The Morning News-Lisa Lete
Rande Carson, owner of Carson Creek Headstone Cleaning, shows the refurbished headstone he did for his wife's grandmother at Grove City Cemetery in Blackfoot.
Rande Carlson of Blackfoot grew up cleaning headstones out of respect for family members who have passed on. Now he has perfected his headstone cleaning technique into a business: "Carson Creek Headstone Cleaning" and hopes he can do the same for others.
"It was something we always did on Memorial Day," Carson said. "My dad and I would clean up the graves and wash the headstones of our family members."
Carson said the cleaning of headstones becomes very tough when years of hard water buildup (mostly from sprinklers) - and then baked on by the sun - severely masks the shine, color and engravings on the stone.
"A person can scrub and scrub on a headstone to try and clean it and get so discouraged," Carson said.
This prompted Carson to come up with a chemical wash that cleans the headstone but doesn't do any damage to the stone or finish.
"I learned a few things from a stonemaker and have perfected a chemical wash that won't damage the headstone and can make it look 95 percent new again," Carson said.
Carson used his cleaning technique on the headstone of his family members at first until he was completely pleased with the results.Two months ago he was ready to start offering his service to the public.
"I think I'm offering a valuable service to the community," he said. "The mortuaries have been supportive of my business and the people who have used my service have been elated with the results."
Carson said hard water buildup starts to diminish the looks of headstone after about 3 to 5 years, but that he has cleaned headstones with as much as 80 years worth of buildup on them.
Carson, who has lived in Blackfoot for 22 years, also works at 'the Site' and as a volunteer firefighter.
For more information on Carson Creek Headstone Cleaning (and to view before and after pictures) 'like' them on Facebook at: carsoncreekheadstonecleaning or call Carson at 208-681-6619.