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How to Clean Graves


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It is important to remember that graves and headstones are part of a heritage-listed cemetery and should be treated with care and respect, especially very old headstones. Please bear in mind the following advice before attempting any cleaning and other work, and avoid causing harm to the headstones or yourself:

DO NOT use wire brushes, steel wool or other harsh abrasives on a headstone. It will scratch the surface, which will then encourage the growth of moss or lichen.

DO NOT use sand-blasting or high pressure water-blasting equipment on headstones.

DO use a clean soft cloth or soft bristle brush (such as a paintbrush) with water for removing dirt or bird droppings from a headstone.

DO NOT use any liquid other than plain water to clean headstones, as different stone types react differently to different cleaning solutions, resulting in possible damage or discolouration. Certainly never use acids, bleach or mould removers.

DO NOT attempt to clean headstones that appear unstable.

DO NOT attempt to restore a headstone without permission and heritage clearance. It is illegal to do so. Always check the heritage laws and use a professional for restoration work.

DO NOT interfere with plants purposely placed or planted on graves.

DO remove fallen leaves and debris carefully. You don't know what's in there!