How to Clean Aluminum Gutters

Опубликовал Admin
26-10-2020, 13:40
Cleaning your gutters is a vital part of household maintenance. If you have any trees around, leaves are guaranteed to clog up the troughs at some point. The outside of the gutters is also likely to acquire stains over the course of time. With a ladder and a few supplies, your gutters will be clean in just a few hours. However, aluminum gutters do require a bit of special care, including not scrubbing them with a metal brush and being careful not to crush them with a ladder.

Cleaning the Inside of the Gutters

  1. Lean the ladder against the gutters near a nail. Locate a place on the gutters where a nail holds them to the house. It is best to place the ladder here because the gutter is supported best at the nails. If you place the ladder farther from a nail, the gutter is weaker and may crash.
    • If you can lean the ladder against the house’s main structure rather than the gutters, do this to entirely avoid leaning on the gutters.
    • If you're putting your ladder up in a soft or landscaped area, put a piece of plywood underneath the feet. This will help keep the legs stable and minimize the risk of falls.
  2. Scoop out leaves and debris that are stuck in the gutters. Always wear work gloves for this process. Use a small garden trowel to scoop out as much of the debris as possible. If you don’t have a small trowel, find an empty plastic bottle with a sturdy handle. Cut the bottom and part of the side out to form a scoop.
    • Set up a large garbage can or a tarp on the ground for a place to dump the leaves as you clean.
    • Throw the leaves on the compost pile if you have one, or discard them in the garbage.
    • Be careful using a trowel over joints or downspouts, and too much force could cause damage to these connections.
    • Lean to your right and left, scooping as much as you can without moving the ladder. Be careful not to lean so far that you get off balance. Ladder safety is always important.
  3. Move the ladder to the next section and continue cleaning. Since you can probably only reach a few feet to either side of the ladder, you’ll need to move it multiple times until you have removed all of the buildup from inside the gutters.
    • This is the most time-consuming part of the cleaning process.
  4. Flush the gutters with a garden hose. Carry the nozzle of the hose with you up the ladder to the gutters. Use a sprayer attachment, if you have one, to increase the water pressure. Spray the gutters toward each of the downspouts to rinse remaining debris out of the gutters.
    • It may take a while to wash all of the gunk out of the gutters, but it will be worth it to make sure future rain can flow freely through them.
  5. Check the water flow through the downspouts. While the water is running, check each downspout to see if the rinse water is washing down through them. If there seems to be a blockage, use a stick, such as a broom handle, to push the blockage from the top to the bottom of the downspout.
    • Leave the water running while you push to help move the blockage along. You may need a longer stick, depending on where along the downspout the blockage is.

Washing the Outside of the Gutters

  1. Rinse the gutters with a hose. Use a sprayer attachment, if you have one, and spray the gutters from the ground to rinse them. Spray a five to ten-foot section at a time, because otherwise, the gutters may dry before you have cleaned them.
    • Another option is to spray the gutters down entirely at the beginning so that you can turn the hose off. If you do this, you may want to re-wet the gutters with a damp rag before you spray them with cleaner.
  2. Place your ladder at a sturdy point along the gutter. Gutters are held to the house with long nails, so the sturdiest place to lean the ladder is near one of these nails. Farther from the nails, the gutters are weaker and may crush with too much pressure.
    • Leaning the ladder against the house’s main structure, rather than gutters, is always a good option when it is available.
  3. Spray a gutter cleaner on a small section of the outside of the gutters. Buy gutter cleaner at a home improvement store or a big-box store. General purpose cleaning products, like Simple Green, work well. Also look for gutter cleaners like Gutter Brite, Streak Getter, or Krud Kutter. Hold the bottle a few inches from the gutter and spray liberally.
    • If you find black mildew stains, spot treat them with a bleach cleaner. Spray the cleaner on the stained area and allow it to soak in for about 5 minutes before rinsing it away with a hose.
    • Do not use cleaners with ammonia, paint remover, or anything with abrasive particles for general cleaning because these can weaken and damage the gutters.
  4. Let the liquid sit for about ten seconds. Rather than wiping the cleaner off immediately, let it sit for a little bit so it has time to work. If the liquid begins to run off, wipe it up faster, but the cleaner cuts through buildup better if you let it sit for a few seconds.
  5. Scrub the gutters with a non-metal, rough-bristled brush. Grab a common household scrubbing brush and scrub the gutters to loosen any stains or buildup. It’s important not to use a metal-bristled brush because it can scratch the gutters or remove protective coatings.
    • Be careful not to scrub too hard around the joints with your brush. Too much pressure could cause the brush to snag and damage your gutter.
    • Bad stains may require you to scrub for a minute or more, but mild stains will come off quickly after the cleaner has loosened them.
  6. Wipe the cleaner off with a wet cloth. After you scrub the gutters, grab a bucket filled with hot water. Use an old rag to wipe the cleaner off of the gutters. If anything remains stuck on the gutters, rub at it with the rag. If you can’t get hot water outside easily, use water from the garden hose.
  7. Move the ladder and clean one section at a time. Repeat the process of rinsing with water, spraying a cleaning solution, scrubbing with a brush, and wiping with a rag until you have cleaned all of the gutters. This entire process can take a few hours or more depending on the size of your house and the severity of the stains on the gutters.
  8. Give the gutters a final rinse when they are all cleaned. If you are able to get a hose to reach all sides of the house, stand on the ground and spray water up at the gutters. Rinse any remaining cleaner or residue off of the gutters until they appear clean.


  • After cleaning your gutters, you may want to consider adding gutter guards. These snap onto your existing gutters, and can help prevent them from getting clogged.
  • If your gutters have excessive build-up, check their hangers and brackets after cleaning to make sure that the extra weight from the debris didn't loosen them.

Things You’ll Need

  • Ladder
  • Water/hose
  • Gutter cleaner
  • Brush
  • Rag
  • Bucket
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