How To Clean a Granite Headstone or Tombstone

So you have purchased your loved one’s headstone. We have etched or engraved that tombstone with their information. And, we have set their gravestone in the cemetery. Now we need to keep it clean. Many cemeteries use recycled or “hard water” throughout the Bay Area of California. This water gets sprayed all over the cemetery grounds to keep the grass growing but could cause damage to your loved one’s memorial over time. To combat the degradation of the stone, we recommend cleaning it once every 6 months. Below we will walk you through the 4 easy steps of cleaning a headstone and show you just how easy it is to keep it looking new. For those seeing stains on the granite surface or other signs of degradation sooner, we highly recommend cleaning at least once per 3-4 months. 

How To Clean A Granite Headstone

As mentioned, the biggest issue that most headstones face is water stains. These can occur due to low quality, or non-treated water being used to water the grass around your headstone. To solve this problem, we are here to help walk you through how to clean your delicate headstone. 

List of Materials

  • Grill Cleaning Brick  
  • Small bottle of water (12 -16oz) 
  • Good absorbent towel. 
  • 15 – 30 Minutes 
  • Just a little Elbow Grease

4 Steps To Clean a Granite Headstone

  • Start by rinsing and drying the memorial – use a little water to clean and clear out any debris that might be stuck on top of the flat surfaces. 
  • Next, we want to apply a little water to the affected area (anywhere you might see some hard water stains. (***This is key for the next step, failure to keep the stains and stone wet will result in scratching of the polish.)
  •  Now that our affected area is wet, we want to lightly begin rubbing the grill brick on the stains in a clockwise, circular, motion. (LESS IS MORE, so the least amount of scrubbing the better!)
  • After about 30 seconds of scrubbing, dry the stone and wait to see if you have fully erased the stains you just scrubbed. If you still have more to scrub, simply return back to step 2 and repeat the process. (***Disclaimer, Using a grill stone incorrectly can damage your stone to the point of needing professional repair)

How to Clean a Headstone - Conclusion

Once again, the real issue is knowing the type of water that is used in the sprinkler system, and by the grounds crew at your chosen cemetery. If your cemetery uses well water, then due to the water’s mineral content, your memorial may deteriorate faster than usual. We highly recommend the cleaning of your stone once a year in places less affected, and up to 4 times a year in cemeteries with well water issues. If you happen to be cleaning a headstone in Hayward, CA (Holy Sepulchre, Chapel of the Chimes, or Mount Eden) then you will likely need to clean your stone as often as 4-6 times a year to keep it looking nice.

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