When you lay a loved one to rest, it's natural to want to care for the area where you place them. If you're adding a tombstone to their grave, you may find that it develops algae, lichen and moss over time. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening so that your loved one's grave looks its best every day.
Gentle Cleaning with Water
You won't always need to use specialist cleaning fluids when tending to a grave stone. If you're a regular visitor to the graveside, clean water will work just as well as anything else.
Start by running clean water down the stone. Then take a clean microfibre cloth and gently brush it downwards across the stone. As you brush, you'll dislodge any hidden areas of growth that could turn into more problematic algae.
Finish the process by running more clean water down the stone. By doing so, you'll remove any early algae growth and dust you disturbed using your cloth.
Shining a Granite Stone With Mild Soap
If you're cleaning a granite tombstone, you can use a mild soap solution to make it shine. Add a small amount of dishwashing soap to a bucket full of water. Soak a soft cloth in it and use it to wash the stone.
If the stone features engravings, you may want to use a cotton bud to dig into them and clean there too. Avoid using tools such as brushes, as they'll cause fine scratches on the granite that will dull its shine.
After you're done with your cleaning, use a dry cloth to buff the stone. You should notice a visible shine afterwards.
Remove Tough Stains With Baking Soda
When you're unable to visit a graveside regularly, you may find that tough stains develop on the stone over time. This can include water stains, which are notoriously difficult to remove with soap alone.
One way to overcome tough stains is to make a paste or poultice using baking soda and mild liquid soap. Apply the paste to the stain and let it settle there for a day. When you return the next day, rinse it away using water until there is no residue. After finishing, buff the stone using a dry cloth.
If you're worried that the paste will wash away overnight, try taping it in place using clingfilm and masking tape. Otherwise, you should check the weather in advance of going to clean the stone to ensure the weather doesn't scupper your efforts.