Published on September 18th, 2013 | by Henri


Cleaning soot from aluminum siding

Q.    We had a pellet stove installed in our basement two seasons ago. When the stove is running, the soot comes from the stove pipe which goes through the wall outside and colors the white aluminum siding.

I contacted Alcoa and they are sending me a manual showing different solutions for cleaning various stains. I described the problem but am not sure if they have an adequate answer for cleaning and I am concerned about removing the “powder” with the wrong cleaner. Do you have any suggestions? I really enjoy your column and read it religiously.

A.    The successful cleaning of the soot from your aluminum siding depends on how old the siding is. If it has weathered a lot over the years, the soot may be hard to get off completely. If you haven’t tried already, mix the following solution: one cup detergent (such as Tide) and two-third of a cup TSPPF in one gallon water, apply it using a soft-bristle brush and gentle strokes — a car-washing brush is ideal.

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