Many families like to visit their loved one’s granite memorial regularly to leave flowers and pay their respects. Over the years your loved one’s granite memorials will start to look less like it did when you first purchased the memorial. This happens because, your loved one’s granite memorial will sit outside in the elements. The granite memorial will start to acquire dirt, water-based stains, mold or mildew stains, and rust stains over time from being outside. We all want the best for our loved one’s granite memorial but not many of us know how to clean granite. In the following article we will explain the supplies you need and the techniques on how to do general cleaning on your loved one’s granite memorial.
You should always start with a general cleaning of your loved one’s granite memorial to remove dirt and grime build up. Once the dirt and grim is removed you can determine if further cleaning is required to remove stains that a general clean of a granite memorial will not remove. The common stains that occur on your loved one’s granite memorial other than dirt are water stains, mold or mildew stains, and rust stains. In this article we will only detail how to do a general cleaning on your granite memorial to remove dirt and grime. For information on cleaning other stains that can be found on granite memorials please view are other articles on water-based, mold or mildew, and rust stain removal
Dirt and Grime and General Cleaning for Granite Memorials
Dirt and grime will build up on all granite memorials over time however the rate at which your granite memorial will acquire dirt and grime is dependent on the weather conditions and the number of trees over your memorial. Before using any of the other cleaning methods that we will detail in other articles you should always start with general cleaning on the granite memorial to remove any dirt or grime.
Supplies for Clean Cleaning Granite Memorials
- A clean bucket that holds a minimum 22 Qt. of water.
- A minimum of 4 litters of water (you may need to bring the water if your cemetery does not have a public hose).
- Dishwashing soap detergent only DO NOT USE ANY OTHER CLEANING AGENT.
- 2 clean clothes or rags for the cleaning the granite memorial.
- 2 fiber free or microfiber clean white cloths for buffing and drying the granite memorial.
- Cotton Q-Tips swabs for engravings and inlays.
Steps for General Cleaning of Granite Memorials
STEP 1: Remove Leaves and Other Debris
Check your granite memorial for Leaves and other Debris that have stuck to or are surrounding your granite memorial and remove them by hand.
STEP 2: Wash Your Granite Memorial with Water and Dish Soap
Before you wash make sure you do not use ammonia, lemon cleaners, vinegar, or other acidic based cleaning formulas as they will eat away at the granite memorials surface and ruin the granites finish.
To start washing add a few drops of dish soap into your bucket filled with 2 liters or half of the water you brought.
Soak the clean cloth or rag into the dish soap water then wring the cloth or rag out to remove excess water.
Next start to wipe the granite memorial thoroughly with the dish soap water until the dirt and grime is removed and the granite memorial is clean.
STEP 3: Wash the Granite Memorial with Water
Washing the granite memorial with clean water will prevent soap marks and buildups that will leave streaks on your memorial.
After the dirt has been removed with the dish soap water empty your bucket and refill with clean water that contains NO SOAP.
Then use the second rag or cloth and the clean water to thoroughly wash the excess soap off the granite memorial.
STEP 4: Dry the Granite Memorial
Immediately after Washing the excess soap away with clean water take one of the clean white fiber free or microfiber cloths and dry the granite memorial.
If the granite memorial is not dried immediately after washing with clean water streaks will be left on the memorial.
For best results ensure you use a microfiber or fiber free cloth.
STEP 5: Cleaning Engravings and Inlays of Your Granite Memorial
Most Granite memorials will have Inlays, etchings, or engraved lettering that will remain dirty after cleaning with a cloth or rag.
Using a Q-Tip you can clean the left-over dirt in the inlays, etchings, and engraved lettering on the granite memorial.
Take the Q-Tip and soak it in dish soap water for a few seconds.
Then take the dish soap-soaked Q-Tip and scrape away any dirt in narrow areas that your cloth or rag could not reach.
You will need multiple Q-Tips to clean all the inlays, etchings, and engraved lettering.
STEP 6: Double Check that All Dirt has Been Removed
After you have completed cleaning your monument you can ensure that there is no dirt left behind by running you hand across the granite memorial.
Some dirt and debris can remain on the granite memorial that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Therefore, running your hand across the granite memorial will ensure that you have done a thorough cleaning.
STEP 7: Buffing the Granite Memorial
Using a NEW fiber free or microfiber cloth buff the granite memorial to ensure that there are no steaks left behind.
The final buffing of the granite memorial will enhance the finish of the granite as well as making the granite memorial shine in the sun.
STEP 8: Further Cleaning Inspection
If the granite memorial is still not completely clean after the general cleaning further steps are required to remove staining from environmental weathering. Further cleaning may be needed due to water-based stains, mold or mildew stains, and rust stains. Information on cleaning various stains on your monument can be found on our website under FAQs or from the links provided below.