How to Clean a Granite Memorial Stone
Granite is often a popular choice for memorial stones due to its durability and elegant, polished appearance. You’ve probably seen many examples of well-maintained granite memorial stones at parks or cemeteries, along with some less attractive ones that are in need of a good cleaning. Even a solid, polished granite memorial stone will eventually succumb to the adverse effects of the weather over the years, which is why it is always good to clean your granite stones on a regular basis. In order to make sure you are cleaning the granite memorial stone properly in a manner that will extend its lifespan and maintain its appearance, take a look at this brief cleaning guide written below.
5 Cleaning Tips For Granite Memorial Stone
1. Use Distilled Water
While it may seem somewhat obvious, the best way to ensure you get a clean granite memorial stone without leaving behind any stains or residue is to use clean, distilled water for washing. You want to avoid letting any streaks form while you wipe down the stone, so always be sure to keep the entire stone wet as you are cleaning. Getting an extra bucket of water for rinsing before you start cleaning is usually a good idea.
2. Use Soft Cloths
Using any abrasive cleaning pads or rough cloths can wreak havoc on the smooth finish of the granite stone. To completely avoid causing any scratches you should use a very soft cloth around the entire stone. You should also avoid using any traditional household cleaners or soaps, as some of these can leave behind residue that will also damage the smooth outer finish of the granite. Never use a finishing polish or wax with a waterproofing layer, since these are the most likely to leave behind an unwanted stain or residue.
3. Mild Glass Cleaners
While most soaps and sealers are terrible for use on polished granite stones, you can successfully remove streaks with a household glass cleaner such as Windex. The important thing to keep in mind when using a streak free cleaner is to completely wipe the stone surface until it is dry. Even a few minor droplets of water or cleaner can leave a noticeable mark behind, especially on darker granite stones which are exposed to direct sunlight on a regular basis.
4. Older Stones
Granite has the distinct quality of being able to last for hundreds of years, making it the ideal option for lasting monuments and memorials. Keep in mind however that granite stones from hundreds of years ago were created using different manufacturing processes, and they therefore need to be cleaned using different methods than the ones described above. In these cases, it is best to consult a manufacturer or anyone with experience cleaning older granite, as each monument will differ from case to case.
5. Bronze Features
Plenty of granite monuments are engraved with lettering, but a good number may also carry a bronze plaque. While cleaning the granite, you should also make sure the bronze signage isn’t tarnished or damaged. You can use soaps on the bronze, but make sure to use only mild dish soaps, and keep any soap residue from remaining on the granite surface to avoid streaks or stains. You can wipe or scrub away any discolouration on the bronze with a cloth or soft-bristled brush as needed. Once the bronze is clean you should make sure it is completely dry before adding any optional protective coatings.
Using these techniques to keep your granite memorial stones clean should help the stone look its best and remain intact for years to come. If you are interested in learning more about the elegant, top quality granite monuments and stones available from Behrends Group, be sure to contact us today!