Q AI have installed a stone mantel above my inglenook fireplace and now the Yorkshire sandstone looks a bit dirty. Can you recommend a stone cleaner? Keith Sykes, Huddersfield If you apply anything to sandstone it will no longer look like sandstone – it will have a plastic sheen which ruins the look. It is porous, almost like a sponge, and will absorb stains, so you need a seal for it to look freshly polished. You can try cleaning stone with polishing pads, but if the stone is in place this would create a lot of dust. Fireplace mantels are usually made of easily cleanable materials like painted wood. You could apply a sealer you would use on patio paving, but that ruins the look. C an you recommend anything to clean brick windowsills with?
They are the same brick as the house but the sills gather dirt and moss. Dave, by email
It was popular to use bricks for windowsills in the 80s and 90s. It wasn’t practical because bricks absorb water and the rough surface allows dirt to gather and moss to form. If bricks were used, they should have used engineering bricks which are almost waterproof. All you can do is scrub and power-wash them, but you will have to maintain this upkeep.