Gotta tell you – your house looks great!
From the street, it’s obvious that you worked hard cleaning your siding, power washing your driveway, tidying up your yard, washing your windows, and even using paint to touch up some of the worn areas. You’ve definitely boosted your curb appeal.
Well, it’s your gutters. Parts of them look dirty and dingy, and there’s even some black streaks on the outside of a few sections (probably from water overflow); and unfortunately, they contrast with the near-pristine look of the rest of your home. If you don’t want to go out searching high and low for cleaning products which may or may not be effective on your gutters, here are some solutions to your problem that you can create at home.
Cleaning Gutters Using TSP-PF
First, look around your garage to see if you have any phosphate-free cleaner. It’s likely in a container with the letters “TSP-PF” on it, and you may have used it while cleaning your deck or siding. The letters actually stand for trisodium phosphate – phosphate free, which is a somewhat redundant way of saying that the product has the degreasing and cleaning power of trisodium phosphate without the harmful phosphates that can damage the environment.
Take a cup of the TSP-PF and mix it with a quart of fresh Clorox bleach and three quarts of hot water. Before you apply it to your gutters, consider draping a plastic sheet or tarp over any landscaping or plantings that are below your gutters, since the solvent can harm vegetation. Then use a clean white rag or soft-bristled brush to apply the solution to the exterior surfaces of your gutters.
Cleaning Gutters Using Cream of Tartar
Also, you can go to your spice rack or the pantry where you keep your baking products and pull out your cream of tartar. Scientists call this substance potassium hydrogen tartrate, and you should take some water and stir up a nice paste. Buff this mixture along the outsides and undersides of your guttering, then rinse it off and wipe or let dry. Your gutters will actually have a bit of luster to them!
Cleaning Gutters Using White Vinegar
While you’re at it, you might as well scoop all the leaves and other debris out of your gutters if you haven’t already done so; and then you can clean the inside of your guttering as well. Just combine warm water and some acetic acid, which can probably be found in your cupboard labeled as “white vinegar.” Cap your gutters and plug the downspout openings, then pour the solution into the guttering and let it sit for an hour. After you drain the solvent out, rinse your gutters thoroughly and use a rag or soft-bristled brush to remove any excess dirt.
Cleaning Vinyl Gutters
If you have vinyl instead of aluminum gutters, grab some Dawn liquid detergent and combine it with half a cup of household bleach. Then stir it into two gallons of water and scrub the outside of your gutters with it. Let it stand for no more than ten minutes, then agitate it once more before rinsing it away with your garden hose and a sprayer attachment.
The truth is, a clean house with unclean gutters sticks out almost as much as a ketchup stain on a white T-shirt. So if you don’t want to call attention to your dirty guttering, be sure to clean them inside and out while you’re prettying up the rest of your home’s exterior.
Written by Del Thebaud