Memorial Maintenance

Memorial Maintenance and Cleaning

Somerville Stone Professional Memorial Masons are duty bound to point out that ALL cleaning work on any memorial stone should only be carried out by a professional monumental stone mason who have the required level of training, qualification and knowledge to comply with the current COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations. The following are broad guidelines which, if adhered to, will help to maintain the appearance of your loved one’s headstone or gravestone memorial.


Flat memorials Tablets and Desk

  • Lettering should last at least two years, if a memorial is near bushes or trees then unfortunately we cannot give a guarantee unless the client is prepared to look after it.
  • Flat memorials will always weather more quickly as the rain cannot run off the stone so this collects in the lettering.

For your information:

  • The following content is for guidance only as some stone types will weather faster than others and bird droppings will badly stain most types of memorial.
  • Old memorials might be deeply ingrained with stains and lichens and might never be thoroughly clean due to their age.
  • Do not place plastic or artificial flowers with wire supports on a memorial stone as the stone may be affected by both the dye from the petals and the wire rusting.
  • This also applies to flowers  with stamens that have dark colours as these may stain any memorial gravestones.
  • We accept no responsibility for any damage caused to a memorial by a third party following these guidelines.

Honed or Polished Granite:

  • Simply wipe occasionally with a soft, damp cloth.
  • When required, give the memorial stone a mild wash using a weak mixture of washing-up liquid and warm water.
  • Dab out letters gently with a very soft sponge, please do not rub or scrub letters, especially gold.
  • Thoroughly rinse off the memorial stones with clean, clear water.

Stone and Marble

  • Gently pour a mixture of washing up liquid and water over the memorial stone but beware of too strong a mix this may affect any surrounding grass or plants.
  • Leave for a few minutes, you may need to use a soft brush to get any ingrained stains off, do not rub or scrub the letters simply dab out any debris with a very soft sponge.
  • Thoroughly rinse off the memorial stone with clean, clear water.

Please Note:

  • This process has to be done on a regular basis to stop a build-up of stains caused primarily by algae.
  • Memorials will weather a lot quicker if under or near to trees or bushes.
  • NEVER use domestic bleach or a similar solution on any memorial stone.

Life expectancy of lettering colours

  • Upright memorials – lettering should last at least five years if the above guidelines for cleaning are used.
  • We will re-paint or re-gild an upright memorial’s inscription free of charge, at our discretion, if it has worn considerably before this time.


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