How to clean gutters?

James E-Joyce G
by James E-Joyce G

How do I clean out the gutters on our home? Of course, the safest option would be to clean the gutters without using a ladder, but I am open to hearing all ideas.

  30 answers
  • Marylou Marylou on May 29, 2017

    To clean the gutters requires a ladder and gloves to pull the "gunk" out. Then clean out the long side gutter as much as you can from the top and bottom. Use your water hose to loosen up the rest of the "gunk" up. It may take a little while for it to flow freely out of the bottom. Good luck.

  • John John on May 29, 2017

    get on a ladder with a garden shovel and dig out as much as you can....use water hose nozzle set to highest pressure and flush may need to force the hose into the down spout to clear it....if the spout is clogged, use a dowel rod to push the dirt loose....after initial cleaning, glue several sections of rigid pvc pipe together...attach one end to a garden hose...the other end needs a curved piece to create a shepherds staff...then attach the nozzle set on highest pressure to this you can stand on the ground and wash the spouts out annually.....I didn't glue the sections together---made them to screw together so I can disassemble for out the project on paper and make sure to get all the connectors you will need...go to the hardware store ( I love Home Depot)...get a garden hose off the shelf---go to plumbing area....find the connector to screw onto the hose---then get all your parts in the size of that connector...I'm too old for ladders....sorry, but at this point you will have to initially dig out the dirt because your gutters are too full for water to flush them

  • Tom, Kermit , or Snoopy Tom, Kermit , or Snoopy on May 29, 2017

    All you do is get a ladder and get up there and dig in with gloves on and be carefull of sharp metal and screws.

    I got screens for downspouts so you never have clogs in the tubes.

    Then chop down trees especially maples that shed.

  • Joe Joe on May 29, 2017

    Using a ladder sounds like a great idea, unless you end up falling off like one of our neighbors did...if the ladder approach is used, make sure you have someone hold the thing...I've purchased attachments that are attached to the end of my shop vac, you can find them online, most likely you'll want a few straight pcs and of course, the curves piece that actually goes in the gutter, you might be surprised how well this works. The nicest thing is no ladder climbing. Just a note, make sure you check the ends of each gutter where the downspouts are located, sometimes there is a screen like pc of material there for the purpose of stopping leaves from entering the down spouts

  • B. Enne B. Enne on May 29, 2017

    All good suggestions...I have a curved wand-type hose attachment, that prevents climbing. I bought it at a discount store for around $15. I also saw plastic mesh for gutters at the Dollar Tree. We only put ours where the trees are, and it helped a lot, for a very minimal payout.

  • Betty Hatcher Betty Hatcher on Aug 28, 2018

    Gutter brush with extension handle , I found mine in Harriet Carter catalog, works really good. Would have to have a ladder for second floor.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 28, 2018

    Home improving stores sell a extended attachment for your hose to clean the gutters

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Mar 25, 2019

    I wear long gloves and take small trash bags up the ladder and hand dig out the packed degrading leaves. Then I tie off each bag and throw it down into the big garbage can, from the ladder.

    When I’ve done an entire section, I hose it down and see what the downspouts cough out. Sometimes they take power washing with the hose nozzle.

    I wipe down the faces and bottoms of the gutters, since mine are white (not my choice).

  • Che31021496 Che31021496 on Dec 03, 2017

    high pressure water hose

  • Bijous Bijous on Dec 03, 2017

    There's attachments to garden hoses or shop vacs that resemble a shepherd's hook to use. They look fairly inexpensive. Sold on-line. Good luck.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Dec 03, 2017

    Very carefully! We use a ladder with a ladder support and a garden trowel for the heavy stuff. We've also used the methods mentioned above, but, our trees seem to have it in for those gutters. It's a two person job. You need someone at the bottom to stabilize the ladder and hand you stuff you may need. Be safe! Or hire someone to do it!

  • Elizabeth Fencl Elizabeth Fencl on Mar 25, 2019

    Depending on your age, you can hire out. Buying a scooper at a hardware store you can scoop out debris. Another option is to take a hose and just spray everything out making sure the water flows free at the bottom of the gutter. Hope this helps.

  • Dianacirce70 Dianacirce70 on Jul 24, 2017

    If you have a single story there is a wand you can buy that extends from your hose. It gives the water a little higher pressure. We used it on a clogged gutter and it worked great. Look at your local hardware or home store.

