5 Steps on How to Clean Gravestones the Right Way

Acid rain, pollution, dirt, and moss can all affect the look of your family’s gravestones. Fortunately, removing this buildup is relatively easy.

Step 1: Gather supplies. These include a bucket containing soapy water (dish soap mixed with water), at least two towels, an old toothbrush or similar brush that can be used to scrub the stone surface without scratching it, and paper towels or rags.

Step 2: Mix dish soap with water in the bucket. Ensure that it is well-mixed; if there are clumps of soap, break them up with your hands or another utensil. You should end up with sudsy water; if not, add more soap (a cup at a time) until it appears soapy. Use lukewarm water for this process, as cold water does not produce suds well and hot water may be unsafe for you to use on certain stones or surfaces.

Step 3: Dip an old toothbrush — or your brush of choice — into the mixture of warm soapy water inside the bucket. Scrub the affected area of the gravestone with it, using light pressure and making sure to cover every nook and cranny. This should be done on both the front and back of the stone; for hard-to-reach areas, use a sponge to apply soapy water directly onto the stones yourself.

Step 4: Dip one of your towels in lukewarm water. Squeeze out all excess liquid until it is damp but not dripping wet; if you are unable to do this successfully, re-dip it in water until most of the moisture has been removed. Next, wipe down the entire tombstone with this towel until no more dirt or moss residue appears on its surface. Do not scrub with this towel — just gently wipe away any grime.

Step 5: Dry the gravestone using another towel or rag. Do not reuse towels you used for cleaning, as these are now covered in chemicals harmful to moss, mold, and some types of dirt.

With these simple cleaning tips, there is no reason for your family’s gravestones to look dull due to dirt buildup.