If you don’t have gutter guards to prevent clogs from fallen leaves, cleaning your gutters is a necessary (and messy) job. Leaves and debris that pile up in your gutters can cause water to spill over the brim, creating foundation and drainage issues. Melted snow can also freeze and create ice dams that will cause leaks inside the home.
To avoid these issues, you need the best gutter cleaners to ensure your gutters are clear from debris. We tested every gutter cleaner on this list, including one tool that surpassed all of our tests, to provide first-hand experience and advice on choosing the best one for your needs.
- BEST OVERALL: The Gutter Tool – Gutter Cleaning Spoon and Scoop
- RUNNER-UP: Orbit 58543 Telescoping Gutter Cleaning Wand
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Amerimax Home Products 8300 Getter Gutter Scoop
- BEST VACUUM ATTACHMENT: CRAFTSMAN CMXZVBE38640 Wet/Dry Vacuum Kit
- BEST FOR PRESSURE WASHER: AgiiMan Gutter Cleaning Pressure Washer Wands
Types of Gutter Cleaners
Gutter cleaning is a potentially dangerous project. Anytime you climb a ladder, you’re increasing your risk of injury. Manufacturers offer different gutter cleaners designed to lessen the risk. Below are the most common and reliable types of products for cleaning your gutters.
- Telescopic hose wands are ideal for those who prefer to keep both feet planted firmly on the ground. These products attach to your garden hose’s threaded fitting and allow users to reach gutters without a ladder. They have hooked arms that reach and spray down into your gutters and telescoping sections for convenience.
- Try a telescoping claw for a more aggressive approach. These devices affix to the end of a telescoping pole and reach down into your gutters to loosen and remove leaves and debris. While they can be a bit more labor intensive than a hose attachment, they’re able to break up tough blockages much easier. They do require climbing a ladder, which isn’t ideal for all DIYers.
- If you’re comfortable on a ladder, you may appreciate a gutter cleaning scoop. These inexpensive options look like large candy scoopers and allow you to reach down into your gutter and scoop the debris accumulated at the bottom. Gutter cleaning scoops are extremely effective, but they require moving the ladder every 4 or 5 feet.
- Pressure washer attachments can make short work of a dirty gutter. These long, hooked attachments snap onto your pressure washer’s handle, allowing the user to position a nozzle directly into the gutter and remove leaves, debris, and the gutter gunk that builds up throughout the year. Some models even have dual-sided attachments that spray in both directions simultaneously.
- Wet-dry vacuum attachments are another ground-based gutter cleaning product. These kits attach to your wet-dry shop vac and work by vacuuming or blowing the contents out of your gutter. Most kits are universal and feature several lengths of rigid vacuum pipe and a hooked nozzle for reaching into the gutter. You do need a stout vacuum to get the job done, however. It’s also challenging to blow wet leaves, so this job is best to tackle after a few sunny days.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Gutter Cleaner
With the above primer on the different types of gutter cleaners, it’s time to dig into the finer points of gutter cleaning. This section explains the most important considerations to keep in mind while shopping for the best gutter cleaner.
Before cleaning gutters, it’s worth assessing their condition. If the gutters have seen better days, it might be better to replace them. Certain issues are fixable, like leaks and loose brackets. Dents and holes could be a different story.
A dent in your gutter can lead to a backup very quickly, as it will affect the slope of the gutter, if only for a very small space. This change in pitch will collect dirt and debris, creating a dam that obstructs flow. While clearing that dam will help, the fix is temporary and a backup will likely recur.
Holes will drip in wet weather and can cause damage to your foundation over time. You can use a sealant to patch the hole, but replacing the gutter might be a better option for large holes.
DIYers who prefer to stay on the ground while cleaning need to consider the attachment’s length. Whether it’s a shop vac kit, garden hose attachment, or pressure washer wand, the device must reach over and into the gutters to be effective.
For gutter claws, length is still worth paying attention to. Most of these claws come as stand-alone attachments, requiring the separate purchase of an extendable pole. It’s important to choose a pole that will reach a manageable distance without being awkward while on a ladder. A painter’s pole (available on Amazon) or broomstick will help.
Certain types of products won’t work without additional necessary equipment. For instance, pressure washer kits require a pressure washer. To blow leaves out of a gutter with a wet-dry vac kit, unsurprisingly, a wet-dry vac is necessary.
General must-haves include gloves, eye protection, a garden hose, and a garbage bag for debris. For blowing your leaves out of a gutter, it’s a good idea to keep a rake handy as well.
Keep in mind that regardless of the gutter cleaner, you’ll probably still need a ladder at some point. It’s entirely possible for a branch or large obstruction to lodge itself in a gutter, so it’s not always feasible to clean them from the ground.
Ease of Use
Before choosing a gutter-cleaning product, understand that these products may not all be easy to work with. Using any type of wand, be it for a pressure washer or a leaf blower, does require a bit of skill and dexterity.
These products can be somewhat physically demanding as well. Holding a vacuum blower or pressure washer gun at a height and angle that reaches your gutters while the water pressure or airflow pushes the wand backward can wear on the user.
Beyond that, choose a product that is easy to set up. For claw-type gutter cleaners, a simple screw-on attachment method is best. For vacuum and blower attachments, find a product that attaches easily and securely to avoid it falling or blowing off while in use. Most pressure washers use quick-fit fittings, so look for an attachment that snaps in easily.
