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BigRedDog

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I found a couple of websites and youtubes and looked everything all over...

but really looking for some first hand ideas...

The stuff that you spray on to help prevent new organic growth makes sense...

All suggestions are appreciated :) :) :)

http://www.everlifememorials.com/v/headstones/cleaning-cemetery-tombstones.htm

Memorial Cleaning Demonstration
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Skittelroo

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 07:39:20 PM »

Your linked site looks very thorough.  I'd venture to say it depends on what the marker is made of.  I did find one other suggestion you might check into:

http://www.diylife.com/2008/05/26/headstone-cleaning-and-grave-maintenance/
Non-ionic detergents are available from janitorial and conservation suppliers. One example, named Photo-Flo, is available from photography supply stores. Another brand, called Orvus, is available from feed stores and livestock supply stores in either liquid or cream form. Non-ionic detergents are recommended for gravestones because they do not contain or contribute to the formation of soluble salts, but aid in the removal of dirt and lichen.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 07:48:22 PM »

I'm not sure what it's made of... 

it's at least 80 years old and looks almost white except for where the icky black stuff is growing on it :( :( :(
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Skittelroo

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 08:47:22 PM »

If it is more gritty, perhaps it is made of sandstone or limestone (though I don't know if they would be white)?  If shiny and smooth, more likely marble or granite?  Just taking a wild guess here.   

Sounds like an interesting research project.
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Aunt Lisa

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 08:26:21 PM »

 Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges are amazing. There hasn't been one thing I couldn't get clean with those.
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Mayonnaise

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 09:01:36 PM »

On stained granite or the brass grave markers, I've used toothpaste, not the gel type, with a medium/soft brush. I thought I would try it since I used to polish coins with it. Need water to rinse off good.
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arpydave

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 09:10:07 PM »

Try using TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) w/ a bristle brush; rinse thoroughly.  Since it's a cemetery the phosphates shouldn't be a concern as you shouldn't use any groundwater from that area anyway.  The amounts you would introduce would be insignificant once into the water table downstream.
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Skittelroo

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 06:36:47 PM »

Not sure if you are still looking for a way to clean headstones/markers, but there is a really nice article in today's Dundee newspaper (The Independent 4-10-2012).   It's about the volunteers who are working hard to restore the Petersburg Cemetery (Wing Cemetery on Center Street).   It says a lady has worked hard at cleaning the headstones, using dishwashing soap, soft brush, and water.   
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BigRedDog

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 07:15:31 PM »

Not sure if you are still looking for a way to clean headstones/markers, but there is a really nice article in today's Dundee newspaper (The Independent 4-10-2012).   It's about the volunteers who are working hard to restore the Petersburg Cemetery (Wing Cemetery on Center Street).   It says a lady has worked hard at cleaning the headstones, using dishwashing soap, soft brush, and water.

Thanks Skittelroo...   I pick up the Dundee paper quite often but haven't for a couple of weeks.  I'll be sure to pick up a copy.  Yes, still looking.  The headstone is in south Georgia and it's a project we'll work on over the Christmas holidays.
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Skittelroo

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 07:34:11 PM »

You're welcome!   I'm very interested in how this works out.  Please keep us posted.
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ShorTea

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2012, 08:11:41 PM »

Hey BRD on a sidenote, do you make rubbings of the headstones?
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Flanders

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2012, 09:07:32 PM »

I suggest, 2-4-5 Trioxin.  It should really bring them back to life.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Any tips or suggestions on cleaning old headstones or grave markers?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 02:34:35 PM »

Hey BRD on a sidenote, do you make rubbings of the headstones?

I never have.  The ones I want to clean are still in pretty good shape except for being dirty! 

There are a couple of real old cemeteries around the county I might try doing some rubbings though.  Try and get some info before it's completely gone!
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