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Home cleaner shares shocking photos from the apartment of a lifelong smoker

A professional home cleaner has shared shocking images of the inside of a lifelong smoker’s apartment, revealing once-white walls and ceiling that had been stained dark orange. 

American cleaner Katie, who goes by @katesgreats on TikTok, has shared plenty of photos of some of the most horrifically filthy homes she has cleaned over the course of her career — but the apartment of a woman who smoked inside for 26 years before dying of lung cancer left her speechless. 

Photos taken in one room show that the walls and ceiling had been stained a vivid orange hue, which Katie described as ‘bleeding’ and ‘sticky’ before she and her team managed to remove most of it over the course of a week.

Oh no! A professional home cleaner has shared shocking images of the inside of a lifelong smoker’s apartment, revealing once-white walls and ceiling that had been stained dark orange

Memories: Katie, a professional cleaner in the US, reenacted a phone call with a customer who wanted her to come clean an apartment ahead of a new tenant moving in

Memories: Katie, a professional cleaner in the US, reenacted a phone call with a customer who wanted her to come clean an apartment ahead of a new tenant moving in

Smoke job: He only wanted Katie to clean the walls of the two bedroom, two-bathroom apartment

He explained that the previous tenant was a smoker

Smoke job: He only wanted Katie to clean the walls of the two bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, and explained that the previous tenant was a smoker

In a video that’s been viewed nearly 17 million times, Katie reenacted a phone call she had with a customer named Dave ahead of the cleaning job.

‘I have a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment that needs [to be] cleaned before the new tenant moves in,’ Dave told her.

‘I can be there in two days,’ she replied.

‘But I only need you to clean the walls,’ he told her.

‘Just the walls?’ she asked.

‘Yeah,’ Dave answered. ‘I’m pretty sure she was a smoker.’

‘Oh, you need a nicotine removal?’ Katie replied. ‘No problem, I do those all the time.’

Dave asked if the nicotine removal would take a while, saying he was ‘a little pressed for time.’

Not yet knowing the full extent of the problem, Katie told him: ‘It’s never taken me and my crew more than a day.’

No problem! Katie said she was used to doing nicotine removal and didn't expect it to take more than a day

No problem! Katie said she was used to doing nicotine removal and didn’t expect it to take more than a day

In for it: But two days later, when she arrived at the apartment, she was shocked at what she found when she opened the door

There were 'empty cartons of Salem 100 cigarettes everywhere in the apartment'

In for it: But two days later, when she arrived at the apartment, she was shocked at what she found when she opened the door

But two days later, when she arrived at the apartment, she was shocked at what she found when she opened the door.

Luckily for TikTok viewers, she snapped a photo for posterity, showing the inside of an apartment with completely orange walls and an orange ceiling to match.

And just to make clear just how filthy the walls are, Katie points out a handful of white patches on the walls — which is where photos had hung for years, protecting the pain behind them from smoke damage.

She said that ‘Peggy’ had smoked in that apartment for 26 years before dying of lung cancer, and by the time she got there, ‘The walls were bleeding.’ 

There were also ’empty cartons of Salem 100 cigarettes everywhere in the apartment.’

She ended up calling Dave back to say that they’d need the whole week to finish the job.

‘I’ve done nicotine removals a lot. Never like that. I mean, I’ve never — the walls, everything was sticky. I felt sticky every day when I left. And I smelled really bad,’ she said.

Horrified: She said that 'Peggy' had smoked in that apartment for 26 years before dying of lung cancer, and by the time she got there, 'The walls were bleeding.'

Horrified: She said that ‘Peggy’ had smoked in that apartment for 26 years before dying of lung cancer, and by the time she got there, ‘The walls were bleeding.’

Damaged: A few light spots on the wall shint at what color they used to be — white

Damaged: A few light spots on the wall shint at what color they used to be — white

Though she didn’t take any ‘after’ photos, she did describe what it looked like when she and her crew were done.  

‘When we finished, the walls were just yellow stained drywall that were going to be primed and painted,’ she said.  

Commenters were horrified by the images, with many pointing out that if the smoker’s walls looked so bad, her lungs must have been in terrible condition. 

Others said they could only imagine how bad the smell was.

‘The smell is literally built into the walls now. Needs either super deep cleaning to remove the scent and then a fresh coat or a complete removal,’ wrote one.

‘At this point wouldn’t it be genuinely better to just replace the drywall?’ asked another.

‘Ah yes, Cheddar Cheese walls,’ quipped a third. 


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