Monday

how to clean car windows

Have you ever noticed how much better your car looks when the windows are perfectly clean? Yet, many of us ignore the windows when we wash because it adds a few precious minutes. Forget the time involved in keeping your glass clean for a moment, have you ever thought about how hazy, dirty windows can be a safety hazard? Driving your car with dirty, hazy windows on a rainy night or in heavy traffic, straining to see, is a driving impairment. You should consider this a true danger. In addition to being a hazard, the effects of dirty glass can quickly ruin the appearance of your perfectly polished and waxed automobile. Cleaning your windows is one of the most tedious tasks you will face. After you have completed all other detailing tasks, put the perfect touch on your car by detailing you car’s glass.
Glass Cleaners
Just as in selecting car shampoo and wax, no two car enthusiasts can agree on the ultimate glass cleaner. Some people like ammonia cleaners, others swear by TSP, while the purists will use nothing but clear water.
Whatever you use, the principles are the same: clean, dry and polish. I highly discourage the use of ammonia-based glass cleaners on your car. While ammonia is a great glass cleaner for the home, ammonia is harmful to many car surfaces including vinyl, rubber, and leather. More importantly, the use of ammonia inside your car is harmful to your health. As a substitute to ammonia, I prefer citric acid, alcohol, or mechanical cleaners.
Glass cleaners in a spray bottle work fine. The only problem is over spray on the dash and upholstery. As it is difficult to direct the spray of glass cleaners, you will have the best luck spraying one side of a clean towel, wiping the glass, and they drying with the other side of the towel. Many professional detailers use plain water for wiping and cleaning the windows and dry the glass with newspaper. Unlike paper towels and most cotton towels, newspaper does not leave behind lint and the ink acts as a glass polish. The only draw back to this method is the newsprint ink on your hands when you’re done. Be sure to wash your hands before touching your upholstery.
Steps For Cleaning Windows
Start your window cleaning with the driver’s door and front passenger door. If your door has a window frame, lower the window approximately one inch to allow access to the top part of the glass. This part should be cleaned and dried first. Spray with glass cleaner and buff dry. Now roll the window back up and clean the remainder of the window. Pay attention to the corner of the windows, as this is where you will get most smears and streaks. Don’t forget your driver’s side and passenger side mirrors.
While you’re sitting down in the passenger’s seat, clean the inside of the windshield. The inside of the windshield is easier to clean from the passenger’s side as your access is not obstructed by the steering wheel. Take your time around the rearview mirror as it is only glued to your windshield. If you bump into the rearview mirror hard enough or at the right angle, you can break it loose from the glass.
The inside of the rear window is the most difficult to reach and should be done last. The best technique for cleaning your rear window is to use the backside of your hand to guide your towel down into the corners. Trying to use the palm of your hand will force you to be a contortionist and draw strange looks from your neighbors.
Cleaning Spotted Glass
Some parts of the country are burdened with extremely hard water. Hard water is water that contains excessive trace elements including calcium, iron, lime, and other minerals found in streams and rivers. These trace elements remain on your glass when water from sprinklers or washing air dries. These hard water spots attach themselves to glass like white on rice. If left on your glass for very long, hard water spots will not wash off with shampooing or regular glass cleaners. In my experience, there are only two ways to remove hard water spots. The first is to use distilled white vinegar. If your water spots are mild, you can dilute the vinegar 2:1 with water. Heavy spots may require pure vinegar. Either way, the vinegar will not harm you or your car. Vinegar is a very mild acid, which dissolves the alkaline-based mineral water deposits with ease. If hard water spots are allowed to remain for more than a week or two, they may etch the glass. So, even though you have removed the minerals causing the water spots, the spots remain as damage to your glass. In these cases, it is necessary to polish the glass. Until recently, there were a number of glass polishes on the market. The two best products were Eagle One Glass Polish & RainX Glass Polish. However, both of these products have been discontinued due to little demand. In my experience, any light (low abrasive) car polish that does not contain paint feeding oils will work as a good glass polish. Eagle One Scratch Remover is a good example of a polish that does not contain oils and works well on glass, as does P21S Multi-Surface Finish Restorer. There are two ways to use these polishes. The most gentle is to use an old t-shirt to polish the spotted area and buff to full luster. The second is to use the polish with #00 or finer synthetic steel wool to remove the spots then buff with an old t-shirt. If your glass is heavily pitted, or mildly scratched, you can also use polish to restore the finish. In this case, it may be necessary to use a buffer in order to achieve the desired results. In some cases, the glass may be so deeply pitted, etched, or scratched that the inevitable must occur, you must replace the glass.
Cleaning Window Tint Film
Window tint film is often applied to the inside windows to shade passengers or provide privacy. Window tint film is a thin sheet of Mylar plastic. Mylar easily scratches and will be destroyed by ammonia. To clean tinted windows, use mild cleaners and water only. Tint film that has been scratched can be polished with cleaners designed for the vinyl windows often found on convertible tops. The product I recommend for polishing and regular maintenance of window tint film is Plexus. Plexus comes in spray and is safe for use on plastic, Plexiglas, and window tint film. In addition to polishing your window tint film, Plexus works great on your tail light and headlight covers.
Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers are necessary to clean your windshield and rear window when it rains, snows, becomes bug ridden, or dirty from long road trips. Wipers perform best when the rubber is in good shape and the glass is fairly clean. You should make it a habit to clean your front and rear wiper blades at the same time you clean your glass. After cleaning your glass, use a damp cloth to wipe the rubber blades, removing bug residue, wax, and other dirt build-up. Although rubber dressing helps preserve, protect, and beautify the rubber and vinyl parts on your car, you should not use dressings on your wiper blades. Rubber dressing on your blades will cause streaking and smearing, impairing your vision. The best overall maintenance of your blades is keeping them clean. No amount of cleaning will keep your blades in perfect condition. Wiper blades wear with each use. Most wiper blades will last about one year. When your blades become worn, dried, or faulty replace them with a new set. Most manufacturers recommend replacing wiper blades at the beginning of fall.
Final Touches
If your car is a year or more old, a close inspection may reveal dirt build-up in the corners of your windshield and rear window around the trim. To remove this caked on gunk, use an old toothbrush or detailing brush with your spray cleaner. Before cleaning, lay a towel at the base of the window to catch drips. Spray your brush with window cleaner and shake off the excess cleaner. Use your brush to scrub along the trim, breaking loose the dirt. Use the tip of a cotton swab to reach underneath trim and remove trapped dirt. If your brush won’t remove the build-up of dirt use a sharp single edged razor blade to gently remove the dirt from your glass. Take care not to push your razor blade too far under rubber seals as this may cause leaks. Stay clear of defroster strips on rear windows that are not embedded in the glass. Cutting the defroster strips will render them useless. Follow up after the razor blade with your brush and glass cleaner.
Microfiber Cloth
Recently, the car detailing industry was introduced to a new cleaning cloth originally designed to clean semi-conductor manufacturing plants (often called “clean rooms”). The revolutionary new cloth is a polyester/polyamide woven fabric that is non-abrasive and hypoallergenic. Soft like silk, yet tough as a bulldog, the cloth attracts dust, grime, oily films and salt residues just like a magnet. The cloth’s patented surface structure contains 90,000 micro fibers per square inch. These “micro-hooks” grab, lift, and hold dust and grime without the need for cleaning solutions. When used damp on glass, the cleaning cloth, which we call the Miracle Towel, cleans windows by pulling dirt and oils into the cloth. The ultra fine structure of the Miracle Towel leaves exceptionally small water beads, which dry without spotting. For perfect glass, follow the damp Miracle Towel with a dry Miracle Towel. Your Miracle Towel can be used damp or dry. When used dry, it works like a chamois. The super absorbent weave holds up to seven times its weight in water. To date, I have not found a cleaning product that can match the ease of use or result of the Miracle Towel. If you regularly maintain your windows, the Miracle Towel is the best overall substitution to chemicals and terry cloth drying towels. Unlike terry cloth or other cotton towels, the Miracle Towel will not leave lint or cause streaking. The Miracle Towel will not, however, remove sap, tar or hard water spots from your windows. These problems will still require the use of chemicals.
Other Tips & Hints
For long road trips and unexpected problems, keep a cleaning cloth in your glove box. I have found the simplest solution to window cleaning away from home, comes from P21S. P21S makes a product called Windshield Wipes, which are a sealed pouch containing a cleaning cloth and a drying cloth. The cleaning cloth has a strong cleaning solution that cuts through most glass problems. Also, from P21S, I have found that P21S Windshield Wash Booster improves my wiper’s ability to clean my windshield without streaking. The power of P21S Booster easily cuts through bugs and road grime.

