Gutters serve a very important purpose. They collect leaves and other trash and drain the rain off your roof and away from your property. And although they are very useful, they can, however, become ugly and dingy with yucky black streaks as a result of the debris and heavy rains, especially if they are white.
Gutters should be cleaned of any debris that could clog them several times a year. In addition to just cleaning the gutters of leaves, twigs, dust, and other debris, you should give them a thorough cleaning to get rid of any ugly stains and prevent the growth of mildew and algae.
So, how do you clean your stained white gutters? And which homemade gutter cleaning solution can you use? This article addresses everything that you’ll need to properly clean your gutters.
It includes some easy to follows steps to clean your gutters and some homemade gutter-cleaning solutions that you can use to get the job done. So, let’s get started!
How to Clean Stained White Gutters
To keep your gutters in good condition, it’s important to clean them a few times a year. To clean properly, you’ll need a ladder, a water hose, rubber gloves, a scrub brush, and a gutter-cleaning solution. If you have a power washer, that will work as well.
There are commercial all-purpose and homemade gutter cleaning options available. The best solutions are usually those that can be created at home because they are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and rarely (if ever) have an impact on the environment.
Here’s how you can go about cleaning stained gutters:
- Put on your rubber gloves and ascend the ladder to the gutter. Begin by clearing up any fallen leaves and trash. Scrape out the dense garbage using a soft cloth.
- After removing the solid residue, use the water hose or pressure washer to remove the dirt and debris. After this, you should be able to see the stains clearly. Cover any plants that are under the gutter with a sheet of plastic wrap to shield them from the toxic cleaners.
- Now, directly apply the cleaner of your choice to the tough dirt spots on both the inside and outside of the gutters. Using a scrub brush, begin scrubbing spots. To remove stubborn stains, reapply the cleaner and scrub thoroughly.
Note: You can make your own powerful cleaning solution for tougher stains by combining one part water, one teaspoon of dish soap, and one cup of bleach. Scrub thoroughly after fully dipping the brush into the solution.
It will also destroy any black or white mold that is developing on your aluminum gutters.
Homemade Gutter Cleaning Solutions
If your all-purpose cleaning bottle has run dry or you don’t want to waste money on useless cleaners, try these very efficient DIY gutter cleaners. The products used in the cleaning solutions are easy to obtain and are effective in removing dirt and stains without power washing.
For the safety of your grass and plants, always lay down a plastic sheet to catch dripping solution.
1) Cleaning Gutters With Cream of Tartar
Bet you never imagined that your spice rack might include a cleaning solution for your gutter stains. Cream of tartar, also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate has powerful cleaning qualities. Surprise everyone in your house by using the cream of tartar to re-shine the outside of your gutters.
The first step when cleaning your gutters with this product is to make a paste with the cream of tartar and a little water. Now, apply the mixture to the outsides of your gutters using a utility brush. Be sure to add enough of the product and add a little more product to larger stains.
Allow the paste to sit for about 10 minutes before you rinse the paste and grease spots away with a water hose. If mildew stains are still stuck, use additional paste and a pressure washer to get squeaky clean gutters.
2) How To Clean Gutters With Vinegar
White vinegar is an effective cleaning agent for many things in and around the house. Vinegar contains acetic acid which is a powerful cleaning agent. White vinegar will remove even the hardest stains on kitchenware, descale coffee machines, and even clean dirty gutters to get them shiny again.
To create your homemade vinegar gutter cleaning solution, mix equal parts white vinegar and lukewarm water in an empty cleaner bottle. Take note that the solution is more successful at cleaning the gutter’s inside than it is at cleaning the gutter’s outside.
To really amp up the cleaning power, add some baking soda to make a fizzing super cleaner.
After you’ve created the vinegar- baking soda solution, cap the gutter and plug the downspout of the gutter to prevent the cleaner from flowing out of it. Pour half of the white vinegar solution into the gutter and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.
Scrub the gutter with a brush and then pour the remaining solution into the gutter and let it sit for an hour.
When you drain the solvent, you’ll see that much of the sticky grime has been removed. If any dirt remains, you can easily clean it with a scrub brush. You can clean mildew this way as well.
As a final step, wash the gutter off with a hose or a pressure washer to remove any excess cleaner and grime.
3) Cleaning Gutters With TSP-PF
If you can’t find your all-purpose cleaner in the kitchen, search in your garage for a phosphate-free cleaner. You usually use it to clean your decks and siding. TSP-PF would be the designation. TSP-PF is an abbreviation for trisodium phosphate-phosphate free.
What is important is that it has the same strong cleaning and degreasing properties as trisodium phosphate but without the environmental risks associated with phosphate.
To make this approach work, you’ll also need bleach and hot water. Combine a cup of TSP-PF with a quart of fresh bleach and a quart of hot water. Pour the cleaning solution into the gutter inside to dissolve the stains. After applying the solution, use the scrub brush to scrape the stains.
4) Cleaning Vinyl Gutters With Dish Soap, Bleach, and Water
If you have PVC (vinyl) gutters, make your own gutter cleaning solution by combining Dawn liquid detergent, half a cup of bleach, and two gallons of warm water. Or add some Dawn liquid detergent to an already-made bleach-water mixture.
Apply the solution to both the inside and outside of the gutters. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before scrubbing the gutter with a scrub brush. Rinse both sides of the gutter with a garden hose to reveal a gleaming white gutter.
Key Tips For Cleaning Gutters
- Rinse the filth away with warm water.
- Wash and rinse as you go because if dirt and soap dry together, they will bond to the surface and make cleaning much more difficult.
- Before choosing a cleaning product, carefully inspect your gutters. If the dirt is really severe, use stronger TSP-PF treatments.
- Before beginning the operation, pre-spray the gutters to break down the grime and remove the dust.
- Wear gloves, coveralls, and eye protection to protect yourself from bleach fumes and other harsh chemicals.
Cleaning Gutters Bottom Line
Having clean gutters not only improves the beauty of your property from the outside but also protects it from rain damage. It aids in the prevention of clogging and obstructions, which can cause significant damage to your walls in the form of leaks.
You now know how to get sparkling clean gutters with little effort with the use of a homemade gutter cleaning solution.
Remember to keep up with regular gutter cleaning to prevent too much debris and organic materials from clogging up your gutters. Dont forget to brush off and check gutter guards as well if you have them. Keeping your vinyl, metal, or aluminum gutters clean will also make your house look fantastic.
Plus your sparkling clean gutters will be the envy of the neighborhood.
If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment in the comment section and share it with some of your friends and family!
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Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.