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How to Clean a Memorial Stone

War Memorials serve an important role in our society. These bespoke stones remind us of the sacrifices made for what we enjoy as a culture.

The stones that are used for these memorials require care and cleaning in order to preserve the engraving and materials for years to come.

What Types of Problems Do War Memorials Deal With?

There are two main types of issues that war memorials deal with- pollution and biological growths. Since these are often placed near roads so that people can see them, it causes carbon and sulphur deposits from traffic to settle onto the surface of the stone.

When it rains, this dirt and grime is actually pushed further into the pores of the stones, cause it to become trapped.

Algae and lichen are biological growths that thrive on stones that are damp. Sometimes the the biological growths can add to the appearance of the memorial, but more often, it causes damage to the stones.

How to Remove Dirt and Grime From Stone

In order to remove the dirt and grime from memorial stones, you will need to follow a specific set of instructions.

Supplies can include:

  • Soft bristled brush
  • Steam cleaning system
  • Low pressure water spray

It is advised that you do not use high pressure water jets, like a pressure washer to remove the dirt and biological growth. Also, you should avoid abrasive scrubbing or harsh bleaches and chemicals.

If you do not do the cleaning process correctly, you will only further damage the stone.

When is the Best Time to Clean Memorials?

It is best to clean memorial stones over the summer. During the warm weather, all water you wash the stone with will dry off.

In the winter, water can settle in the cracks or in the engraving and end up freezing. The expanding water can cause cracks to be deeper and mess up the engraving.

If you use a gentle water system and soft brush, you should be able to keep the stone looking good for years to come.

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