Our Top Picks
With all of those considerations in mind, I set out to test some of the best gutter cleaning tools on the market. The following tools all passed my test (which I’ll explain in a bit) while also excelling in one particular area or another. It’s important to note that I also tested the STYDDI Pressure Washer Gutter Rod Attachment; however, it did not meet the standards for inclusion within this roundup.
Anyone who plans to remove their gutter clutter with a manual leaf remover should give the Gutter Cleaning Spoon and Scoop a look. This plastic device screws onto the end of an extension pole or broomstick and allows the user to drag the debris to one central location for removal.
I found the Gutter Cleaning Spoon and Scoop to be one of the easiest gutter cleaner tools to set up and use. It’s lightweight but durable, making it easy to manipulate yet hardy. I felt the spoon did a good job of pulling the debris to where my ladder was located. Whenever I reached a bracket, I found it easy to flip the tool over to use the scoop and push it under the bracket.
The only downsides I found are that it doesn’t come with an extension pole and that it doesn’t actually remove the debris: it collects it in one spot. I had to remove it myself.
Orbit’s 58543 Telescoping Gutter Cleaning Wand is quite possibly the simplest approach to gutter cleaning, requiring nothing more than a garden hose. This wand has a telescoping section that extends from 40 to 70 inches, allowing users to reach lower gutters like those on ranch or Cape-style homes from the ground. It also features a built-in nozzle and an adjustable arm, both of which the user can set to the correct angle.
When testing the Orbit, I found it to be the simplest gutter cleaning tool. Cleaning the gutters on my Cape-style home required simply extending the pole and hooking up a garden hose. Adjusting the head and nozzle were both very easy, and the shut-off valve does a good job of controlling the pressure. My only concerns were that it’s not useful for higher gutters and that its effectiveness will rely on the home’s water pressure.
The Amerimax Home Products 8300 Getter Gutter Scoop offers a budget-friendly option for cleaning out gutters without cleaning out the bank account. This plastic scoop features a flexible tip that improves its fit in the gutter as well as a high handle to keep hands out.
The Getter Gutter is simple and easy to use. It can hold a lot of debris at one time, and I found that pinching the sides of the scoop together helped minimize spilling when removing it from the gutter. I liked that the tip conforms to fit the gutter, but it’s also sturdy enough to chip away some of the buildup. It can be a little awkward to use at first, and it definitely requires a ladder, but I found it to be an excellent value for the price.
Make the most of your wet-dry vacuum with this CMXZVBE38640 gutter cleaning kit from Craftsman. This four-piece kit comes with two 18-inch extension wands, a hooked gutter nozzle, and a blower nozzle for concentrating your shop vac’s blower volume. It will fit a wet-dry vac with a 2.5-inch outlet, so it’s compatible with most shop vac extensions to reach a bit higher than the kit alone allows.
This kit from Craftsman was one of my favorite surprises in testing. I hooked it up to a 5.5 horsepower wet-dry vac’s exhaust and found that it was incredibly effective at blowing leaves and debris out of the gutter, especially with the restrictive nozzle that comes in the kit. It was a little clumsy to use, and it might not be suitable for use on a ladder (not with a powerful vacuum, at least), but it was very easy to set up. It also felt like it could serve other purposes, such as vacuuming in vents or other nooks where a standard vacuum won’t reach.
The AgiiMan Gutter Cleaning Pressure Washer Wands kit comes with everything necessary to achieve squeaky clean gutters (other than the pressure washer). This kit comes with several extension rods and rods, each equipped with leakproof O-rings. This kit fits ¼-inch quick-connect pressure washers and says it can handle up to 4,000 psi.
I found the AgiiMan Gutter Cleaning Pressure Washer Wands kit to be the most effective gutter cleaning kit in this test. It came with several wands and four nozzles, and it snapped to my pressure washer without an issue. It was easy to manipulate into the gutter and had plenty of power.
While the kit says it can handle up to 4,000 psi, I do believe it would become difficult to control and might eventually fail with that much pressure. I found 1,700 psi to be more than enough. The downside is that it does require a pressure washer, and the bearings can make keeping it aligned a bit of a challenge.
How We Tested
There’s only one good way to test gutter cleaners: Clean some gutters.
I used each of these tools to clean sections of gutters on my own home. I hooked up each tool to its appropriate power source (garden hose, pressure washer, or vacuum), or used the manual tools from atop a ladder. While testing each tool, I recorded scores using a scoring rubric to make the comparisons as fair as possible.
All the gutter cleaning tools on this list have what it takes to handle annual cleaning. The most effective tool was the AgiiMan, while the Craftsman also did a great job cleaning out the debris. Overall, the manual Gutter Spoon and Scoop was the best, considering its effectiveness, simple setup, and thoughtful design.
FAQs About Gutter Cleaners
That’s a solid primer on the best gutter cleaners, but you might still have some questions. This section is a collection of the most frequently asked questions about the best gutter cleaners, along with the corresponding answers. For more specific information, you can reach out to your kit manufacturer’s customer service department or check out these wacky tricks for cleaning gutters.
Q. Is there a tool to clean gutters from the ground?
There are plenty of options for cleaning gutters without a ladder. You can choose from a pressure washer kit, a wet/dry vacuum kit, or some claw kits.
Q. How much psi do I need to clean gutters?
Setting your pressure washer to 1,700 psi should do the trick. While you might find some stubborn grime needs a little extra attention, pressure higher than 1,700 psi usually isn’t necessary.
Q. How do you clear clogged gutters?
The tools recommended here will clear clogged gutters by either spraying them with high-pressure water, air, or a manual claw. Armed with one of these tools and some helpful tips, you shouldn’t have a problem cleaning your gutters.