Use D/2 Biological Solution to Clean Gravestones

Genealogists and anyone else interested in preserving cemetery tombstones and other objects exposed to the weather should become familiar with D/2 Biological Solution. It is useful for cleaning tombstones without causing any damage to the stone.

The solution is safe for use and does not harm the tombstone. Even the highly-respected Association for Gravestone Studies recommends the product in the organization’s FAQs (Frequently-Asked Questions) at

“Treat a wet gravestone with D/2 Biological Solution, scrub into a lather using a plastic bristle brush, and smooth the lather into the inscription to make the letters more readable. Afterward, rinse the stone thoroughly.”

Further details may be obtained from A Graveyard Preservation Primer, 1st Edition, by Lynette Strangstad and published by the Association for Gravestone Studies at

D/2 Biological Solution is even used to clean the outside of the White House and also recently won a Veterans Administration contract to supply cleaner for over 3.5 million headstones and another contract to clean Civil War monuments at the Chickamauga battlefield. (Details may be found at

D/2 Biological Solution is a biodegradable, easy-to-use liquid that removes stains due to mold, algae, mildew, lichens and air pollutants. It is effective not only on tombstones, but also on marble, granite, limestone, brownstone, travertine, masonry, terra cotta, concrete, stucco, wood, and other architectural surfaces, including monuments and sculptures.

D/2 Biological Solution is easy to use. Apply it to the surface to be cleaned, preferably by using a soft-bristle brush. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, and then scrub the surface to be cleaned, again by using a soft nylon or natural bristle brush to loosen most biological and air pollutant staining. Never use a stiff brush or anything abrasive on a tombstone or other stone surface! Be sure to bring a watering can or other water source along so that you can rinse the solution off the cleaned surface when you’re done.

D/2 Biological Solution:

  • is biodegradable
  • will not harm plants, stone, animals or people
  • contains no acids, salts, or chlorine
  • is pH neutral
  • will not etch metals or glass
  • is not a hazardous material and requires no special handling or protection
  • is used full strength with no in-field mixing required
  • contains no carcinogenic compounds as defined by NTP, IARC, or OSHA
  • is considered essentially non-toxic by swallowing
  • requires no special ventilation during use
  • has a shelf life of 5 years

D/2 Biological Solution is available in 1-gallon and 5-gallon containers and 55-gallon drums.

All in all, I’d suggest this is a good product used to clean many surfaces, including tombstones. You can learn more about D/2 Biological Solution at It can be ordered from a number of distributors with a list available at I also found it available in 1-gallon containers from Amazon at


This sounds like a really good product; I especially like the environmentally friendly aspect of the product. But, the price, if doing a large area, ie a vinyl sided house gets really expensive. $40. per gallon, $185 for a 5 gal container. To be used full strength. Wow


Thanks for this information, it is coming at a time when I have a tombstone badly in need of cleaning HOWEVER I thought I’d print it to take to my genealogy group for discussion and foolishly used the “print” for the article – this is not a “print friendly” button – as for what should or could be a two pager has turned into a 10 page printout – 8 pages going to the recycle box!


D2 is great! I buy it by the case. There are 2 ways to use — 1. For quicker results, apply and rinse.
2. If you don’t have water, just apply. Either way results are fantastic!


This isn’t the first time I’ve had advice about a great product that’s branded in the United States and been at a loss to find its equivalent in the UK. Does anyone know in this case?


    Eva, about 150 British lichen species are currently considered to be either critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable, as classified by the World Conservation Union and twenty six species of lichens and thirty-three species of Bryophytes, which includes mosses, are currently protected by British Statute, and it is therefore illegal to disturb either the lichens or their habitat. Having said that, I am pretty sure a product by the name of ‘Wet and Forget’ is the UK equivalent of D/2. Make sure you check it’s OK to use first.


    The Product “Wet and Forget” is not equivilant to D/2 Biolological Solution. At least a product with the name “Wet and Forget” in America is not equivilant.

    Please check the manufacturer’s safety data sheets (MSDS) that are posted online. “Wet and Forget” is hazardous to humans as well.

    “Wet and Forget” MSD:

    Click to access MSDS_WETFORGET_99gL_2172012.pdf

    “Hazards identification”
    “Severe eye irritant. Corrosive to skin –repeated or prolonged contact may result in dermatitis or skin sensitisation. Ingestion can cause burning pain in mouth, throat and abdomen – May be fatal if ingested.
    Inhalation of mists can produce respiratory irritation.”

    MSDS of D/2 Biological Solution:

    Click to access MSDS_D2_102012.pdf

    “Precautionary measures”:
    “No special requirements under normal use conditions.
    Exposure Limits:
    The D/2 Biological Solution formulation presents no health hazards to the user, other than mild eye irritancy.
    Eye protection:
    Caution, including reasonable eye protection, should always be used to avoid eye contact where splashing may occur, such as during spray applications.
    Respiratory Protection:
    No special precautions required.
    No special ventilation is required during normal use.
    Skin protection:
    No special precautions required; rinse completely from skin after contact.”

