Dos and Don't's of Cleaning Graves


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

Unsafe chemicals
Cleaning chemicals can damage monument material. We do not recommend using products such as ‘Wet and Forget’ as there are no long-term studies to show that they are safe for monument materials.

High-pressure cleaning equipment
Do not use equipment such as a high-powered gerni or other sand-blasting or high-pressure water-blasting equipment because they can easily damage monument surfaces.

Wire brushes
Never use wire brushes, steel wool or other harsh abrasives as these can also damage monument surfaces. Scratches in the surfaces will encourage the growth of moss or lichen.

PLEASE USE!

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

For stubborn stains, white vinegar mixed with water can be sprayed. Please rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Use plastic or wooden scrapers to remove lichen and moss growth.

DO NOT TOUCH!

Sandstone monuments
Can be easily damaged by brushing. Do not clean sandstone unless you are experienced and know what you are doing. Never use chemicals on sandstone.

Leaning headstones
There is a risk that leaning headstone could fall over, especially if touched.

Do not stand on unstable grave tops
These can collapse when stood upon. Please stand to the side or on secure concrete edges.

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

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.

BEWARE!

Watch out for wildlife
Be aware that tree litter might contain fauna such as snakes, wasps or spiders.

Watch for trip hazards
Pathways can contain trip hazards such as tree debris and masonry. Watch your step.

Watch for sharps

Tree litter and other debris might contain sharps.