Auto Wheel Care

History didn’t record his name. He may have been a warrior designing a battle chariot. Perhaps he was a stone mason struggling to complete a building, or a mourner providing a smoother ride for a departed loved one. But on that special day, sometime in the fourth millennium BC, in the delta between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, this unknown Sumerian changed the history of the world and all mankind. He invented the wheel.
Wheel Care Challenge
Your car’s wheels can dramatically enhance the appearance and performance of your automobile. Modern wheels can also present a substantial cleaning challenge as heated dust particles from brake pads bombard the wheel and bake into the finish. If left on the wheel, a phenomenon known as galvanic corrosion sets in, which will eventually destroy the wheel’s appearance.
Most modern wheels, in particular aluminum wheels (or “Mags” as they were once called), are painted with the same paint and clear-coat used on the body of your car. While durable, the wheel’s clear-coat finish is subject to damage from acid compounds (including acid rain, hydrocarbons, and acidic cleaners). Likewise, polished and anodized aluminum wheels (not protected by a clear-coat) will react to both alkaline and acidic conditions.
Unfortunately, typical car wash soaps and household cleaners are not strong enough to break the bond between brake dust, road tar, road grime and the wheel. To properly clean wheels, the car care industry has developed two groups of wheel cleaners:
Acid-based Cleaners — These are widely used by detailers, car dealers and car washes who need to clean wheels in the shortest possible time or with the least amount of effort. Acid-based cleaners are typically 2% solutions of oxalic, phosphoric, and hydrochloric acid. Eagle One All Finish Wheel Cleaner is an example of an acid-based cleaner. While acid-based cleaners pack the greatest cleaning punch they can easily etch the surface of your wheel if allowed to dry. Care must be taken not to use acid cleaners on wheels with pitted or chipped surfaces. The acid will migrate into any fissures and accentuate flaking and peeling of surface coatings.
Acid-free Cleaners — These are mild solutions of alkaline solvent, usually ethylene glycol, with a wetting agent. These solutions creep under the dirt and brake dust, loosening and lifting surface grime. Non-acidic cleaners usually require some surface agitation (brush or sponge) but are safer to use and will not etch the wheel’s finish. P21S is the best known 100% acid-free wheel cleaner. Acid-free wheel cleaners range in strength from mild (P21S), to moderate (P21S Gel), to professional strength (Eimann Fabrik Hi-Intensity).
Tire Care Challenge
Your tires have several formidable enemies: water, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, ultraviolet light, and ozone. Water washes away the natural oils in rubber that keep it elastic. Formaldehyde and petroleum distillates act as a solvent, eating rubber on contact. When ozone, an odorless gas which is part of the air we breathe, is combined with ultraviolet (UV) light, a reaction occurs that attacks the tire and its polymers (the agents that bind the rubber).
To protect against ozone and UV damage, a stabilizer molecule called a competitive absorber is blended with the tire polymer. Competitive absorbers work by capturing and absorbing UV radiation and converting it to heat which is dissipated harmlessly. All tire manufacturers use the same competitive absorber, called carbon black. This is why all tires are black.
These absorbers are sacrificial; they expend themselves in performing their function of converting UV light to heat. However, as carbon black loses its ability to perform, it turns gray. This is one reason why black tires discolor as they age.
To protect from further ozone damage, tire manufacturers add a wax compound to their formulas. Tires flex when they are in motion, causing the wax molecules to migrate to the surface. This forms as a protective barrier between the air (ozone and oxygen), water and the tire polymer. In the tire trade this is called blooming. When tires are parked for extended periods, blooming does not occur and ozone quickly attacks the tire polymer. With UV light and ozone working in concert, the degradation is accelerated, resulting in drying, discoloration and cracking.
To combat the negative effects of water, solvents and UV light on tires, the car care industry has created tire dressings. These dressings condition the tire, restoring essential moisture. Tire dressings fall into two groups:
Liquid Silicone Dressings – These penetrating-type silicones form a flexible protective shield on rubber. Liquid silicone seals small openings with a film to prevent penetration of moisture and dirt. Most silicone dressings leave a never-dry gloss film. There are many myths regarding silicone, specifically the negative long-term effects of silicone on rubber and vinyl. The fact is, silicone is an inert material. The benefit of silicone is its ability to easily penetrate the tire’s surface and not evaporate. Some silicone-based dressings contain petroleum distillates as a cleaning agent. Petroleum distillates are harmful to rubber and vinyl, and will cause rubber and vinyl to crack. If you decide to use a silicone tire dressing, make sure it does not contain a cleaner. The only true negative property of silicone is the difficulty of adding UV protection.
Water-Based Dressings – The water-based dressings do not contain silicone oils, petroleum distillates, waxes, or other dangerous solvents that can harm and dull the surface of rubber and vinyl over time. Most water-based dressings use a combination of natural oils (such as shea butter or cocoa butter) to offer a non-greasy, satin finish. Likewise, most of these products contain UV blocking agents to help keep tires from cracking, fading and hardening. Additionally, most water-based dressings are biodegradable, whereas silicone is not.
Proper Tire and Wheel Cleaning
To properly clean your tires and wheels, you will need a 3-5 gallon bucket, a soft tire and wheel scrub brush, a sponge or wash cloth, a water hose and nozzle, car shampoo, and a spray wheel cleaner. Here are some step-by-step tips to make cleaning easier:
Clean one wheel at a time.
Clean your tires and wheels first before washing the rest of the car. This prevents splattering cleaners, dirt and brake dust on already cleaned panels. Your car is also less prone to getting water spots from drying while you wash your wheels.
Do not clean your wheels if they are still hot from driving. Let them cool, or thoroughly hose them down.
Mix a bucket of soapy water with your favorite car shampoo. Mix double the recommended strength.  I recommend Eimann Fabrik Power Wash+ for tires and wheels. It’s much stronger than most automotive shampoos, but it will not strip wax.
Thoroughly rinse the tire and wheel with water using a hose and spray nozzle. If exposed, rinse the brake caliper to flush away loose brake dust. Finally, rinse up into the wheel well to wash away road grunge, road kill, mud and other debris.
If your tires and wheels have a heavy coating of brake dust or road grime, spray them down with your wheel cleaner. Allow the cleaner to soak for 30 seconds (minimum) to 3 minutes (maximum). I like P21S, P21S Gel, and Eimann Fabrik Hi-Intensity for most applications.
