Date Posted: June 24, 2019 at 8:00 am  |  Author: Ethan

Cleaning a Grave Marker Properly

While walking through the cemetery with my wife and daughter recently, I noticed a section of our cemetery that was completely flooded. I can’t remember a year when we’ve had this much rain in such a short period of time.

If you have purchased a memorial from a cemetery, and you went to visit recently and the grave site is a muddy mess, please be understanding with your cemetery. I know our staff is continuously working hard to keep our cemetery dry and the markers clean. The staff who is serving you does as well, though they may not always be able to keep up.

Seeing markers drenched in the elements, I can certainly understand the desire to take care of your loved one’s marker into your own hands, and it is your right to do so.

However, it is important to remember there is a safe way to keep the marker clean without risking damage to the protective clear coat.

Play Video

Read through this short guide on how to clean your bronze grave markers, as well as what NOT to do.

Best Way to Clean Your Bronze Grave Marker

Clean Grave Marker Soap Water

Step 1: Spray

Spray your bronze plaque with a mild soap (Example: Ivory® dish soap or Simple Green®) and water. Be sure not to let the soapy water sit too long.
Wipe Dirt Debris

Step 2: Wipe

Use medium pressure and a soft, lint-free cloth to carefully wipe away any dirt and debris.

Soft Brush Scrub Bronze Marker

Step 3: Scrub

If your bronze memorial is still dirty or grimey after cleaning with soap and water, use a soft bristled brush and specialized bronze cleaning product to scrub the bronze and clean the rest.
Wipe Clean Dirt Debris Chemicals

Step 4: Dry

Make sure the grave marker is completely rinsed off and free from all applied chemicals, dust and debris.
How To Clean Bronze Grave Marker Guide

Step 5: Wax (Optional)

Apply a thin layer of wax (without silicone or other harsh chemicals) to help add to the protective coating. Lightly and gently buff the surface with a soft wax detailer.

Need to Reorder or Refinish a Memorial?

Has your grave marker or memorial plaque been damaged or destroyed? Let us reorder or refinish your memorial for you.

What to Do

Here is a quick and safe plan to keep your special place looking spick and span without breaking the bank or your back:

Rinse Thoroughly

Use a mild soap (Example: Ivory® dish soap or Simple Green®) and water as often as every 3 months and at a minimum twice a year. Use medium pressure and a soft, lint free cloth along with soap and clean water for best results.

Use Bronze Cleaners

Only use specialized cleaning products if soap and water doesn’t work. Special cleaners for bronze grave markers can be purchased online.

Periodic Waxing

Waxing your memorial another way to ensure its longevity. Waxing protects it from acid in the dirt and atmosphere. Be sure to choose a wax that without silicone or any harsh chemicals (Example: Trewax® Clear Paste Wax)


Regular dusting using a soft duster or brush is recommended to remove debris.

What Not to Do

No Harsh Chemicals

Do NOT use bleach, window cleaners, shaving cream, or any cleaner containing acidic chemicals.

No Rough Brushes

Do NOT use hard metal brushes or wire brushes on your marker- these can cause swirl marks.


Do NOT let any soap or other chemicals sit on your marker without rinsing.

If you have purchased a memorial from a cemetery, and you notice the grave site is muddy, please be understanding with your local cemetery.

By following the above steps, family members can help to ensure the longevity of their loved one’s memorial while maintaining a beautiful place to visit.

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