How Can You Clean Gutters Without a Ladder?

Updated: Mar. 08, 2024

Gutter cleaning is essential home maintenance, but there's no need to jump on a ladder. Here's how to do it from the ground.

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Do you need to clean your gutters but hate getting on a ladder? You’re not alone! The last time I cleaned my gutters the ladder seemed heavier, the sun seemed hotter, and the whole thing seemed like more work than it’s worth.

And that’s not to mention the potential risks involved. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are more than 100 ladder-related fatalities in the U.S. each year.

Whatever your reasons for minimizing ladder work, we hear you. We’ve rounded up six ways to keep your gutters flowing easily while keeping both feet firmly on the ground.

As you review this roundup, remember to consider your own height and the height of your gutters. Gutter height varies with roof pitch, overhang and your home’s relative height compared to the landscaping around it. If you’re using an extension on an existing tool, like a shop vacuum, pressure washer or leaf blower, account for the wand or nozzle length as well.

Here’s how: Take a measuring tape and check how much length you need to reach your gutters when holding the tool comfortably. And check in more than one location! My own gutter height varies by more than a foot due to the slope of the lot.

Note: Previous roundups included the Looj, a gutter-cleaning robot from the makers of the Roomba. Sadly, it’s no longer being produced. Apparently, it may have been more effective at terrifying squirrels than actually cleaning out gutters!

Spray Your Gutters Clean With a Hose Adaptor

A blast of water is one of the easiest ways to remove gutter debris. A Buyplus 12-foot wand hooked to your garden hose puts your home’s water power to work.

Pros

  • Accessible: All you need to use this tool is a garden hose.

Cons:

  • Waterfall effect: You’re likely to get wet. In August, this might be fine. On a chilly, windy October afternoon, it might not be that enjoyable.
  • Limited power. Extensions like this give your hose spray a concentrated, powerful boost, but it can only do so much. To increase the power enough to effectively clean out higher gutters, consider a pressure washer.

Use a Pressure-Washer To Clean Your Gutters

To add some ‘oomph’ to your gutter cleaning, consider an extension intended for pressure washers, like this AgiiMan 10-foot extension wand. A product like this is made from robust pipe that can handle pressurized water and typically features quick-release connectors.

Pros

  • Effective: A blast of water from a power washer can clean out gutters quickly and effectively.
  • Tall-reaching: The additional pressure allows the washer to effectively clean even at second-story elevations. (Just make sure you’re getting an extension long enough to reach your gutters.)
  • Quick-connect. Setup is much faster with quick-connect fittings.

Cons

  • Requires a pressure washer: If you don’t already own one, the purchase price will be steep.
  • Difficult to control at high pressure: This is the main complaint in Amazon user reviews. While the Agiiman works with pressure washers up to 4,000 pounds per square inch (psi), it will be extremely difficult to control when fully extended. Use it with a lower pressure rating, and carefully hook it over the edge of the gutter for added stability.
  • Waterfall effect: Like the garden hose adaptor, you may find yourself getting wet. If this is a major concern, consider one with T-shaped twin nozzles to direct the water down the gutter, rather than back out and over your head.

Use a Brush To Clear Your Gutters

The Fox Valley Gutter Cleaner by Grixx lt looks like a cross between a giant pipe cleaner and an oversized bottle brush. Unlike the other items we’ve looked at, it doesn’t supplement the cleaning with air or water power.

Pros

  • Affordable: Priced around $25, brush cleaners are within most DIY budgets.
  • Accessible: You don’t need any additional equipment.
  • Simplicity: The scoop-and-twist movement required to clear gutters is simple to master.

Cons

  • Repetitious: You’ll do a lot of scooping and twisting.

Gutter Cleaning With a Leaf Blower

Similar to the extensions for a power washer or garden hose, the Worx Hose Attachment Kit extends the reach of your leaf blower, ending in a hooked shape to make gutter cleaning easy.

Pros

  • Widely compatible: The hose adaptor kit should work with most major brands of leaf blowers. According to Worx, there’s “a 90% chance it’ll securely attach to the blower that’s already in your garage.”

Cons

  • Requires a leaf blower: You’ll need to borrow or buy one.
  • Effectiveness depends on existing equipment: The more air your leaf blower moves, the better this technique will work. A leaf blower with a cubic feet per minute (cfm) of less than 300 may struggle with this task, although the exact amount of power you’ll need depends on the height of the gutter and the amount of debris in it.

Clear Your Gutters With a Shop Vacuum

If you don’t have a leaf blower, no worries! The Vacmaster V2GK Gutter Cleaning Kit will allow any two-and-one-half-inch shop vacuum to suck up gutter debris. Or attach the hose to the outlet and blow it all away.

Pros

  • Versatile: Vacuuming out leaves and debris limits the mess you’ll generate. Having the option to use it as a blower lets you adapt to the level of gunk in your gutter.

Cons

  • Requires shop vacuum: This tool won’t work unless you already own a shop vacuum.

Hire a Pro for the Ultimate in Ladder-Free Gutter Cleaning

For the absolute lowest-effort gutter cleaning, hire a pro. Pricing for gutter cleaning depends on the height of your gutters and their total linear feet. Costs will vary by region, but here are the base numbers:

  • Single-story gutters: $0.80 to $1.20 per linear foot.
  • Two-story gutters: $1.50 to $2.00 per linear foot.

When you get a quote, be sure to ask if they’ll clean out downspout clogs and provide an option for gutter repair work as needed.