How Often Do Headstones Need Cleaning? Tips From Alberta’s Premier Headstone Makers


In the vast and varied landscapes of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the importance of commemorating loved ones endures. Headstones, timeless symbols of remembrance, stand firm against the changing seasons, preserving memories for generations to come.

But like any cherished monument, their upkeep is essential. Expert headstone makers ensure these markers remain pristine and honourable. Understanding the nuances of headstone maintenance not only preserves their appearance but also encapsulates the deep respect we hold for those who’ve come before us.

Dive in as we delve into the intricacies of headstone care and why it’s so pivotal.

Understanding The Factors That Affect Headstone Maintenance

Caring for a headstone isn’t just about giving it a scrub now and then. Multiple factors can affect how often and how intensely we need to care for these stone memorials. As prominent headstone craftsmen, we have extensive experience in this field and are well-acquainted with these intricacies. Let’s explore some of these factors.

Trees And Their Impact

It’s calming to see a headstone nestled under the shade of a tree, but with shade comes the responsibility of extra maintenance. Leaves falling on the headstone can trap moisture, leading to potential discoloration or growth of moss. Sap with its sticky consistency, can attract dirt and become challenging to remove over time.

Experienced headstone makers, like Summit Memorials, recommend periodic checks, especially during the fall when leaves are abundant. As for sap, a gentle cleaning solution and patience can go a long way. It’s always best to address sap spots sooner rather than later to prevent any lasting damage.


Every locale has its challenges. Headstones near roads or streets in Alberta and Saskatchewan often find themselves under a light coating of dust and dirt, thanks to the regular vehicular movement. This dust can make the inscriptions harder to read and give the stone a dull appearance over time.

Another local challenge is sprinklers. While they keep our grass green and lively, they often leave behind hard water marks on headstones, especially in areas where the water has a higher mineral content.

Ideal Cleaning Frequency

Most headstone makers would recommend professional monument cleaning once or twice a year. It’s a guideline that works for many. However, based on the aforementioned factors, like location and the vicinity of trees, some headstones may demand more frequent attention.

It’s all about observing and understanding the unique needs of each headstone. After all, they stand in tribute to individual lives, and each life, and each story, is unique.

Read Also: Grave Markers Vs Headstones – What’s The Difference?

Cleaning Best Practices

When it comes to maintaining the pristine appearance of headstones, routine cleaning is also as essential as professional maintenance in preserving their charm. Our seasoned headstone makers have honed their skills over the years and are ready to share their secrets with you.

Let’s explore the best practices that ensure your headstone can stand the test of time, showcasing the memories engraved on its surface.

Choose The Right Cleaning Solutions

Avoid the risks of harsh chemicals and acidic solutions like vinegar. These can corrode the stone’s surface and damage the inscriptions over time.

Soap And Water

When in doubt, trust the tried and true approach – soap and water. It’s gentle yet effective, ensuring your headstone remains unharmed while removing dirt and grime.

Use The Right Tools

  • Soft-Bristled Brush: The gentle touch of a soft-bristled brush is your best friend when it comes to cleaning headstones. It efficiently removes dirt without scratching the surface.
  • Razor Blade: When stubborn materials stick to the headstone, a razor blade can be your precision tool. Just remember to handle it with good caution to avoid accidents.
  • Trusty Toothbrushes: Those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies can be a challenge, but a trusty toothbrush is a headstone maker’s secret weapon. It can get into tight spaces, leaving no area untouched.

Use The Right Cleaning Technique

  • Bottom-Up Washing Technique: To avoid missing any spots, start cleaning from the bottom and work your way up. If you begin at the top, the water will run down the monument, potentially causing you to overlook some areas.
  • Dry With Micro-Fibre Cloths: When it’s time to dry off your headstone, opt for micro-fibre cloths. Unlike regular cloths, they won’t leave behind lint or debris on the surface, ensuring a perfect shine.

About Summit Memorials

At Summit Memorials, we believe that every story deserves to be remembered and honoured. Nestled in the heart of Alberta and Saskatchewan, we have been the trusted caretakers of memories for generations.

Contact Summit Memorials today for all your headstone needs in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Let’s craft a tribute that will resonate for generations to come.

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