Use your tire and wheel scrub brush and your soapy water to agitate the tire and wheel surface. Use plenty of soapy water. The soap acts as a lubricant to gently lift dirt and grit away from your wheels. Follow-up with your sponge or washcloth to wash the remaining dirt from the tire and wheel. If your wheels have large open areas, use the sponge to get behind these areas. Make sure the tires are scrubbed. Many people put layer upon layer of dressings on their tires but never clean them. The result is a brown or yellow discoloration.
Use your wheel brush and soapy water to scrub the accessible areas of the wheel well, too. This small detail keeps your car looking fresh and new.
Thoroughly rinse the tire, wheel and wheel well. Use plenty of water. You need to ensure that all traces of the wheel cleaner (and your neighbor’s cat) are gone.
After washing your car, remember to dry your tires and wheels using a 100% cotton terrycloth towel.
Caution: I do not recommend using tire cleaners containing bleach. Bleaches are used in many tire cleaners to brighten white wall tires, but they can turn tires a dull gray and will stain your alloy wheels.
Proper Tire & Wheel Conditioning
After you clean your tires and wheels, you need to protect them. Tire dressings accent the appearance of your tires and protect against cracking and fading. Likewise, waxing your wheels protects their finish from brake dust, and makes them easier to keep clean.
Your wheels should be waxed, at a minimum, each time you wax your car. You can significantly reduce your wheel cleaning and waxing efforts by coating your wheels with a high quality acrylic. I really like Klasse All-In-One for this purpose, as it’s heat resistant and will not yellow. Klasse All-In-One also has the added benefit of being both a cleaner and a protectant. Another excellent wheel protection product is Plexus.  Plexus works well on wheels with many small openings, as these wheels are difficult to wax.
To apply tire dressing:
Use a small foam sponge, foam wax applicator, or Eagle One Tire Swipes to apply tire dressing (foam provides even distribution and wastes far less product than a cloth). To avoid getting tire dressing on your car, apply the dressing to the foam applicator, not directly to the tire. I prefer 303 Aerospace Protectant (matte finish) and Lexol Vinylex (gloss finish). These products are all water-based dressings containing strong UV inhibitors.
Allow dressings to penetrate into the tire before wiping off the excess dressing. Five to ten minutes is okay, but 30 minutes is even better.
If your wheel wells have a black plastic liner, wipe the wheel well liner with dressing, too. This simple detailing step makes a big difference.
If you like your tires to be shiny, do a final wipe down with your foam applicator. If you prefer a satin finish, buff the tires down with a terrycloth towel.
Concours Tires & Wheels
Have you ever noticed how show cars look so fresh and clean? Beyond just shiny, they are bright. This effect comes from the smallest details. A great place to start is with your tires and wheels.
Concourse winning show cars are clean enough to pass a white glove test. This includes the tires and wheels (front and back) and the wheel wells. Removing your wheels to detail them might seem a little fanatical, but it has several benefits, including:
Inspecting your tires for proper wear and damage.
Inspecting your brakes.
Inspecting your suspension.
In the course of completing this guide, I used my 1995 BMW M3 for before and after pictures. The car has been on the road full-time for the past year, so I’ve hardly had time to do any serious maintenance. While the wheels were off, I found two maintenance problems. The first was a big hole in my front wheel well liner. Obviously something hard got tossed up in there by the wheel. The second was a bad bushing on the sway bar. So, beyond just cleaning and maintaining, this was a valuable maintenance exercise.
To properly concourse detail your tires and wheels, you will need a jack, jack stands, bucket, tire and wheel brush, sponge, water hose and nozzle, car shampoo, spray wheel cleaner, tar remover (mineral spirits), wax, tire dressing, foam wax applicators and plenty of terrycloth towels. If you are not familiar with the procedure for jacking your car and removing the wheels, see your car owner’s guide.
Here is the step-by-step procedure to clean your tires, wheels and wheel wells:
Remove and clean one wheel at a time. Slightly loosen the lug nuts on one wheel and jack one end of your car off the ground (preferably the end with the wheel you want to remove). Before fully loosening the lug nuts and removing the wheel, place a jack stand under an appropriate point of the chassis or suspension.
Mix a bucket of soapy water with your favorite car shampoo. Mix double the recommended strength.
Clean the backside of the wheel first. Spray the backside of the wheel and tire with a generous coat of wheel cleaner. Allow it to soak for 3-5 minutes.
Using your tire and wheel brush, scrub the backside of the tire and wheel with soapy water. The resulting grunge will be very gritty, so use plenty of soapy water and keep your brush rinsed.
Rinse thoroughly and repeat. If your wheels have small crevices, you may need to use an old toothbrush. A soft parts cleaning brush also works well on the backside of the wheel.
When the wheel’s backside is as clean as you can get it, repeat on the front. Make sure you rinse both sides really well when you’re done.
While the wheel is dripping dry, spray the wheel well, brake caliper and suspension components with cleaner. Allow it to soak for five minutes. Take this time to dry your wheel with a cotton terrycloth towel.
Use the remaining soapy water and your wheel brush to scrub the wheel well, brake caliper and suspension parts. You don’t need to make it perfect unless you really do plan to show your car. Make it clean enough to inspect. Let these parts air dry.
Once everything is clean, you can turn your attention to protection and beautification:
Spray the underside of your wheel well and any plastic parts with a generous coat of silicon tire and rubber dressing. Allow it to soak in. If you live in an area where it snows, this will prevent the snow from accumulating in your wheel wells (no more snow bunnies!). It also makes future cleanings much easier. I recommend Eimann Fabrik Black Opal Gloss Dressing for this purpose. Wipe off the excess dressing with a towel, and buff to a nice luster. Be careful not to get over spray on the body of your car.
Wipe your tire down with a generous coat of tire dressing and allow it to penetrate. While the dressing penetrates, inspect the wheel for tar spots. Quite often, large tar spots will accumulate on the backside of the wheel. Use tar remover and a rag to remove the tar. If your wheel has a lot of spots, wipe down the whole wheel.
Inspect your wheel for surface scratches. If you find any, now is the time to buff them out with a light polishing compound. If you don’t have a polishing compound, use a little dab of toothpaste.
Wax your wheel front and back. An acrylic sealant will last the longest and provide the best protection, but good old paste wax works fine. Buff to a high luster.
Finally, buff down the tire and apply a second coat of tire dressing. When satisfied with the finish, put the wheel back on the car.
By David W. Bynon Copyright (c), 2000, Autopia Car Care — All Rights Reserved

