How to clean old gravestones without damaging them

When it comes to maintaining and cleaning gravestones, headstones, and monuments, it is important to use the right products to ensure their longevity and beauty. 

How to clean gravestones | Quick start guide


  • Start with the right product

One highly efficient alternative to aggressive cleaners traditionally used on these surfaces is PROSOCO ReVive. ReVive removes mold and mildew staining and atmospheric staining that disfigures and degrades many types of construction materials. ReVive is safe for use on all types of stone, concrete, and brick masonry, as well as non-masonry substrates such as wood, painted surfaces, metal, plastic, and glass. It is biodegradable, concentrated for economy, and requires minimal precautions for handling and storage.

  • Prepare the surface for cleaning

To prepare the surface for cleaning, it is important to protect people, vehicles, property, and all surfaces not set for cleaning from product, splash, rinse, residue, fumes, and wind drift. Drain water from architectural structures (such as fountains) before application. Carefully brush or scrape loose surface debris and heavy growths of moss, ivy, or other contaminants from the dry surface.

  • Scrub and rinse

Apply ReVive using a soft-bristled brush, roller, or coarse spray. Rinse with enough water and pressure to flush spent cleaner and dissolved soiling from the masonry surface and surface pores without damage. Rinsing can be done with a garden hose. Rinse thoroughly, inadequate rinsing leaves residues which may stain the cleaned surface.

For professionals using masonry-washing equipment, set your target at 400–1000 psi with a water flow rate of 6–8 gallons per minute, in combination with a 15–45° fan spray tip. Heated water (150–180°F; 65–82°C) may improve cleaning efficiency in cases with severe staining. 

  • Always test first

Always test a small area of each surface to confirm suitability, coverage rate, and desired results before beginning overall application. Test with the same equipment, recommended surface preparation, and application procedures planned for general application. Let surface dry thoroughly before inspection.

Be aware, cleaning effectiveness is reduced when surface and air temperatures fall below 50°F (10°C). Do not apply at temperatures below 40°F (4°C). If freezing conditions exist before application, let masonry thaw.

  • Solutions for deteriorated stone

Fragile or deteriorated stone may require reduced rinsing pressure or even stone consolidation to avoid further damage. Severely deteriorated limestone and marble may be strengthened enough for thorough cleaning by treatment with Conservare® HCT, which also prolongs the service life of acid-soluble stone by dramatically increasing its resistance to acid rain. This is professional use product. It is recommended to consult a PROSOCO representative or call Customer Care toll-free at (800) 255-4255 for more information on use of HCT in conjunction with ReVive.

In conclusion, PROSOCO ReVive is a highly efficient and safe product for cleaning gravestones, headstones, and monuments. By following the recommended preparation and application procedures, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of these important structures.

before and after images of cleaned gravestones

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