When I was a kid my mom kept this big bag of old toothbrushes. It is a little gross, but she’s from the generation that saves everything.

I remember looking at that bag as a kid and thinking “Yuck! I am never going to do that when I grow up.” And then, as a teenager thinking, “I hope she doesn’t pull that bag out while my friends are here!”

And now, as an adult, I save old toothbrushes!! Oh my goodness I am almost embarrassed to admit that I save them! But you know what? They do truly come in handy. And, while I do not save every old toothbrush my family discards, I do save them every now and then for cleaning purposes.

Do you save old toothbrushes at your house? There are a bazillion uses for them. I have seen my mother use them for countless household tasks. But my favorite use of an old toothbrush is cleaning headstones. They are perfect for cleaning gunk out of engraved letters!

Using Old Toothbrushes for Headstone Cleaning

Have you ever been out to the cemetery and noticed letters on a headstone that are dirty? It is a common thing and sometimes you don’t even realize the letters are dirty until you walk right up on it. But, if you take a peek at the engraving, you will notice dirt and dust and other biological gunk. Over time, if not cleaned, the build-up may potentially distort legibility of the letters.

Don’t let your loved one’s memory become lost to an illegible headstone. Bring out the old tooth brushes and make those letter legible again!

If you look carefully at the letters on a headstone you will notice that the letters can be of varying sizes. Of course different sized toothbrush heads work better on varying sized fonts. I prefer to use the skinnier toothbrush heads on the smaller fonts and the wider style brushes on the larger fonts.

Once you have the right tool, the next step is to use the best cleaning solution.

Other Handy “Tools”

To clean letters well, you need a good cleaner. I prefer a cleaning that not only cleanses but also prevents future growth. D2 chemical is the best to use on headstones because it is made to get deep in the granite pores and cleanse them from the inside out. It also prevents the build-up of future biological growths and will not damage the stone. You can checkout this post for more on cleaning with D2.

Other “tools” you might need include:

  • A toothpick is handy to have if you need to scrape any gunk out of a tight spot that the toothbrush cannot reach
  • A lot of water for rinsing (recycle and use empty milk jugs!)
  • A foamy knee pad to save your knees
  • A micro fiber cloth

Step 1- Spray & Scrub

Once you have your tools all you have to do is spray the D2 into the letters and put that old toothbrush to work!

Old toothbrushes make the perfect cleaning tool

It is seriously this simple! There is something so satisfying about watching dirty items become clean!

Step 2- Rinse & Repeat if Necessary

Once you are done scrubbing rinse the product from the letters with water. It’s important to remember that most cemeteries do not have a water source available to the public. The last thing you want is to get out to the cemetery and realize you have forgotten your water!

Step 3- Spray & Walk Away

And then, when you are done, spray the letters with D2 to let it work it’s magic deep down in the pores. D2 acts as a biological growth preventative, so doing this is a step you don’t want to miss!

Using old toothbrushes is a great way to get those engraved letters clean. Are there other tools you have found that help you keep a stone clean? If so, drop a line and share your tool with us!


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