Why You Shouldn’t Power Wash A Gravestone

At J. Auricchio Resurrection Monuments we create beautiful headstones and help you maintain them with our Long Island monument restoration and headstone cleaning services. What if you want to clean the gravestone yourself? No problem. We’ve written this blog post for you because want to make sure you’re cleaning the headstone right, preserving the memory and beauty of your loved ones headstone without causing any damage to it. Check out these reasons why you shouldn’t power wash a gravestone.


Why Not Power Wash A Headstone?

When people think of cleaning a gravestone themselves they may look at the years of dirt, grime, mold, and even bacteria, and think—oh this is going to be a lot of work. So perhaps you search the internet and discover that when cleaning a gravestone you shouldn’t use harsh chemicals and detergents…

So now what, how are you going to get all that dirt and possibly years of bacterial growth off of there for a good monument cleaning? And then you remember power washing your deck—it’s just water right? Wrong! It’s highly pressurized water that can and likely will severely damage the headstone you are trying to preserve with a good cleaning.

Water pressure over 40 psi has the potential to cause significant damage to any gravestone. For perspective, on average a standard garden hose with a focused nozzle can put out around 50 psi. Now knowing that using the pressurized nozzle of a hose could even damage a headstone, just imagine the damage a pressure washer would do at 2,000 or even 3,100 psi!


Consequences of Power Washing A Cemetery Monument


  • Removes of the outer surface of the stone
  • Exposes the soft interior pores of the stone to the outside elements. This will create a space for moisture, dirt, mold and bacteria to become trapped in the stone, leading to the stone’s eventual, crumbling breakdown.
  • Older stones may physically break apart from the intense pressurized water, with pieces falling, flaking or breaking off.


    What To Clean A Dirty Headstone Without Damaging It

    The first step in cleaning a headstone correctly is to select the right cleaner. You should look for a cleaner that contains non-ionic detergents, as these will be the most gentle. When cleaning the gravestone, be carefully not to scrub too rough. You should scrub using a “top-down” pattern while cleaning the headstone. For more details on how to clean a headstone correctly, check out this blog post, “Proper Care Instructions for Monuments.


    Contact Us

    Avoid other common cleaning mistakes, such as using too abrasive materials or hash chemicals. If you should run into trouble with damage to your stone please contact us and we will see if it’s possible to repair the damage. Our expert artists can help you in repairs as well as maintaining the headstone to avoid any damage in the first place.

    Contact us today to discuss our cleaning and repair services and see what services would be best for you and your loved one’s cemetery monument.