How to Clean a Granite Monument
With periodic proper care, the monument for your loved one will look new and stay clean for years. Granite is one of the hardest materials and will last indefinitely, however the surface is somewhat porous and can hold dirt, stains, and mineral deposits over a period of time. It is recommended that you clean the monument once a year, perhaps Memorial Day, when the temperature is not too hot.
Mild dishwashing liquid or white vinegar mixed 50/50 with water for monuments with mineral deposits due to sprinklers.
A non-metallic scrubbing brush
A soft toothbrush
Water - wet the monument before applying any cleaner. Bring enough water to rinse well after cleaning.
Also, you may want to bring some scissors or small pruners for trimming grasses.
Step One - Wet the entire monument before applying any type of cleaner. Pre-wetting prevents the cleaning solution from penetrating into the stone. Keep the stone wet at all times during the cleaning process.
Step Two- Use clear water and a mild dishwashing liquid or vinegar solution in a spray bottle. Start brushing gently with a soft brush. Start at the bottom of the stone and work toward the top. Working in this direction will prevent streaks.
Step Three - Rinse well with clean water. Make sure all the cleaning solution is rinsed off.
Step Four - Let the monument dry completely and inspect for mineral deposits or stains.
Treating Specific Stains
Dirt and bird droppings - You can clean the memorial with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid and water. Use a soft scrubbing brush and toothbrush to get into the etchings. Rinse well after cleaning.
Wood/Organic stains on a light colored memorial - These are some of the most common stains. Usually these stains will disappear over time when exposed to the sun. For a quick solution mix a couple drops of ammonia with 15% hydrogen peroxide solution and apply it to the stain and watch it disappear.
Mineral deposits from sprinkler systems - Usually 50/50 white vinegar and water will keep the mineral deposits under control. We have a product at the office that we have had great success in removing heavier mineral deposits. It can be diluted with water for a lighter cleaning, or applied directly for thicker deposits. Use in a spray bottle with a plastic scrubber and a soft toothbrush. The trick is to be sure to take enough water for a good rinsing.
Oil/Grease-based stains - Mix a cup of flour, 2 TBS hydrogen peroxide with enough water to make a thick paste. Brake fluid removes tar and sap. Rinse well.
Colored stains- We have had good success using the bathroom cleaner, Soft Scrub with bleach, on stains. Apply and leave for approx. 3 hours. Rinse well. You may need to re-apply.
DO NOT USE - granite sealers, paste wax, or polishes on monuments. While indoor granite requires this treatment, it does not work well for outdoor granite.
Granite monuments make beautiful memorials. Following these tips will ensure that your monument will retain its beauty and honor your loved one for many years to come. If you have any questions about caring for your monument give us a call....we are happy to help.