  • Gk Gk on Oct 13, 2018

    My husband faithfully drags out the ladder twice a year and cleans out the gutter by hand--removing the big debris and then uses a garden hose to rinse out the loose dirt and slime once he knows it will not get stuck in the downspouts. We have also added inexpensive gutter guards from Menards--very easy to install and helpful in keeping a lot of t hings out of the gutters. We still clean the gutters twice a year but the gutter guards make it easier.

  • Get up on a ladder and use your garden hose. A bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush. Not difficult at all - at least on a 1 story. My gardener does it for me spring and fall, and I do in between times. I had gutter guards, and in my case was a nightmare. So much stuff got in there and clogged them up, I was cussing and moaning - never again.

  • Dianacirce70 Dianacirce70 on Jun 16, 2017

    We got an extension for the hose that has a great on/off switch for $25 at a local home good store. It directs the spray to a strong, pointed flow and made it really easy to flush debris out of our gutters. If you have a single story you may not even need a ladder.

  • Terri Pounds Terri Pounds on Jun 16, 2017

    Wear good traction footwear, good gloves, water hose with quality spray nozzle. Do not attempt if you do not have good balance.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Apr 25, 2018

    They sell attachments for the hose that you can use. They also have scoops that you can use to clean them out and then you can hose them out to make sure the gunk gets washed down.

  • Oliva Oliva on Nov 03, 2018

    You can use a long extension hose on your shop vac, with a tip that curves to fit into the gutter.

  • Mona Blake Mona Blake on Nov 03, 2018

    Shop vac has an attachment available on Amazon or there is one for your hose.

  • Carole Triplett Brooks Carole Triplett Brooks on Jun 22, 2017

    Wear a shirt with long sleeves. Wear rubber gloves.

    Have a good extendable ladder available. Standoff stabilizers (ladder “horns”) are ideal to keep the ladder from damaging the gutter.

    Use a small plastic scoop to remove gunk. Buy a gutter scoop from the hardware store ($25) or try a child’s sand shovel.

    Spare your lawn by dumping the stuff onto a plastic tarp.

    After you’ve cleared the muck, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose — also a great way to spot any leaks.

    Good luck!

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Jan 12, 2019

    Gutters can be cleaned by using full pressure garden hose to float the dirt to the downspout and then push the end of the hose down the downspout to move it along to the outside.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jan 17, 2019

    If you or someone else can get on the roof, merely scoop out as much debris as possible and dump to the ground or in a bucket. Once fairly clean, use your hose with the handle on "jet" to flush the gutters from the high point down to the gutter. Remove any gutter stopper at the bottom and everything else should flow right out. If it doesn't, there a clog somewhere in the downspout (unless you left too much debris and it blocked the hole up top).

    Check the drainage hole up top for blockage. If free, try to poke a long handle, piece of wood, etc. down into the downspout to break anything loose. Follow with hosing it out until nothing else comes out. Not hard to do! 😎

  • Lynn Lynn on Aug 03, 2018

    If you're able to reach the gutters safely using a ladder, first inspect to see how heavy the buildup is. Most likely you'll need to just move the ladder along the gutters and scoop out whats in there (they have scoops you can use, or just use your hands preferably wearing gloves!). Then, once you get the majority out, if your garden hose can reach, and you you have someone to help you, bring the hose up to the gutters and start water flowing through them to help wash out the rest of the leaves, etc. If you have to do this often, perhaps getting gutter guards would save the time in the future.

  • Bijous Bijous on Dec 08, 2018

    Hi. Use pvc plumbing pipe with a curved joint on the end. Attach to your shop vac. Works great.

  • Carol Marszalek Carol Marszalek on May 21, 2018

    I have found a spatula works well to scrap and empty the gutters out. One most of the debris is out, spray clean with the hose and then clean and unclog the downspouts. If the dirt you are talking about is on the outside that is seen, then a scrub brush to clean it and then paint it.

  • Sue Sue on May 21, 2018

    use a long handled spray attachment to your water hose and climb ladder and spray away the debre

  • Dfm Dfm on Jun 12, 2018

    I’ve used a hose and flushed the gutters with water.

  • Russbow Russbow on Jun 12, 2018

    I've seen an extensible metal thing just for that. The top is bent to aim down the gutter, you hook a garden hose to it. I have never used one, but looks pretty slick.

  • Melissa Melissa on Jun 12, 2018

    My husband climbs up on the roof and uses the water from the garden hose to flush out the debris.