Ask the Cleaning Experts – Cleaning up Smoke Damage

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Smoke Stained WindowRyan S. from Skagit asks: Several years ago, my wife and I bought a lovely one bedroom/one bath home as an investment property. Over the years, we’ve rented it out to a succession of nice folks, and always included a “No Smoking Addendum” as part of the lease agreement. Our most recent tenants just moved out, and though they left the house in good condition, it’s very apparent that one (or both) of them had a secret smoking habit. Of course we’ve dealt with the security deposit issues, and we’ve cleaned the house thoroughly and repainted, but the inside of the windows are coated with a very stubborn yellowish film. Nothing we’ve tried (including white vinegar mixed with water) has been effective in getting our windows clean. Can you help?

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Ask the Cleaning Experts – Composite Deck Needs Help

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Cleaning a dirty deckKris L. from Anacortes asks: Help! This past March we moved into a beautiful house that has a wrap-around outside deck made of some sort of composite material (not wood). Now that spring has rolled around, we want to take full advantage of this outdoor space, but when we moved the old oak whiskey half-barrels the previous owners used as planters, we found the decking to be stained. We also found some grease stains on the boards in one corner of the deck where they must have kept their barbecue grill. My husband Ray wants to rent a pressure washer (which he’s never used before) and blast all these stains away, but I’m worried we’ll damage the decking. Do you have any suggestions to clean up this mess?

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Ask the Cleaning Experts – Help Me Remove My Window Mural!

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Help me remove my window mural!Lynn D. from Skagit writes: I have a slightly embarrassing situation I’m hoping you can help with. This past St. Patrick’s Day, I commissioned a local artist (who’s since left our area for Sedona) to paint a fun Saint Patrick’s Day mural on my large living room window at the front of my house. Well…I loved the colors so much that I procrastinated on removing the artwork until last week when I went outside with a hose. Much to my dismay, the paint didn’t dissolve and I’m not sure what to do with my outdated mural! My neighbor suggested I take a razor blade to it…but based on the size of my window, this would take forever to accomplish (plus, I’m worried I’d scratch the glass). Can you offer any suggestions?

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Ask the Expert – Roof Woes

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Bird on RoofJason B. from Skagit County asks: When I was raking all that snow off my roof a few weeks ago, I noticed a lot of white spots on my asphalt shingles. Upon closer inspection, I realized that those spots were bird droppings. I’m guessing that I should do something to clean the shingles, but I’m not sure what method would work best. What do you think? Should I pull out the pressure washer as soon as it’s warm enough? Or just let my roof stay as it is?

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Ask the Experts – Icy Gutter Solutions

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Icy DownspoutRay G. from Anacortes asks: After that long stretch of mild weather we had this winter, I didn’t think I’d encounter this problem. But the recent onslaught of snow, rain, and wind has created a logjam of ice and debris (mostly pine twigs and needles) in my gutters and downspouts, and I really need to free them up to handle what’s to come when we get our first thaw. My wife’s not supportive of any of my ideas (I’m thinking of climbing up on to the roof with an ice pick and some salt)…do you have any expert tips you could share for cleaning gutters in winter? Continue reading

Ask the Experts – Cleaning Dog-Drool from Windows

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Drooling Newfoundland

Drooling Newfoundland

Diane F. from Coupeville asks: Hi…I have a very unique problem that I’m hoping you can help me solve. This autumn we adopted a 2 year old, 143 lb. Newfoundland named Barney. Barney is the love of our lives, but like all dogs in his breed, he can’t control his slobbering, and his favorite place to sit (inside or out) is right against our patio door. Not only does he stick half his head into his water bowl when he’s drinking, but after drinking he’ll shake off all that water…and this, combined with his natural slobber, and his “nose art”, has created a sticky mess on our windows. We’ve tried using commercial window cleaners, and even simple soap and water, but everything we’ve tried just seems to compound the problem. We don’t want to use harsh chemicals because we’re afraid Barney might just give those windows a taste when we’re not watching. Any tips you could share to help us get rid of this mess?

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Ask the Experts – Cold Weather Cleaning

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Dirty Windows need CleaningAndrea H. from Island County asks: I was on an extended leave of absence from my home this autumn and came back to some really filthy living room windows. With holiday entertaining in my near future, I thought I’d get outside and clean them myself. Unfortunately, with the cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing, I just can’t seem to get those windows clean. Do you have any cold weather cleaning tips you can share with me?

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Ask the Experts – Dried Egg Cleaning Tips

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Scott from WA asks: After our beautiful autumn wedding, my new bride and I spent our fantasticDried Egg on Stucco honeymoon in Hawaii – only to come home to a royal mess. It seems like some of the neighborhood hooligans weren’t too happy that we weren’t there to offer them treats on Halloween and they egged our house! Unfortunately the eggs had time to dry — and I’m really not sure what the best way is to remove the stains without damaging the stucco. Do you have any tips you could share with me?

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Ask the Experts – Foliage “Leaving” a Problem

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Cleaning stained concreteJillian from Whidbey Island asks: I just LOVE autumn – the trees around our house turn such beautiful colors! But once those leaves start to fall, they create a huge problem for me. With all the rain we’ve been getting, I can’t seem to keep up with the endless cycle of raking and sweeping, and the leaves are staining our concrete sidewalks and steps. Any pro tips you could share with me to get rid of the stains?

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Ask the Experts – A “Salty” Problem

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Cleaning salt from boat windowsMike S. from Anacortes asks: I’ve been a big fan of your blog ever since I came across it while looking for advice about cleaning out my downspouts and gutters. So I was hoping that you may be able to provide a few tips for getting my boat windows clean before I store her for the winter.

After a summer of running hard, I’ve got some stubborn salt deposits on my glass windows that just won’t come off…even with a good soaking and soaping. Are there any environmentally safe chemicals out there that you could recommend to get the job done?

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