Cleaning Cemetery Headstones

I have always hated going to cemeteries. As a matter of fact, I would avoid them at all costs when I could. But that was before my Dad passed away in November 2020. Since then, I have visited the cemetery quite often. I’m still not completely at ease being there, but it’s easier knowing that my Dad is there with me. In fact, my Dad, his brother, and all of my grandparents are at the same cemetery. So, I’m able to visit all of them when I’m there.

Odd Fellows cemetery caretaker and the Jackson County community does a good job of keeping the grass mowed and the grounds looking nice. But with all the mowing, sometimes the grass clippings are blown on top of the flat headstones, like my family’s. Also, here in Arkansas we get all four seasons with lots of rain in between each season. So, over time the weather and the elements have caused moss, mold, and mildew to grow on the surface of the headstones making them look dirty and discolored. The oldest headstone in this cemetery of my family is from 1964, and from what I know they have never been cleaned. So, I thought I would give my family’s headstones a little TLC.

Before and after

I had heard of this headstone cleaning solution a couple of years ago at an AAHGS conference. It is the same cleaning solution that is used at military cemeteries like Arlington National Cemetery. So, I thought if it’s good enough for Arlington National Cemetery, then it’s good enough for my family. It’s call D2 Biological Soultions. It is a biodegradable, easy to use liquid that removes stains from mold, algae, mildew, lichens and air pollutants. It is effective on marble, granite, limestone, brownstone, travertine, masonry, terra cotta, concrete, stucco, wood, and other architectural surfaces including monuments, sculpture and headstones. A contact time of only 10 to 15 minutes followed by scrubbing with a soft nylon or natural bristle brush will loosen most biological and air pollutant staining. So, I added this solution to my cemetery kit that I had made that includes, soft bristle brushes, gloves, water, spray bottles, gardening kneeling cushion, and a bucket.

Before and after

I have been watching videos of how to use D2 and how it works for a couple of weeks now. I was stunned to say the least when I watched all the videos of how they sprayed the solution, let it set for about 10 minutes, and with some scrubbing all the dirt, mold, moss, and mildew just rinses away with water. Even after seeing how this solution worked, I was still completely shocked when I used it myself. Headstones I had been looking at for decades, now looked almost new. As good as the headstones looked when we were done, the D2 solution will continue to work for up to six weeks after application. So, when I go back to the cemetery next month the headstones will look even better.

Before and after

Cleaning headstones was hard work. I was on the ground bent over scrubbing, rinsing, pulling weeds, but it was so rewarding. To know when other people go to the cemetery and walk by my family’s headstones that they will be able to read the information clearly means a lot to me. I want my family’s final resting place to look nice. There are many ways to continue to honor our ancestors, and cleaning their headstones is now one of my ways.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m obsessed with this TikTok account about grave cleaning:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trisha says:

      I watch videos on Instagram and wondered if the D2 worked as well as it looked. It does. I really think the videos don’t do the before and after justice. I used to hate going to cemeteries, now I can’t wait to go and clean some more headstones.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s