How to Clean the Rims on Your Car

Cleaning rims on your car is no longer a challenge your pressure washer will excel in getting the tough stains of brake dust and grease from your rims.
To clean your rims really well you may wish to purchase some rim cleaner, there are several brands at auto supply companies and discount department stores. It only takes a little bit of product
to clean rims with your Ex-Cell unit and you will be amazed at the results.
Follow this easy step by step method
  1. First Step back about two feet and a little off to the side of the rim then Rinse the rim at close range, about 8 inches away while trying to spray in the cracks and from many angles.
  2. Spray the rim in circular motion following the out side of the rim and rinse the tire also, especially if you have white walls.
  3. Put the wand down and spray the Rim Cleaner on the tire and white walls, rinse the white wall this time from 5 inches away, but stand back.
  4. Hold the pressure washer wand and tip and follow the white wall around the tire.
  5. Next spray the rim with Rim Cleaner generously and allow ten seconds to pass then rinse the rim at about 8 inches away with the Ex-Cell Pressure Washer.
Always clean the rims first and after you are done with the entire car rinse the rims slowly from a distance and dry.

Car Cleaning Detail Tips

Washing your car several times per month, or even once a week, can keep your car’s body in tip-top shape
Before you start washing your car, you will want to gather all the necessary supplies and car care cleaning products. You’ll need access to water- usually through a garden hose or pressure washer, a bucket, soap, sponges or soft cloths, scrub brush, glass cleaner, paper towels (or newspapers) and any other cleaning materials you may wish to use.
Once you have everything together then follow the following step to clean your car in an organize way
  1. Fill up the bucket with soap and water, making it really sudsy. Be sure to use a soap that is made to wash cars- shampoo and dish soap really won’t do the job.
  2. Choose a shady area to park your car, so as to avoid direct sunlight. Direct sun tends to dry the car prematurely, in turn leaving splotches on it. At the same time, make sure to keep the car away from trees that drip sap or drop leaves.
  3. Close all the doors and windows of your car and set all the cleaning equipments at your side.
  4. Fill a bucket with water and add car wash soap, as per directions given in the bottle. Keep another bucket full of water.
  5. Hose off the car, to remove excess dirt, starting from the roof to the tires. Be careful not to use strong jet, as that can rub grit over the paint and leave scratches.
  6. Lather a wash mitt or sponge in the soapy water and wipe your car with it, starting from the roof. Spray off the excess soap, after the entire roof has been cleaned.
  7. Wash the car section by section, washing one full side at a time, including the windows and fenders, and rinsing it with the hose, before going to the next one.
  8. Frequently get off the dirty water out of the sponge, by rinsing in plain, clear water.
  9. As you progress with the various steps, keep the entire car wet. It will ensure that the droplets don’t dry on the paint, leaving water-spots.
  10. The dirtiest and grimiest part of a car is its lower body and wheels. So, make it a point to scrub and clean them last. Use a different sponge for those parts.
  11. For cleaning the openings of the wheels, use a long, skinny wheel brush. To clean the tires, make use of steel-wool-soap pads, one for each tire.
  12. To dry the car, use chamois leather or towel and set it flat on the surface. Drag it along the surface, starting from the roofs and moving down to the tires. Make sure to pick up every water spot.
  13. Use rag, soaked in plain water, for cleaning the windows. After cleaning, dry them with a dry rag. Alternately, you can also use window cleaner and pieces of balled-up newspaper for both, the inside and outside of the windows.
  14. If you have spare time, clean and arrange the interior of the car as well.
  15. Take time out every week to make your car spotless, by following the tips on how to wash a car, as given above.

How to Clean Leaf Stains off Driveway

How to Clean Leaf Stains off Driveway

The changing colors of fall leaves are truly beautiful but the leaves can leave stains on your driveway so you might want to know how to clean leaf stains off driveway. On a gorgeous, clear fall day, bundle yourself (and your kids) up warmly and head outside to get to work.

Teach your kids how to clean leaf stains off driveway!

how to clean leaf stains off driveway
How to clean leaf stains off driveway

How to Clean Leaf Stains off Driveway:

Cleaning:

Cleaning the leaf stains off your driveway is a great job that kids can do. Rake or sweep any leaves and debris off the area you are planning on cleaning. Periodically, take time to jump in the piles of leaves with your kids! Dispose of the leaves in compost or green waste. Use a hose with high water pressure to spray off the surface dirt. Sprinkle some laundry detergent with bleach or bleach alternative onto the driveway stains. You may find powdered laundry detergent works better than liquid laundry detergent because of its scouring ability but either type of detergent works. Let the detergent sit on the stains for a few minutes then proceed to scrub the area with a heavy duty shop broom or scrub brush.

Rinsing:

Use the hose with high water pressure to rinse the area, taking off the soap and dirt, and stain. Be careful not to clog up storm drains with leaves at the end of your driveway or on your street

The Rest of the Driveway:

You may find that the cleaned area really stands out from the rest of the driveway. You may wish to clean your entire driveway by hosing it down, sprinkling laundry detergent all around, scrubbing the driveway then rinsing.
You can now relax and enjoy the lovely reds, oranges and yellows in your trees and all around you, now you know how to clean leaf stains off driveway.

