This question was submitted from Louis M.
“How can the ground-in dirt and stains on an exterior gutter be removed?”
Ground-in dirt can be cleaned with success, however stains may be more of a challenge. The best thing to try for stains is a general purpose solvent or paint thinner. However if the stain has been there a long time exposed to the elements it may not come off easily.
Try these techniques :
When cleaning gutters, the main thing to be concerned about is safety. Be sure you are using the proper safety gear and if you have access to some kind of construction scaffolds it would be helpful.
Most good general purpose cleaners will be effective at cleaning gutters.
The key is to have a washing pail with warm water and either a sponge or a stiff brush. Preferably, use a sponge with a scrubber on the reverse side for stubborn stains.
Also have a pail with clear water or your garden hose handy for rinsing. Wash and rinse as you go; if the soap and dirt dry on the gutter before you rinse it off then you will have a greater challenge. Since dirt attaches itself to soap residue, the gutters will stay cleaner, longer if they are properly rinsed.
If the soil on the gutter is super bad you can use a stronger chemical called TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) available at any hardware store. Be sure to read the instructions on the container and follow all safety recommendations.
If you want to make the job a little easier, pre-spray the gutter as you are working to allow a little time for the soap to break down the in ground dirt.