Cleaning a headstone can be fun and also profitable. Fun in regards to the peace & pleasure one will receive from working to clean up the memorial of a loved one. Profitable in the way of making good money offering this service once this skill is learned. The good news is that the skill of cleaning headstones can be learned real quickly.
How to clean a headstone...
First you must determine what type of material the headstone is made of. Just because we call them a "headstone" doesn't necessarily mean they are made of stone although generally they are. Headstones can be made from metals (typically bronze) or out of just about any other type of long lasting material. This information however will only cover metal and stone types of grave makers.
To find out the type of stone or metal we can look at a few things. Number one appearance. Using your basic knowledge what does the stone look like? Color and textures will tell you a lot. Second, you can also tell the type of stone by the date. Certain types of stones or metal were more popular depending on the era of burial. Finally, if you aren't confidant with your previous judgments, you can ask a cemetery caretaker their opinion and chances are they will be spot on. Whatever you do, nail down the type of headstone before you begin the cleaning as different materials require different methods.
Next, you will want to know what you want to clean. Is the stone just a few years old and slightly dull due to dirt, debris or hard water? Or is the stone several years old and in need of several different treatments to remove perhaps moss and lichens or other naturals stains? Is the material faded and in need of a deep cleaning and polish? Determining what you need done will help you know what supplies are need and what processes to use.
When it comes to the work itself don't be bashful. Most of these markers are not as delicate as they seem; however, here are a few warnings and suggestions.
Be sure the stone is stable. You do not want to knock it over or break off any pieces. If a stone is crumbling chances are you will not be able to clean it with out causing further damage. Also, be sure to test out any type of chemical or cleaning solvent on a small area before covering the more visible parts of the headstone. Look for any type of reaction or color change before you continue. If using chemical based products, always keep nearby vegetation safe by wiping up and away said chemicals before they hit the ground, and always follow product instructions using the proper safety equipment as called for.
Your knowledge of headstone cleaning will grow as you work with the different types of materials including marble, granite, bronze, and limestone. As you become well first in grave tending, you can offer your services and make a handsome profit.