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Headstones: Cleaning With Care
By Mahassan Lee

Headstones are the most common way to remember the departed. This does not imply that if you do not have these placed on the graves of those you love that you would not be able to remember them. Basically, it is a way to mark the actual grave and serve as their identification. It is a simple way to help others know who lies beneath. Some of the things that you will find in these markers would be their names and the dates of their birth and death. Others would add inscriptions of religious passages or other short phrases to let people know about the deceased or about those who loved and remember them. These phrases are called epitaphs.

Over time, headstones would eventually wear out from the constant exposure to the elements. They are not covered by anything, which makes them susceptible to dirt and stains. Rain itself can wear on a stone depending on the type of material that was use to make the headstone. The epitaph on markers that are made of limestone or marble tend to become faded and blurred by rainwater. Some of the most common stains on a marker are water stains brought about by rain and snow. Other factors such as daily exposure to the elements would likely make it muddy and even grimy.

One of the most common questions about headstones are those involving the cleaning and maintenance of the markers. The first thing that you should do is to brush it off to remove any tangible or dry debris that may have found its way to it. You can wipe it with a damp cloth or splash it with some water. The use of soap may be acceptable as long as you use something that could be easily rinsed. After all, this is a headstone and odds are, you would not be in a place where water could be easily accessible.

You could be able to find some products to help with this goal. This means that you will have the ability to restore the headstone to its natural luster provided that you only use a product that is meant for that specific type of stone. For example you don't want to use bronze cleaner to clean a marble stone, it may further damage it or harm the engraving. Another important factor to remember when cleaning headstones is to clean the engraved portions. This is where dirt would likely accumulate as it is bedded from the surface.

Finally, you should take great care not to damage the stone. If you find that your stone has been chipped or cracked, you shouldn't attempt to fix it yourself. You should seek the services of a memorial mason to repair the marker of your loved one.


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