Keeping Dirt Out

Stop Dirt In Its Tracks

Did you know that over 95% of all dirt found in your house comes from outside?  Soil, dust, pollen, air pollution and many other sources get into your house and causes an endless cycle of cleaning, dusting and vacuuming. If it seems that you’re continually losing this battle to the elements why not do something proactive?  We suggest you enlist the following three lines of defense!
First:
Keep the outside of your house as clean as possible. Does it not make sense to keep as much dirt as you can in the great outdoors before it enters your house?  We can achieve this quite easily by keeping the areas near any entrances free of sand, dirt, small rocks and debris which is easily tracked into your house.  By sweeping and cleaning your sidewalks, driveway, patio, porch, etc., on a regular basis, you will prevent a lot of indoor ‘after the fact’ cleaning.
Second:
Use entrance mats.  Did you know that a good quality entrance mat can capture as much as a pound of dirt per square foot?  This is much easier to remove from a mat than when it is spread through out your house.  Use as many large, good quality, mats as possible, both indoors and outside. Also, clean them often and thoroughly.
Third:
Capture the dirt completely on the first effort. What this means is to use tools and procedures that collect and don’t just scatter dust and dirt. High filtration vacuum bags, treated dusters and dust mops, clean rags, clean wash water, clean wet mops:  all these will make your cleaning more effective and longer lasting.  Stopping dirt in its tracks is easier if you use the three lines of defense!

The Cheapo Gutter Protection System

We all know what water damage can do to your homes exterior, but it really hurts when the water makes its way into your house.
The exact thing just happened to me and caused me to pull up roughly 200 Sq/ft of hardwood floor to dry out my basement.
I really did not want to spend thousands of dollars on a gutter guard system and being a resourceful (cheap) guy it I knew deep in my gut I could come up with a much cheaper system.
This is the system I came up with. Now this system comes with all the usual disclaimers attached and as always, take any info dredged from the internet with a cautious eye. So far it is working fine but time will be the ultimate judge.
Let’s get on to it…..
gutters2Start out with a product called Gutter Guard, If you can’t find the exact brand I’m sure you can find others I’m sure stores like Home Depot have others Basically its a 6 in wide by 20 ft long with plastic mesh.
The way this is supposed to be used is would not work with me as I have hidden gutters and they are much wider then conventional gutters. So I had to create a new system.
So I came up with this..
gutters4Roll the mesh into a tube as described below, you can use either Zap Straps or twist ties if you are stuck.
This will create a tube that is about 1 1/2″ wide. Just make the the length of the gutter you are protecting.
****another good idea is to put the wire mesh bulb in the drain hole as this help keep the leaves out.
NOW WHAT!!!!
gutters1
Well the next part is pretty easy , just place the tube in the gutter and secure it down somehow, I just used metal strapping I had lying around as this was an after thought for me.
The whole concept is based on the thought that as long as there is at least a tunnel leading to the drain hole then then I should be able to avoid more overflowing gutters. Of course the best method is just keeping them clean. I was caught this year unprepared. I have many broad leafed trees that did a major dump during a wind storm and they completely filled some of my gutters, water streamed down the wall and right into a basement door.
Hopefully this little tip may help, I don’t claim to be an expert on gutters but this was a very cheap system and hopefully it may help you also.
We all know what water damage can do to your homes exterior, but it really hurts when the water makes its way into your house.
The exact thing just happened to me and caused me to pull up roughly 200 Sq/ft of hardwood floor to dry out my basement.
I really did not want to spend thousands of dollars on a gutter guard system and being a resourceful (cheap) guy it I knew deep in my gut I could come up with a much cheaper system.
This is the system I came up with. Now this system comes with all the usual disclaimers attached and as always, take any info dredged from the internet with a cautious eye. So far it is working fine but time will be the ultimate judge.
Let get on to it…..
Start out with a product called Gutter Guard, If you can’t find the exact brand I’m sure you can find others I’m sure stores like Home Depot have others Basically its a 6 in wide by 20 ft long with plastic mesh.
The way this is supposed to be used is would not work with me as I have hidden gutters and they are much wider then conventional gutters. So I had to create a new system.
So I came up with this..
Roll the mesh into a tube as described below, you can use either Zap Straps or twist ties if you are stuck. This will create a tube that is about 1 1/2″ wide. Just make the the length of the gutter you are protecting. ****another good idea is to put the wire mesh bulb in the drain hole as this help keep the leaves out.
NOW WHAT!!!!
Well the next part is pretty easy , just place the tube in the gutter and secure it down somehow, I just used metal strapping I had lying around as this was an after thought for me.
The whole concept is based on the thought that as long as there is at least a tunnel leading to the drain hole then then I should be able to avoid more overflowing gutters. Of course the best method is just keeping them clean. I was caught this year unprepared. I have many broad leafed trees that did a major dump during a wind storm and they completely filled some of my gutters, water streamed down the wall and right into a basement door.
Hopefully this little tip may help, I don’t claim to be an expert on gutters but this was a very cheap system and hopefully it may help you als
We all know what water damage can do to your homes exterior, but it really hurts when the water makes its way into your house.The exact thing just happened to me and caused me to pull up roughly 200 Sq/ft of hardwood floor to dry out my basement.I really did not want to spend thousands of dollars on a gutter guard system and being a resourceful (cheap) guy it I knew deep in my gut I could come up with a much cheaper system.This is the system I came up with. Now this system comes with all the usual disclaimers attached and as always, take any info dredged from the internet with a cautious eye. So far it is working fine but time will be the ultimate judge.Let get on to it…..Start out with a product called Gutter Guard, If you can’t find the exact brand I’m sure you can find others I’m sure stores like Home Depot have others Basically its a 6 in wide by 20 ft long with plastic mesh.The way this is supposed to be used is would not work with me as I have hidden gutters and they are much wider then conventional gutters. So I had to create a new system.So I came up with this..Roll the mesh into a tube as described below, you can use either Zap Straps or twist ties if you are stuck. This will create a tube that is about 1 1/2″ wide. Just make the the length of the gutter you are protecting. ****another good idea is to put the wire mesh bulb in the drain hole as this help keep the leaves out.NOW WHAT!!!!Well the next part is pretty easy , just place the tube in the gutter and secure it down somehow, I just used metal strapping I had lying around as this was an after thought for me.The whole concept is based on the thought that as long as there is at least a tunnel leading to the drain hole then then I should be able to avoid more overflowing gutters. Of course the best method is just keeping them clean. I was caught this year unprepared. I have many broad leafed trees that did a major dump during a wind storm and they completely filled some of my gutters, water streamed down the wall and right into a basement door.Hopefully this little tip may help, I don’t claim to be an expert on gutters but this was a very cheap system and hopefully it may help you als

