While there are many great articles online for explaining how to clean headstones, it doesn’t seem like any mention how to care for headstone pictures specifically.
In light of this, we’d like to help you with explaining how to keep your headstone picture looking great for many many years.
When you’re at the memorial paying your respects, it takes just a few minutes to do some quick cleaning and when you’re done will feel really good having a beautiful picture looking back at you.
Here are the supplies you’ll want to bring with you:
- Bring 2 water bottles (1 to wash and 1 to rinse)
- Soft cloth
- Dishwashing liquid (like Ivory or Dawn)
- Drying cloth (or microfiber towel)
Important: Make sure not to use any chemical cleaners like ammonia, bleach, multi-purpose cleaners, etc. as this can damage both your porcelain picture and your granite stone.
These are the steps to follow when caring for headstone pictures:
- Remove any dirt, dust, cobwebs or lawn trimmings (may use a gentle brush if needed)
- Clean the headstone picture with a soft cloth and soapy water
- Rinse both the picture and the granite memorial to remove the soapy water
- Dry the headstone picture and granite
- How to extend the life of your headstone picture
Let’s go into each step in a bit more detail. This will help make sure there’s no confusion when it comes to cleaning and caring for your headstone picture.
1. Remove any dirt, dust, cobwebs or lawn trimmings (may use a gentle brush if needed)
This step includes performing a visual inspection of your headstone and porcelain picture to determine how dirty things are. At first glance, the headstone may look clean and beautiful. But as your eyes slow down and you begin looking closer at the surface, in the corners, and at the picture, you may begin to notice things that need addressing.
Small cobwebs in the corners, dirt and grass clippings that have stuck to the monument, a layer of dirt covering the picture, are all things you might begin to notice when taking a closer look…
This is where bringing a soft brush can be helpful. Especially if there are cobwebs and you’re unsure of the type of spider (or just hate spiders in general), then the brush can keep your fingers clear or creepy-crawlies.
Make sure the brush has soft bristles; no hard bristles or metal bristles should be used as they can permanently scratch your stone and headstone picture.
Now that your headstone and picture are clean of surface objects, let’s move on to the next step…
2. Clean the headstone picture with a soft cloth and soapy water
To get your headstone picture looking its best, you’ll need to get it a little wet. We suggest putting a few drops of dishwashing liquid (like Ivory or Dawn) into 1 of your water bottles you brought.
Place the cap on the bottle and begin to shake until you have soapy water that’s bubbly.
Pour enough soapy water on your clean cloth and begin to wipe the headstone picture.
At this stage, it may be worth it to give the entire headstone a wiping off with the soapy cloth. You already have all the supplies you need and you’re cleaning the picture… but this is of course up to you and how much time you have.
Now that your headstone picture is clean, you’re ready for the next step…
3. Rinse both the picture and the granite memorial to remove the soapy water
It’s time to rinse! Use your 2nd fresh bottle of water to begin gently pouring it on the picture (and the rest of the headstone if you decided to clean everything).
If you only cleaned the headstone picture, that’s fine and just make sure to rinse off both the picture and the surrounding areas to get the soapy water off of the granite.
After all of the soapy water has been washed away, you’re ready for Step 4…
4. Dry the headstone picture and granite
Using a clean cloth or microfiber towel, you may begin to gently dry the picture and granite headstone.
Be careful not to wipe too hard, especially if you haven’t cleaned all of the headstone. The reason being if you have dirt or debris on the unclean parts of the headstone, then it can result in scratches or etching on the stone and/or picture.
Just like when you’re washing your car or truck… if you don’t remove all of the dirt before beginning to dry, you can damage your paint. This is because your towel picks up dirt from one area and can scratch the paint on another area as you continue drying.
So please be careful when drying your headstone and picture. And if you’d like to extend the life of your headstone picture even further, you may be interested in this…
5. How to extend the life of your headstone picture
By placing a bronze frame around and covering your headstone picture, it will protect the picture from sun, wind, rain, ice, snow, and perhaps the biggest threat to headstone pictures — lawn care damage.
Unfortunately, lawn mowers, edgers, trimmers and other lawn care equipment is one of the leading causes of damage to headstone pictures as they can “kick” up rocks, stones, and other small objects and turn them into small projectiles.
A small rock that gets launched by a well-intentioned lawn care professional can turn into a picture-breaking missile.
The best way to ensure the headstone picture stays beautiful and in-tact is by installing an elegant bronze frame that protects the headstone picture when it’s not being visited.
Headstone pictures are a beautiful way to remember your loved one. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your picture lasts for years to come.
If you have any questions or need help caring for your headstone picture, please don’t hesitate to contact your local memorialist or funeral home. They will be more than happy to assist you in preserving this important part of your loved one’s legacy.
Thank you for reading and may peace be with you and your family.
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