How to clean gutters involves the cleaning of the external surfaces of the gutters and down-pipes, we normally clean the barge-boards and soffits at the same time. Again
there are 3 main ways of gutter cleaning :-
(a) Climbing up a ladder
(b) Using a pressure washing lance
(c) Using a water fed pole
If you have the old cast iron gutters, you will probably have to paint these gutters, as
well as clean them.
So you will have to use ladders, but for plastic or aluminium gutters you will
be able to use any of these methods.
(a) How to clean gutters by climbing up a ladder
- Over the years, we cleaned many gutters this way, and found it extremely
tiring and quite dangerous. If you intend to clean your gutters this way, do check out
the How to use ladders page,
and be very careful.
During this period we were cleaning windows from ladders and so were working on them
all day and every day and still I did not feel safe cleaning gutters this way.
- The simplest way is to use micro-fibre cloths, a damp one and a dry one.
This will normally clean the gutters to an acceptable standard, if you do not have any
micro-fibre cloths, any old cloth will work, but probably not quite as well as the micro-fibre
If you want a better standard of clean, then there are many cream
cleaners about or specialist UPVC cleaning creams. Use these cream
cleaners after you have cleaned the gutters with the micro-fibre cloths.
- We have window cleaning pouches to hold cloths in, to leave both hands free,
one to hold the ladder and the other to use the cloths, so do find some kind of
pouch to work with.
(b) How to clean gutters by using a pressure washing lance
- If you do not have a pressure washer, you can rent them for a week-end quite
reasonably. But it is important to make sure the rental company has extendable pressure
lances that will reach up to your gutters.
- You might need a dustbin to act as a reservoir tank, if your water pressure
is not very high.To do this you would place a hose pipe into the dustbin and allow it to
fill up, then place the feed pipe from the pressure washer into the dustbin.
- You will certainly need an old set of clothes or a pair of water-proofs,
as gutter cleaning this way can be quite messy.
- When using these telescopic lances, it is best to use a support belt that
helps to take the weight of the lance and also helps to control the whip when you apply the
- You will need to be careful not to spray too much water up any air
- Some proffessional cleaners spray TFR (Traffic Film Remover) onto the
gutters a few minutes before they pressure wash the gutters clean. If you intend to use this
chemical you will need water-proof overalls and eye goggles as extra protection.
- When you have completed the whole section, you may well need to rinse off
the side of the house, if there has been a good deal of over-spray.
- Be aware of family pets and children when using chemicals, they can also
cause problems with your plants.
- I never found the need to use chemicals as good old elbow grease normally
did the trick.
(c) How to clean gutters by using a water fed pole
This is the method that we use how to clean gutters, nowadays.
Whilst the professional poles that we use are quite expensive, there are
cheaper versions about, that will provide acceptable results.
A 2 storey house will need an 18ft/6metre pole to reach the gutters.
We use purified water, but normal tap water will clean gutters well,and as the water pressure
is much less than when using pressure washers there are less problems with overspray.
- The brushes agitate the dirt and the water rinses the gutters clean.
- After brushing air vents, rinse with the brush head at a distance that
causes the water spray to just reach the surface, rather than spraying right up the vent, they
will drip dry very quickly.
- If it is windy, work from the wind direction, along the house, so you do
not spray dirty water over the cleaned gutters.
- You are liable to find some stiffness in your arm and neck muscles as this
process works the muscles in an unusual way. So invest in a decent bath soak and negotiate a massage with your
- If you need tips on how to clear out blocked gutters or
downpipes you will find them on the Gutter