    Hope this information helps clear up the confusion.


I would like to read some postings from someone who as actually used it on tombstones. And when they used it. Last month or last year…. Has there been any adverse effects over time?


    We used it on a number of stones in the main cemetery in Perryville, KY 3 years ago. Hate to admit I haven’t been back, but thanks for the reminder to do so and check on the D/2 after three years.


    I am an admin of a Facebook Group, Preserving Ohio’s Cemeteries, and there are several members in the group who do gravestone conservation for a living, and they have had nothing but high praise for using D/2 Biological Solution and their satisfaction with the product from start to finish. Yes, it can be used diluted.

    Limeworks offers it for sale on their website, and I believe the website saveagrave has a discount code to use at Limeworks when ordering the product so a buyer can save some at least.


    Barb, I am a professional monuments conservator. Other than water, the only product I use to clean headstones is D2. I have used it or an equivalent product from another company exclusively for the past four years. I prefer D2 over the others. The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) did a six year study on various chemicals cleaning government issued veterans grave markers and found D2 to be the best of those tested and found no adverse affects to the monument.

    The NCPTT report is found at

    Also, if you visit you will find information regarding the cleaning of grave markers.


    Thanks for all the great reviews. I will be ordering D2 this week.


I bought this last year from and used it on a stone in April 2013. I put it in a spray bottle and just wet the stone, sprayed with water then sprayed with the D/2, brushed it a bit and left it sit for 10-15 minutes. I then rinsed it and resprayed and left it. The results were truly amazing! I’ve seen no ill effects over a years time. I took before and after pictures and sent to just last month. They put the photos and my comments on their Facebook page: I just used it on two more stones over Memorial Day weekend. You do NOT need to use a lot. A little goes a very LONG way! I have WAY over 3/4 of that gallon left. I did just buy another gallon since I intend to do more over the summer. It is well worth the price (and I’m a frugal person!)


I use it all the time but you don’t need to scrub if you are not in a hurry. Just spray it on a “dry” stone and come back 90 days later and it is all clear. (Really bad stones might take a second application) Be sure not to apply just before a rainstorm of course. It protects too. See their web site.


Thanks for this post. I have most of my family connections in Michigan & am planning several summer trips there. I see there is a D/2 distributor in southern Michigan, and I’ve sent them a query about picking up a gallon while I am on the road.


Just finished cleaning a few stones using D/2 today. It worked wonders on cleaning a very dirty stone. Was tutored by a professional gravestone cleaner who has been using this product for over 4 years. Results are fantastic and all reports indicate this to be the only really recommended cleaner for safe cleaning of headstones. I am sold and have also purchased my first of many gallons.


The link in this paragraph no longer works:

Further details may be obtained from A Graveyard Preservation Primer, 1st Edition, by Lynette Strangstad and published by the Association for Gravestone Studies at


I give presentations to groups on how to safely clean gravestones and have cleaned dozens of gravestones myself (w I began with using just water and Orvus and then switched to D/2 because it was more effective.

Liked by 1 person

    Jarrod, in the photographs on your website you provided above, the brushes and scrapers are such that they could be purchased at hardware stores or drug stores for the two sided toothbrush.

    I see what looks like a trial size spray bottle of D/2 Biological Solution. How many ounces are in that bottle of D/2 Biological Solution?

    Here is a link to for more information about D/2 Biological Solution and the prices for the 1, 55 and 55 gallon containers.

    There are also several other distributors of D/2 Biological Solution in the U. S. And, here is the manufacturer’s website for D/2 Biological Solution:


Answer to Sue Anne Mayne,
Which are the exact lichens that are critically endangered that affect anyone, most of the endangered lichens are in areas that reindeer eat them. Should we shoot all the reindeer to preserve them? the USA and Japan then come next, In Europe should we watch a headstone or monument that is 200 years old get destroyed by a fungi that sucks all the minerals from a historic stone or monument instead of leaving the lichen alone on trees, were the deer eat it, should we shoot all the deer or reindeer eating lichen because it is endangered. I have never seen or heard of reindeer roaming around cemeteries eating lichen, I wish they would then people like me would not have to clean monuments.


Reply to Sue Anne Mayne
I use Wet & Forget on everything that is covered in moss, mould, lichen, algae and black mould. You spray it on and forget it, every time it rains the rain reactivates it, it is a superb product. I have been using it for 2 or 3 years now and find that on somethings they come up like new within 24/48 hours and some you may have to wait for up to 3 months. I have checked with the manufacturer and they confirm it is safe to use on headstones and I have had no problems. As with any product (other than pure water) if you wear protective eye equipment and a mask you will be safe if you dilute it according to the manufacturers instructions. I have rarely come across such a competent product and can thoroughly recommend it.


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