ensure effective cleaning while preventing damage to the headstone itself.

Cleaning headstones

The primary consideration when deciding how to clean headstones is the level of dirt and grime and debris which is present on the headstone. When the dirt cover is relatively light the headstone can generally be cleaned using just soap and water. This will remove dirt that is not encrusted without damaging the headstone in any way. When headstones require more thorough cleaning it may be advisable to use some form of solvent. However, it is important to check what effect the solvent will have on the headstone prior to commencing cleaning. Such solvents will generally remove the majority of dirt and even some encrusted dirt.

Should the headstone be covered in substances which cannot even be removed using a solvent, more stringent methods may be required. For example, headstones encased in moss or mud may require the use of a chisel in conjunction with a hammer in order to produce the best results. Care should be taken however in not damaging the structural integrity of the headstone itself. Once coverings such as moss and mud have been removed, the residual dirt can often be removed using a solvent and finally rinsed down with soap and water. It is essential that care is taken in cleaning the headstone and methods are not used that will damage the headstone itself. The method used in how to clean headstones is often dependent on the age and condition of the headstone in addition to the material from which the headstone is constructed.

Why clean headstones?

Cleaning headstones is an important part in the general maintenance and upkeep of headstones. A clean headstone will generally last longer than a headstone which is allowed to be overgrown and covered in dirt as a decaying process may begin. Knowing how to clean headstones is important for the close family of a deceased person also. A clean and well-kept headstone presents a dignified and appropriate memorial for a loved one who has passed away. Conversely, a headstone that is overgrown and unkempt can display that loved one and even the family in a poor light. A clean and well maintained headstone brings honour to the memory of the deceased family member and ensures that the gravesite is a dignified place where family members can visit in order to feel close to the person that they once loved. Families can take the responsibility in knowing how to clean headstones to show genuine love and appreciation for the memory of the loved one.