How to Use Cornstarch to Read Unreadable Cemetery Stones

If you've been to a cemetery only to find that the stone is no longer readable, you may be suprised to find that cornstarch can help you read and/or photograph the stones. Please read the excellent article at on the do's and don'ts for making cemetery stones readable.

The way I do it is take a handfull of cornstarch and apply it to the surface of the cemetery stone where there is writing or designs. Use a squeege to remove all of the excess cornstarch, leaving cornstarch only in the recesses. When you are finished with the cornstarch, brush off with a soft-bristled paintbrush, and rinse with water. Cornstarch is 100% natural and not harmful to stones.

Tools      Unreadable Stone

Tools                              Unreadable Stone

Applying Cornstarch       Squeege Cornstarch

Applying Cornstarch                             Squeege Cornstarch

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

Rosie, died July 10, 1885, Aged 3 YR, 4 M, 20 D
Josie, died Dec. 20, 1884, Aged 10 MO., 21 DS
Children of J. W. & S. H. Dawson
(Be) the shepherds (bosum),
White as the drifting snow
And our little lambs we must _____
From this troubled life taken.

Brush it away       Rinse it away

Brush it off                               Rinse it off

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This page was last updated 6-11-2006

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  Emporia State University