House Exterior

Fall rains, and potentially imminent snow can be a very serious cause for concern. Proper drainage around the foundation of a house is important, as is the protective envelope of the building itself, including the roof.
It is most logical to begin your inspection from the roof, down to the ground.
The roof :
The vast majority of residential roofs are either a single peak roof, or a combination of multiple peaks. Most residential roofs are protected with asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, tile (and concrete), or slate. To a lesser extent there are also flat roofs, and metal clad roofs.
You are likely already aware of any leaks in your roof from water dripping into your house, or from the attic inspection. In getting onto your roof, use only an approved ladder, and be sure to take as many safety precautions as possible. (Setting up at the lowest point, using a 1 to 4 ratio for the angle, having a spotter, etc) Avoid walking on the roof as much as possible. This is often necessary, however it is much more likely to cause damage to the roofing material. The most common places for water to penetrate a roof are in valleys where two roofs meet, at the bottom of the roof near the gutters, and around vents, chimneys, skylights, or near flashings found where the roof butts up against a second or third floor exterior wall.
If you are trying to repair damaged asphalt shingles, this is something that the average house owner can do themselves. There is a lot of information on doing this repair, but a straight forward step by step instruction can be found at Do-it-yourself.com. Repairs for slate, tile, cement, cedar shakes, metal or flat roofs are best handled by a professional contractor.
Mildew can also become a problem on shake and asphalt roofs. 3M makes a product that prevents mildew from attaching to asphalt shingles, and there are cleaners available for shake roofs, however both of these jobs are best handled by a professional roofing contractor.
While on your roof, it is also wise to check and lubricate attic (whirly bird) vents, and to inspect exhaust vents for plumbing, furnace, hot water heaters, and chimney’s. Check that these are not blocked, and that the roofing material is not damaged where it meets the flashing. Check the tension of guide wires, if any, for high chimney’s.
Siding:
Houses have many types of protective envelopes on the exterior walls. Siding, singles, stucco, slate, brick, stone, cement and metal cover almost all homes. Depending on where you live, the northern exposure usually receives the most damage from moisture and weathering. Because of limited exposure to the sun, mildew tends to grow on North faces, which can lead to rot, and premature failure of many wood and stucco envelopes. Excessive mildew should be brushed off, and the surface should be washed. An excellent environmentally friendly product is made by Biowash, and is available at most home centers.
When checking wooden aspects of house exteriors, the paint is the primary protection from the elements. Check for peeling, bubbling, and cracking. Identify area’s that will require repair and re-painting as soon as damage is found! Delaying repairs may result in subsequent damage that will require significant work to repair.
Foundation:
You should walk around the perimeter of your home to check the foundation. At no point should the grade rise above the concrete foundation. If you find the grade is against the wooden sill plate, it is likely you will have water damage and/or pest damage. The grade must be lowered, and sloped away from the house to help move water from around the foundation.
Water damage is the number one cause of exterior damage to homes. Catching it quickly (within one season) will prevent serious damage that would ultimately require more than just paint to repair.
Fall rains, and potentially imminent snow can be a very serious cause for concern. Proper drainage around the foundation of a house is important, as is the protective envelope of the building itself, including the roof.
It is most logical to begin your inspection from the roof, down to the ground.

The Roof :

The vast majority of residential roofs are either a single peak roof, or a combination of multiple peaks. Most residential roofs are protected with asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, tile (and concrete), or slate. To a lesser extent there are also flat roofs, and metal clad roofs.
You are likely already aware of any leaks in your roof from water dripping into your house, or from the attic inspection. In getting onto your roof, use only an approved ladder, and be sure to take as many safety precautions as possible. (Setting up at the lowest point, using a 1 to 4 ratio for the angle, having a spotter, etc) Avoid walking on the roof as much as possible. This is often necessary, however it is much more likely to cause damage to the roofing material. The most common places for water to penetrate a roof are in valleys where two roofs meet, at the bottom of the roof near the gutters, and around vents, chimneys, skylights, or near flashings found where the roof butts up against a second or third floor exterior wall.
If you are trying to repair damaged asphalt shingles, this is something that the average house owner can do themselves. There is a lot of information on doing this repair, but a straight forward step by step instruction can be found at Do-it-yourself.com. Repairs for slate, tile, cement, cedar shakes, metal or flat roofs are best handled by a professional contractor.
Mildew can also become a problem on shake and asphalt roofs. 3M makes a product that prevents mildew from attaching to asphalt shingles, and there are cleaners available for shake roofs, however both of these jobs are best handled by a professional roofing contractor.
While on your roof, it is also wise to check and lubricate attic (whirly bird) vents, and to inspect exhaust vents for plumbing, furnace, hot water heaters, and chimney’s. Check that these are not blocked, and that the roofing material is not damaged where it meets the flashing. Check the tension of guide wires, if any, for high chimney’s.

Siding:

Houses have many types of protective envelopes on the exterior walls. Siding, singles, stucco, slate, brick, stone, cement and metal cover almost all homes. Depending on where you live, the northern exposure usually receives the most damage from moisture and weathering. Because of limited exposure to the sun, mildew tends to grow on North faces, which can lead to rot, and premature failure of many wood and stucco envelopes. Excessive mildew should be brushed off, and the surface should be washed. An excellent environmentally friendly product is made by Biowash, and is available at most home centers.
When checking wooden aspects of house exteriors, the paint is the primary protection from the elements. Check for peeling, bubbling, and cracking. Identify area’s that will require repair and re-painting as soon as damage is found! Delaying repairs may result in subsequent damage that will require significant work to repair.

Foundation:

You should walk around the perimeter of your home to check the foundation. At no point should the grade rise above the concrete foundation. If you find the grade is against the wooden sill plate, it is likely you will have water damage and/or pest damage. The grade must be lowered, and sloped away from the house to help move water from around the foundation.
Water damage is the number one cause of exterior damage to homes. Catching it quickly (within one season) will prevent serious damage that would ultimately require more than just paint to repair.
It is most logical to begin your inspection from the roof, down to the ground.The roof :The vast majority of residential roofs are either a single peak roof, or a combination of multiple peaks. Most residential roofs are protected with asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, tile (and concrete), or slate. To a lesser extent there are also flat roofs, and metal clad roofs.You are likely already aware of any leaks in your roof from water dripping into your house, or from the attic inspection. In getting onto your roof, use only an approved ladder, and be sure to take as many safety precautions as possible. (Setting up at the lowest point, using a 1 to 4 ratio for the angle, having a spotter, etc) Avoid walking on the roof as much as possible. This is often necessary, however it is much more likely to cause damage to the roofing material. The most common places for water to penetrate a roof are in valleys where two roofs meet, at the bottom of the roof near the gutters, and around vents, chimneys, skylights, or near flashings found where the roof butts up against a second or third floor exterior wall.If you are trying to repair damaged asphalt shingles, this is something that the average house owner can do themselves. There is a lot of information on doing this repair, but a straight forward step by step instruction can be found at Do-it-yourself.com. Repairs for slate, tile, cement, cedar shakes, metal or flat roofs are best handled by a professional contractor.Mildew can also become a problem on shake and asphalt roofs. 3M makes a product that prevents mildew from attaching to asphalt shingles, and there are cleaners available for shake roofs, however both of these jobs are best handled by a professional roofing contractor.While on your roof, it is also wise to check and lubricate attic (whirly bird) vents, and to inspect exhaust vents for plumbing, furnace, hot water heaters, and chimney’s. Check that these are not blocked, and that the roofing material is not damaged where it meets the flashing. Check the tension of guide wires, if any, for high chimney’s.Siding:Houses have many types of protective envelopes on the exterior walls. Siding, singles, stucco, slate, brick, stone, cement and metal cover almost all homes. Depending on where you live, the northern exposure usually receives the most damage from moisture and weathering. Because of limited exposure to the sun, mildew tends to grow on North faces, which can lead to rot, and premature failure of many wood and stucco envelopes. Excessive mildew should be brushed off, and the surface should be washed. An excellent environmentally friendly product is made by Biowash, and is available at most home centers.When checking wooden aspects of house exteriors, the paint is the primary protection from the elements. Check for peeling, bubbling, and cracking. Identify area’s that will require repair and re-painting as soon as damage is found! Delaying repairs may result in subsequent damage that will require significant work to repair.Foundation:You should walk around the perimeter of your home to check the foundation. At no point should the grade rise above the concrete foundation. If you find the grade is against the wooden sill plate, it is likely you will have water damage and/or pest damage. The grade must be lowered, and sloped away from the house to help move water from around the foundation.Water damage is the number one cause of exterior damage to homes. Catching it quickly (within one season) will prevent serious damage that would ultimately require more than just paint to repair.

How to Clean Leaf Stains off Driveway

How to Clean Leaf Stains off Driveway

The changing colors of fall leaves are truly beautiful but the leaves can leave stains on your driveway so you might want to know how to clean leaf stains off driveway. On a gorgeous, clear fall day, bundle yourself (and your kids) up warmly and head outside to get to work.

Teach your kids how to clean leaf stains off driveway!

how to clean leaf stains off driveway
How to clean leaf stains off driveway

How to Clean Leaf Stains off Driveway:

Cleaning:

Cleaning the leaf stains off your driveway is a great job that kids can do. Rake or sweep any leaves and debris off the area you are planning on cleaning. Periodically, take time to jump in the piles of leaves with your kids! Dispose of the leaves in compost or green waste. Use a hose with high water pressure to spray off the surface dirt. Sprinkle some laundry detergent with bleach or bleach alternative onto the driveway stains. You may find powdered laundry detergent works better than liquid laundry detergent because of its scouring ability but either type of detergent works. Let the detergent sit on the stains for a few minutes then proceed to scrub the area with a heavy duty shop broom or scrub brush.

Rinsing:

Use the hose with high water pressure to rinse the area, taking off the soap and dirt, and stain. Be careful not to clog up storm drains with leaves at the end of your driveway or on your street

The Rest of the Driveway:

You may find that the cleaned area really stands out from the rest of the driveway. You may wish to clean your entire driveway by hosing it down, sprinkling laundry detergent all around, scrubbing the driveway then rinsing.
You can now relax and enjoy the lovely reds, oranges and yellows in your trees and all around you, now you know how to clean leaf stains off driveway.

Canvas Shoes

Canvas is made from hemp and is used for casual shoes and sneakers. Some “canvas” sneakers are made from cotton. Rubber is traditionally used for the sole. They are considered low-maintenance footwear.
Tools:
  • Nylon bristle brush or old toothbrush
  • Cleanser such as laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid or a “suede and fabric” shampoo
  • Nylon scrub pad
  • Baking soda
  • Plain paper
  • White cream shoe polish (for white canvas tennis shoes)
Manufacturers may suggest spraying the tops of new canvas sneakers with a fabric care spray before you wear them. Your best bet is to follow any care instructions included with your sneakers.
Technique:
  • If the sneakers are muddy, wait until they are dry before cleaning
  • Knock off any loose dirt by smacking the sneakers on the pavement or tapping the soles together over a waste basket or newspaper
  • Wipe them with a damp cloth to remove any remaining caked-on dirt
  • Remove laces
  • Rinse shoes with warm water inside and out
  • Scrub the canvas sneakers’ outsides, insides and liners gently with a toothbrush or nylon brush and a mixture of water and mild detergent
  • Rinse with clean cool water
  • If scuff marks remain, scrub gently with nylon pad. Rinse again
  • If the liners still retain foot odor, scrub them with a paste of baking soda and water
  • Wash laces in with a load of like-colored laundry
  • Stuff canvas sneakers with crumpled brown paper bags, paper towels or white office paper, not newspaper or colored paper as the ink can transfer onto the canvas
  • Let them air-dry along with the laces.  Do not dry them near a fireplace or heater. Direct heat breaks down canvas fabric and causes shoes to become dried out and brittle
  • When the shoes are thoroughly dry, replace inserts and laundered laces
  • Sneakers with mesh inserts can be cleaned the same way as plain canvas shoes
  • If stains persist on white canvas sneakers, lightly dab on white liquid shoe polish
Colored Canvas Sneakers and Special Detailing
When cleaning colored canvas sneakers, be sure to use a non-bleaching soap, and do a small spot test with your cleaning mixture to be sure it doesn’t fade or leach out color.
If your sneakers have leather detailing, dampen and clean the canvas as directed and use leather cleaner on any leather parts.
Washing Canvas Sneakers in a Washing Machine

I also have gotten good results by cleaning canvas sneakers in the washing machine, but most shoe manufacturers discourage machine washing sneakers since it can break down the adhesives used to glue the shoe together.

How to Clean TOMS Shoes

How to Clean TOMS shoes:

There are a couple of ways to wash your TOMS which will keep them looking their best: handwashing or machine washing. Firstly, brush off all the dried on dirt from the shoes.
  • Handwashing – Soak the shoes in cold water and a small squirt of mild liquid dish soap. Using a small, soft bristle brush, gently brush the shoe material in a scrubbing motion. If your TOMS are the sparkly ones, be very careful to use the brush in the same direction as the sequins lay.
  • Machine washing – Use the most gentle cycle on your washing machine. Select cold water and use a small amount of gentle detergent. When the water level is high enough to fully cover the shoes, add the shoes.
It is best not to put your TOMS in the dryer. The dryer can tear the fabric. The most recommended way to dry them is to air dry. You can stuff a fabric softener sheet in each shoe while they dry. This will help to alleviate shoe odors. Some people use baking soda in a sachet to deodorize the shoes, however, do not pour baking soda directly into your TOMS as this can dry out the insole.
And that is how to clean TOMS shoes!

