You have cleaned your gutters and you now need to CLEAN your gutters. They look dingy or they have striping (called tiger or zebra striping) due to water and the runoff from your roof carrying asphalt from your shingles that have decomposed over time, maybe some organic matter from leaves as well. Now your home doesn’t look like it should.
Some of the methods mentioned are easy for a Do-It-Yourselfer. Some of these involve some contractor grade chemicals (that are also a bit on the pricey side) and are dangerous if you are not familiar with their use. If you try the home methods and they don’t work to your satisfaction and you want a bright white on your gutters, calling in Gutter Cleaning Companies in St Mary’s county is probably a lot safer (and might be cheaper, considering the equipment, chemicals, cleanup and effort you don’t have to do!)
Before you do ANY of the cleanings listed, please wear protective gloves and goggles. If you are on a ladder, a helper is very handy and a great safety measure. Using a ladder offset or stabilizer bar is also a good idea to keep your ladder steady when you are up near the roof. It is always good to avoid trips to the ER when possible.
Things around the house to clean and brighten your gutters without going to the store
TSP-PF & Bleach
- 1 cup TSP-PF (Phosphate-free cleaner used for cleaning decks or siding)
- 1 quart Bleach
- 3 quarts Hot Water
- advise protective gloves
Use a plastic sheet or tarp to protect vegetation because the solvent will harm plants. Then use protective gloves such as dishwashing gloves and with a clean rag or soft-bristled brush apply to the exterior surface of your gutters.
Cream of Tartar
Generally, this is used in cooking, but it also cleans. Use the cream of tartar and add water to make a nice paste and use it as a car wax on the outside of your gutters. Buff it on, rinse it off. It will even leave a nice shine!
Dawn Dish Soap & Bleach (for vinyl gutters)
- Half cup Bleach
- Dawn Dish Soap
- 2 Gallons Water
Scrub the outside of your vinyl gutters with this solution but don’t let it stand more than 10 minutes before stirring it in your bucket and rinse off with your hose and sprayer attachment.
If you want to clean the insides of your gutters from the muck, add some white vinegar and warm water to a bucket. Cap your downspout opening and pour your vinegar solution into the downspout and let it sit in there for an hour. After that, rinse it out and you will have squeaky clean downspouts!
Simple Green says on its website that it won’t hurt the finish on your aluminum, vinyl, powder coating, metal or plastic. It will clean dirt, grease, black streaks and mildew stains from gutters, eaves, siding, trim, window and door frames, and other building exteriors.
You can buy this at most retail stores including Amazon. Just attach this to your garden hose and spray this onto your home and/or gutters. The prices are pretty reasonable on Jomax at about .$25 a gallon at Grainger.
Okay, you have gone through your home…but you feel that these solutions aren’t your solution. Some of these chemicals below are better from a contractor. There are professionals that will not only clean your gutters to their sparkling former glory but your home as well.
Unlike Simple Green, this is NOT an inexpensive chemical. This is $90 for 5 gallons. This is for contractors who clean roofs/siding/homes on a regular basis. If you have a pressure washer and no polished aluminum, stucco, Dryvit, this might be for you if you are VERY gung-ho!
Another cleaner that will also clean siding, metal, vinyl, plastic and aluminum surfaces. Spray on, wipe off. At Home Depot. There is a DIY version in a spray bottle and a contractor concentrated version.
Bleach & Dragon Juice
If you have dark discolorations, and nothing you do is helping, one contractor in Connecticut mixes half Dragon Juice and half bleach and the stains vanish quickly. This is only for VERY dark black stains. Use every precaution when using these chemicals.
Dragon Juice is about $72 a gallon and it is a concentrated degreaser made for contractors.
Gutter Grenade F-13
This is a highly concentrated cleaner for use in power washers – normally used by professional contractors. This product is not expensive and is well-liked in the contractor community. At $22.93 a gallon with a mix of 50 to 1 or 20 to 1 ratio (that is 20 parts water to 1 part Gutter Grenade F-13) this is a VERY powerful solution. It is not legal in California for sale or use.
At $21.95 per gallon, this is also a concentrated and inexpensive contractor cleaner. However, this one is environmentally safer than Gutter Grenade. This cleaner can be used with a pump-up sprayer or a downstream chemical injector. Rinse the dirt off with a pressure washer.
Whether you clean your gutters yourself or hire a pro to do it, make sure your gutters are clean of leaves and debris and in good repair. This is a good time to inspect and check your gutters and your home in general and take care of those nagging repairs that you meant to get to. After that, cleaning your home will be like icing on the cake and your curb appeal will be much improved.
Also, whatever you do, do it safely. No point in having a nice looking house if you are in a hospital room and can’t enjoy it. So make sure you use a ladder in good repair, an offset or stabilizer on your ladder, gloves, and goggles and have a helper nearby.
If you use a contractor, offer them a bottle of water, they are saving you a ton of work!
Check out our next blog post about What’s The Best Time of Year to Clean Your Gutters?