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This website focuses on photographs and documenting the gravestones of local Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire history and genealogy of early ancestors who settled New England, and gravestone artistry. It's also completely a volunteer effort by a very small amount of people. Your contributions help keep this site growing. Please consider a donation if you've found anything interesting here.

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Headstones, Colonial, Revolutionary War, Vital Records, Epitaphs, Epitaph, Historical, photos, photography, photographs, pictures, tombstone art, 17th century, 18th century, 16th century

Cleaning Gravestones

Take note of the type of stone that you are cleaning. Some are more delicate than others. Make sure that you have access to a good water supply.

Marble and Limestone: clean with water, a non-ionic detergent (Photo-Flo-Kodak product), household ammonia (rinse with water afterward), Calcium Hypochlorite (HTH) for biological growth/lichen retardation.

Slate, Granite and Other Stone : clean with water and non-ionic detergents only.

Schist and Brownstone can be very fragile. For all stone types, check the conditions on the stone and if it's flaking or falling apart don't touch it!

  • detergents use 1/4 oz. per 5quarts water
  • household ammonia use 1 cup per 1gal. water (for marble only)
  • Calcium Hypochlorite (granular)-2 oz. dry/1 gal. warm water
  • Never use wire brushes, soft bristle brushes only. Toothbrushes work wekk
  • scrapers- craft sticks, plastic scrapers


  • Don't Ever Use Wire brushes, metal scrapers or instruments, abrasive pads, Brillo pads, Steel wool. They can cause damage to stones. 
  • Don't Ever Use Acid or acidic cleaners on gravestones
  • Don't Ever Use Household cleaners like Ivory soap, liquid or powder detergents, Borax, Clorox, Bleach, Fantastik, Formula 409, (or any other abrasive or chemical cleaner.

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