Cleaning The Gutters

Gutters help move all of the moisture that collects on your roof, away from your home. Pretty straight forward, but usually the only time we even look at our gutters is when they aren’t doing their job, or when we hang our Christmas lights. Regular maintenance will ensure that you gutters don’t leak, get clogged, or cause damage to your roof.
In the fall, after the bulk of leaves have fallen, BUT before the snow comes, you should check your gutters. A clogged gutter can cause snow and water to back up underneath the shingles. This, with the freezing and thawing cycles of the spring and fall, can cause serious damage to a roof. It is also helpful in the spring to be sure they have not been damaged by these winter freezing cycles, and to be certain they will be ready for “April showers”. Use an approved ladder, preferably with an assembly that will allow the ladder to lean on the roof itself, instead of against the gutter.
Most gutters are thin gauge metal, or even plastic, which can be badly damaged by leaning the ladder directly on them. Before starting, it can be a good idea to use a garden hose to wash any loose debris from the roof into the gutters. Take a small pail, or plastic garbage bag up the ladder with you. Wearing rubber gloves, scoop any debris from the gutter into the pail or bag. A two inch putty knife can be a great help in removing stubborn collections of gunk. Work your way along the gutter, and never stretch beyond a comfortable reach when standing on a ladder.
A final rinsing with the garden hose, can remove small bits of debris that you may have missed. While you are checking the gutter, it is a good idea to tighten screws or tap in nails which have loosened.
If the downspout is slow to drain, or plugged completely, use a garden hose to push the debris out with a strong stream of water. If the downspout goes directly into a drain, you should undo the connection, to avoid pushing the debris into the drain itself.

How to Clean House Gutters

How to Clean House Gutters Quickly and Easily

Cleaning the gutters and downspouts of your house just comes with the territory of owning a home, but it doesn’t have to be a big chore. Although it’s not the most fun task, it isn’t that difficult, doesn’t take that long, and will help prevent damage to your roof and the eaves themselves. Plus, it helps make your house look nicer.
Why You Should Clean Your Gutters
If you don’t clean your gutters, major damage will eventually plague your house when rainwater cannot go down a blocked drain. That blocked water builds up and gets under your shingles or rooftop material, and
How to Clean House Gutters
How to Clean House Gutters
rots the wood of your roof, trim and siding, and water can even get into your house, which we all know is not good.
Downspouts that are clogged in fall and not cleaned before the snow falls can become a problem. During warm winter days or the spring when the snow melts, if the melt water cannot go down the drain, tis can cause a big ice lip to build up at the edge or your roof that not only prevents snow from sliding off your roof, but it also puts a massive amount of weight on your roof. This can lead to a damaged roof or even a collapsed roof.
Even if the roof eaves of your house don’t get clogged or overflow each season, it’s just not a good idea to leave decaying debris in your gutters, as it’s an invitation to mosquitoes and carpenter ants.
So no matter how busy or lazy you feel, the little effort it takes to clean your gutters can save you lots of headache and damage costs. It’s definitely worth the effort, and not worth the consequences if you don’t do it. So let’s get to it.
Get the Right Tools
  • Ladder
  • Gloves
  • Trowel or Hand Scoop
  • Trash bag or Bucket
  • Rope (if you do this alone)
  • Garden Hose
Be Safe
If your home is more than one story, you may need an extension ladder. But even if your house is only one story, you could get seriously hurt if you fall. So no matter how many stories you have, make sure your ladder is stable. Either use a stabilizer, or make sure you’re on level ground, or both.
Figure out how you’re going to get your trash bag or bucket down before you start. It will be heavy and awkward, but if you can hand it to someone, or lower it with a rope if you’re doing this job solo, you’ll want to have this planned out before you start. Don’t wait until you’re umpteen feet above the ground, on the roof, balancing a heavy bag, wondering what to do with it.
Gloves don’t just help keep your hands and nails clean, but they can protect your hand from sharp objects. Leather ones will protect your hands better than cloth, as well as keep them cleaner. Make sure they’re the right size so you can do this job safely and properly.
Where to Start
After you have all your tools in place, it’s best to start where the downspouts are, which is typically at the corners, but not always.
Start at the downspouts so you can avoid pushing debris down the downspout and further clogging it, by simply pushing debris away from the drain hole as you clean the gutters.
Do it Right
  1. Simply scoop the debris into your bag or bucket. Use your trowel for the big stuff, and you may need to use your hands for the small stuff and gunk stuck to the bottom. If the debris is wet, I recommend a
    How To Clean House Gutters Quickly and Easily
    How To Clean House Gutters Quickly and Easily
    bucket rather than a bag, unless you use an extra sturdy bag. Wet stuff is heavier than dry stuff, so you may not want to fill the bag all the way up.
  2. After all the larger debris is removed, rinse the gutter with your garden hose, spraying toward the direction of the nearest downspout.
  3. You will need to clear any downspouts that may be clogged. If you start by spraying water down the spout from the top, you may just compact the clog so it gets lodged in tighter and becomes harder to budge. The best way is to start at the bottom of the drain spout and shoot some water up so it hits the bottom of the clog by using the spray nozzle of your hose at the highest pressure setting. Then get on the roof and shoot water down the pipe from the top. If it’s a loose clog, this should clear it up. If this still doesn’t clear it up, you can use a plumber’s snake, or if the clog is near the top, any type of long pole, like the end of a rake, will do. Collect the clog at the bottom of the spout after it comes out and put it in your debris receptacle.
Follow all the above procedures for all your gutters and downspouts of your home, garage, or any outbuildings you have that have gutters.
And finally, dispose of all the debris you’ve collected by putting it in the trash, or more preferably, a compost pile. You may already have your own compost pile, or can start one, or often your local city offices can tell you where a free community compost trash receiving site is located.
And that’s How to Clean House Gutters Quickly and Easily!
And now you can sit back and relax as you pat yourself on the back for taking care of business and keeping your property well taken care of. It’s okay to admire your own work, because not only do you now have clean gutters, but also peace of mind.
Prevent Future Problems
Use a stand-off or stabilizer, which not only keeps your ladder stable, but it also keeps your ladder from resting on, and thus possibly damaging or denting your gutters.
Inspect the gutters and downspouts now for any signs of damage. Look for holes, dents, or cracks. If you discover any signs of damage, repair them as soon as possible.
It’s best to clean the eaves and gutter spouts of in late spring or after nearby trees have finished shedding their leaves in the fall. If there copious amounts of trees or rain in your area, you should probably check your gutters more often.
Other Tips
Install leaf strainers inside the eave near the drain hole to prevent leaves from going down, and possibly clogging, your downspout.
You may want to consider installing guards that prevent the debris from sliding off your roof into your gutter in the first place. They won’t stop all falling leaves and branches from landing in your gutter, but can make your biannual gutter cleaning much more easy in the future.
Your local city yard refuse disposal site is also a great place to get free compost for your garden in the spring.