Okay, so we all know the feeling. It's the heart-sinking moment when you stand, looking at a loved one's memorial, realizing that you are going to have to clean an unidentified mess from his or her stone. Maybe it is bird poo or perhaps it is berry stains or moss; whatever the substance may be, we have some solutions. BUT, before cleaning a memorial, there are some important factors to consider.
1. It is important to always check the color of the granite with which you will be working. Black granite tends to scratch a little easier than gray granite. SO, if you are working with black, you will want to avoid rubbing, stiff bristles or anything else that could cause scratching.
2. Check the engraving on the stone. If the engraving appears to have been done by a laser, please avoid rubbing or scrubbing over the laser etched portion. This will ensure any potential scratching will not impact the etching.
3. Always check the material the stone is made of. If it is marble please do not take the advice found on our blog!
4. If the stone you are cleaning appears to be damaged, please refrain from cleaning it and contact your monument dealer immediately.
Now that you know what you are dealing with you will initially need to gather a few materials:
-A large jug of water
-A spray bottle
-A soft bristle tooth brush
We recommend mixing one part water to one part bleach in your spray bottle and beginning with a small portion of the soiled area. Simply spray some solution and lightly scrub for a few moments. It is important to note that, after scrubbing, you need to rinse the area REALLY well with your water. Why? Because the bleach could lighten your memorial if you don't.
If the bleach and water solution does not work (and occasionally it will not), you might consider purchasing a Dupont Alkaline Cleanser that can be found at nearly any counter top store in your area. Please note that you need to read the instructions for this cleanser very carefully prior to using it.
If the alkaline cleanser does not work or if you are physically unable to clean your loved one's memorial, please contact Emerson Monument Company and we will be glad to cleanse your stone for you.